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.
Of course we’ll miss all the colour, spectacle and culture from continents near and far, and also the big African bands and dancers.
And we’ll miss The Planet Talks that have been such a rich addition, offering in-depth conversations about how we can move to a more sustainable relationship with our planet.
But there will be benefits. Australian musicians – and indigenous artists in particular – will feature, culminating with the special Makarrata Live performance on Monday evening, featuring Midnight Oil and a range of First Nations collaborators, including Frank Yamma, Dan Sultan, Leah Flanagan, Alice Skye, Troy Cassar-Daley, Bunna Lawrie and Tasman Keith. That promises to be powerful and emotional as we mark almost four years since our First Nations people generously offered a pathway forward through the Uluru Statement from the Heart, an offer that was so cruelly dismissed by the Turnbull Government.
Saturday night has sold out, but tickets are still available for Friday, Sunday and Monday.
Friday promises a marvellous opening to the festival:
- The incomparable Archie Roach
- Lior / Westlake / Adelaide Symphony Orchestra: Compassion – a reprise of their superb performances in 2013 and 2014. If you missed it then, be sure to catch it at WOMADelaide. The album won the ARIA Award for Best Classical Album at the 2014 Awards. Lior’s unmistakable voice soaring over Nigel Westlake’s superb orchestrations in King Rodney Park will be an unforgettable experience.
- Sarah Blasko
See you there!
Oh, and don’t bring a chair. Seating is provided this year, to comply with the COVID-safe plan.