Blog - New Internationalist Australia - World music, climate disruption and social justice news

Goanna: superb at WOMADelaide 2022

Goanna at WOMADelaide 2022
March 16th, 2022 by

The Goanna reunion performance was a wonderful emotion-charged event. It was clear they were having the time of their lives on the main stage at WOMADelaide 2022. Respect was flowing freely from and to the band.

Together and in their solo careers Shane Howard, Rose Bygrave & Marcia Howard have made Australia a better place through their music and activism.

They’re great storytellers, in their songwriting, performing and in person. 

And it’s storytelling with a purpose. They helped clear a path forward for First Nations audiences and performers. 


From Ecocide to Eden: learning from luminaries

Fatoumata Diawara at WOMADelaide 2019
February 14th, 2022 by

With WOMADelaide 2022 coming up fast, it made me reflect on previous festivals.

Might it be that – in simplistic terms – there are two types of people: those who use their talents to enrich themselves, and those who use their special skills to enrich the lives of others?  My experience in media leads me to think so.

I’ve been very fortunate to interview some special people over recent years, people who have dedicated their lives to ensuring they contribute to safeguarding our planet and improving social equity, and have been guests at WOMADelaide as part of the superb Planet Talks series. Here are some of the best.


WOMADelaide 2021 – the finale

Makarrata Live
March 15th, 2021 by

Many bands hit gold at some point. It might be an era when personnel meshed brilliantly; a concert when repertoire, audience and venue all combined for a stunning show; the final mix of a recording on which they know they really nailed it.

To my mind Midnight Oil had two spectacularly golden moments in their collection: the recording of Beds are Burning, and their appearance in Sorry shirts at the Sydney 2000 Olympics.

Now I have a third golden moment to add: the launch of Makarrata Live at the closing evening of WOMADelaide 2021, in which Midnight Oil collaborated with great First Nations artists such as Leah Flanagan, Troy Cassar-Daley, Frank Yamma and Bunna Lawrie.


WOMADelaide 2021 – day 3 review

Miiesha a big voice
March 8th, 2021 by

Three rapidly-rising young stars thrilled the day 3 audience, each with their individual take on contemporary style.

It’s a super-confident artist who opens her first WOMADelaide appearance with an a cappella song, and pulls it off magnificently, especially at only twenty years young. Miiesha did it so well.

The intro to the song was a recording of her beloved Grandmother who raised her saying: “Remember you’re nobody’s property”.

She’s taken it on board; this is one feisty performer.


WOMADelaide 2021 – day 2 review

Much-loved Vika and Linda
March 7th, 2021 by

Revelation is a word closely associated with WOMADelaide for me.

Sure, when the artist announcement is released, I’ll be familiar with a few of the headliners. But each year I go along confident that it will be a weekend of surprises, as an array of instant new favourites are revealed.


WOMADelaide 2021 – Opening night review

WOMADelaide 2021 - the stage is set for Compassion
March 6th, 2021 by

Opening night was always going to be an emotionally-charged event. Archie Roach came on stage for his 7th and final WOMADelaide show – more repeat performances at WOMADelaide than any other artist – and the crowd responded with a standing ovation before he’d sung a note.

And he did it – as he has at recent concerts – accompanied by an oxygen cylinder, to boost his airways as he copes with obstructive pulmonary disease. Ten years ago he’d recovered from a stroke and also having half a cancerous lung removed. Last year – just before his induction to the ARIA Hall of Fame – Archie was in ICU for treatment and then performed with a medical team on hand backstage.

But Archie’s big heart and yearning to bring people together through storytelling in his unmistakeable voice is as powerful as ever.


WOMADelaide 2021 – COVID-safe

WOMADelaide 2021
February 26th, 2021 by

I have to confess that I felt cheated when I first saw the COVID-safe plan for WOMADelaide 2021. How can it be WOMADelaide if it’s not in beautiful Botanic Park, and if it’s really just a series of 4 evening sit-down concerts?

But eventually I realised I was being greedy. After all, how lucky were we to squeeze in a full WOMADelaide last year, just before COVID lockdowns and border closures swung into force?

And I also remembered how brilliant the mini-WOMAD in the Vales had been in 1998, starring the late great Geoffrey Oryema of Uganda.


WOMADelaide 2020

Gelareh Pour's Garden
March 10th, 2020 by

The wonderful weekend of WOMADelaide 2020 is done, but the impact remains. The global sounds are etched into our souls and the images from around Botanic Park remain in our mind’s eye.


Subramaniam and Yehudi Menuhin

Dr L. Subramaniam
March 2nd, 2020 by

The late great Yehudi Menuhin is widely regarded as being one of the finest violinists of the 20th century.

Menuhin is quoted as saying: “I find nothing more inspiring than the music-making of my very great colleague Subramaniam. Each time I listen to him, I am carried away in wonderment.”


WOMADelaide – best weekend of the year

February 25th, 2020 by

Whenever summer begins to make way for the dappled light of autumn, my mind turns to WOMADelaide; the expectation of the year’s best weekend coming up, and the memories of so many previous WOMADelaides.