First artists announced for WOMADelaide 2024
WOMADelaide has today announced the first 28 artists for the 2024 festival, from 8 to 11 March – featuring Ziggy Marley (Jamaica), The Budos Band (USA), Arooj Aftab (USA/Pakistan), Gilberto Gil (Brazil) and DakhaBrakha (Ukraine).
Since 1992, the iconic annual festival – World of Music, Arts, and Dance – held in Adelaide’s Botanic Park/Tainmuntilla, has forged a reputation for bringing together a diverse array of virtuosos and rising stars, which continues in 2024, with artists from 25 countries set to join the recently-announced British jazz wunderkind Yussef Dayes and Swedish folk hero José González.
For his first time in Australia since 2012, reggae singer, songwriter, producer, author, humanitarian and visionary Ziggy Marley is set to grace WOMADelaide’s stage for the very first time. Deftly exploring issues from environmental awareness to self-empowerment, social injustice to political inequity, much like his father Bob Marley, Ziggy always returns to the transformational power of love. As he continues to uphold the family legacy, he’s also blazed a trail of his own, with a career spanning close to 40 years and eight Grammys.
From New York City, for the first time, comes the seven-piece Budos Band, withtheir gritty Afrobeat-influenced instrumental soul, and acclaimed Grammy Award-winning vocalist AroojAftab. Since the release of her critically-acclaimed sophomore album Vulture Prince Aftab has won praise for her spellbinding live performances at concert houses, Coachella and Glastonbury.
Brazilian music legend Gilberto Gil returns to the festival after 20 years, as part of his farewell world tour. A pioneer of the Tropicália movement of the 1960s, renowned for both his musical innovation and political activism, Gil is a former Minister of Culture for Brazil who over his 60-year career has recorded more than 60 albums, won nine Grammys and sold millions of records worldwide.
Formed in Kyiv in 2004, Ukrainian ‘ethno chaos’ quartet DakhaBrakha creates unexpected new sounds that are contemporary, cosmopolitan and intimate, with the soul and vocal power of Ukrainian folk. With a strong visual and theatrical element to their shows, DakhaBrakha experiments with the instruments and rhythms of other cultures, through the lens of Ukrainian tradition now sharply focused on Ukraine’s fight for survival following the Russian invasion.
Senegalese superstar Baaba Maal returns with his distinctive fusion of traditional and contemporary West African sounds, as does acclaimed British musician, producer and composer Nitin Sawhney, whose award-winning electronica embraces Asian influences, trip-hop and jazz.
Elizabeth Streb is one of the world’s most innovative choreographers, and her dancers perform acts of gladiatorial athleticism and daring that challenge the laws of gravity and human movement. STREB EXTREME ACTION – whose style is somewhere between experimental dance and extreme sport – will perform across four purpose-built stages to astound and thrill WOMADelaide audiences.
Ibibio Sound Machine, led by Nigerian singer Eno Williams and formed in London in 2013, is an astonishing clash of African and electronic elements inspired by the golden era of West-African funk, disco and modern post-punk. And the ‘Caribbean Patti Smith’, voodoo queen priestess Moonlight Benjamin, makes her debut with raw, heavy blues rock inspired by Caribbean melodies and artists Dr John, Alabama Shakes and Oumou Sangaré.
Also announced are Japan’s brilliant DJ Koco AKA Shimokita whose mixing skills on vinyl 45s are considered among the best in the world and, for lovers of house music, Braxe + Falcon, the indisputable architects of the ‘French Touch’ – straight out of Paris.
South Africa’s Handspring Puppet Company, best known for their giant creations War Horse and Little Amal, will work in collaboration with Adelaide’s Slingsby Theatre Company to present the Celebration Parade. A family of life-sized elephant puppets will explore the park and interact with audiences in magical moments of discovery for everyone. Their WOMADelaide home each day will be within KidZone, the heart of the festival for children under 12, where young puppet-makers can hone their skills.
While the festival will have a plethora of taste-tempting food stalls, audiences can dine in comfort at The Taste the World Restaurant @ Sanctuary. A haven where festival-goers can enjoy a tranquil, fine dining experience with views over Adelaide Zoo and the park, the menu for 2024 is inspired by Peru's vibrant ingredients and innovative cooking techniques, showcasing South American asado and spiced meats, paired with the vibrant tastes of the West Indies and the Caribbean.
Part of a significant redesign of the festival layout will be a new precinct along Plane Tree Drive; the WoMarkets. This shaded hub of more than 40 retail stalls, in the tradition of a marketplace where different cultures share their wares, will be within a breathtaking 160m-long sculptural structure which has been specially commissioned from Tetrik, Australia’s specialists in future-focused tensile fabric structures.
The Premier of South Australia, Peter Malinauskas said the stellar international music line-up announced will have festivalgoers around the state, country, and world buzzing with excitement for the return of WOMADelaide in 2024.
"The first taste of the unique line-up certainly has something for everyone, and follows last year’s impressive festival, which saw a record-breaking 110,000 attendees – with more than half being visitors to Adelaide - generating a huge $35.1 million in economic impact for our state," Premier Malinauskas said.
"I look forward to welcoming these world-class artists, as well as crowds of festivalgoers, to Botanic Park/Tainmuntilla from 8 to 11 March – as they discover why Adelaide is the nation’s only UNESCO City of Music."
WOMADelaide Director, Ian Scobie said with WOMADelaide entering its fourth decade, it is a thrill and an honour to have the festival stages graced by luminaries such as Ziggy Marley, Gilberto Gil, Baaba Maal and Elizabeth Streb, who share the qualities throughout their extraordinary careers of breaking boundaries and creating work which celebrates the creativity, excellence and inclusiveness central to the arts.
WOMADelaide returns to Adelaide’s Botanic Park/Tainmuntilla, for four days of music, arts, and dance, from 8-11 March 2024.
Artists announced –
- Arooj Aftab (USA/Pakistan)
- Baaba Maal (Senegal)
- Braxe + Falcon (France)
- The Budos Band (USA)
- DakhaBrakha (Ukraine)
- DJ Koco (Japan)
- DUBIOZA KOLEKTIV (Bosnia & Herzegovina)
- Elephants Laugh – Muljil (South Korea)
- Folk Bitch Trio (Aus)
- Gilberto Gil (Brazil)
- Handspring Puppet Company (South Africa)
- Ibibio Sound Machine (UK)
- Illapu (Chile)
- José González (Sweden)
- Leenalchi (South Korea)
- Maqamat - Beytna (Home) (Lebanon/France)
- Moonlight Benjamin (Haiti/France)
- Nitin Sawhney (UK)
- Pongo (Angola/Portugal)
- Sharon Shannon Big Band (Ireland)
- Son Rompe Pera (Mexico)
- STREB EXTREME ACTION (USA)
- Tejendra Majumdar & Ambi Subramaniam (India)
- Tio (Vanuatu)
- Wantok Sing Sing feat. TELEK (Oceania)
- WITCH (Zambia)
- Yussef Dayes (UK)
- Ziggy Marley (Jamaica)
The next WOMADelaide program announcement will be in November.
WOMADelaide is proudly supported by the State Government, through the South Australian Tourism Commission.