10 Mar 2024

South Australia locks in five more years of WOMADelaide


One of the state’s iconic Mad March major events will continue to draw visitors to Adelaide for at least another five years, with the State Government extending its longstanding partnership with ‘the World’s Festival’ through to 2029.
It comes as new data from hotel analytics firm, STR, shows hotel occupancy across greater metropolitan Adelaide in February 2024 was the highest of any February on record.
Boosted by the line-up of festivals including Adelaide Fringe and Adelaide Festival, as well as major conferences and a packed-out P!NK concert at Adelaide Oval, each night of February saw an average of 8,086 hotel rooms occupied – an extra nearly 890 rooms every single night on last February.
As WOMADelaide enters its third day, organisers note that while the weather conditions will have some impact on attendances – the event has achieved more four-day passes purchased than ever before, with an increase in ticket-buyers taking up the pay-as-you-go offer.
In 2024, WOMADelaide has undertaken its most significant site redesign since its establishment – delivering more green space and shaded areas, along with the new 16-metre-long cultural retail hub, WoMarkets, and revised staging locations and clearway access routes – ready for the next five years of welcoming the world to Adelaide.
Forward booking data from STR (as at Monday 4 March) showed already 9,054 hotel rooms have been booked across greater metropolitan Adelaide on the Saturday night of WOMADelaide 2024.
This year’s WOMADelaide presents 700 Artists from more than 40 countries, as well as the popular KidZone and the new WoMarkets, a new shaded hub of 50 retail stalls featuring wares from different cultures.
The South Australian Government has been a partner of WOMADelaide since the festival’s inception in 1992. WOMADelaide was initially held biennially from 1993 until 2003 and has been held annually ever since.
In 2010, WOMADelaide was expanded to four days to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Adelaide Festival.
Based on WOMADelaide’s success, the event has continued as a four-day festival, coinciding with South Australia’s ‘Mad March’ long weekend.
Premier Peter Malinauskas said WOMADelaide has well and truly cemented its home in South Australia, another five years locked in – building on an incredible 32 years in the state. 
"We choose to invest in world leading arts events like WOMADelaide because they add to the richness of our community and deliver significant economic benefits," Premier Malinauskas said.
"WOMADelaide is a significant event for attracting interstate and international visitors, creating jobs, and injecting more than $35 million into our state’s economy in 2023 alone."
Minister for Tourism, Zoe Bettison said WOMADelaide is an icon on the calendar of the state's Mad March major events and a wonderful tourism drawcard for South Australia.
"It is fitting we announce another five years of WOMADelaide today, as our state’s festivals in February have boosted hotel occupancy in Adelaide to a record high," Minister Bettison said. 
"The best February on record for hotels across greater metropolitan Adelaide, as our state’s tourism industry reaps the benefits of the Mad March long weekend. 
"I look forward to seeing WOMADelaide continue to bring music, dance, arts and ideas from around the world to our city’s parklands for another five years and reinforcing South Australia’s position as our nation’s only UNESCO City of Music."
WOMAD Global Chief Operating Officer, Mike Large said WOMAD here in Adelaide is a jewel in WOMAD’s crown.

"Over the last 42 years we’ve presented WOMAD in over 35 counties, and on our global stage – currently spanning four continents and both hemispheres – it’s not only our longest partnership but also longest running festival in the same location anywhere, Adelaide’s stunning Botanic Park/Tainmuntilla," Mr Large said.
"WOMAD is the World’s Festival and brings the world to the world with an ever-changing program of extraordinary, diverse and joyous experiences. It only stands the test of time because it evolves and responds to its audience and location and to do that it relies on the passion and dedication of its partners and nowhere is that passion and dedication stronger than Adelaide."