10 Mar 2023

WOMADelaide 2023 opens today, following record ticket sales

The WOMADelaide festival opens today, having sold out Saturday, Sunday and multi-day tickets in advance, for the first time in its 31-year history. More than 700 artists from over 30 countries are about to converge on Adelaide’s Botanic Park/Tainmuntilla for four glorious days of music, arts and dance from 10-13 March.

The unique Afro-Caribbean band from Belize, The Garifuna Collective, kick off proceedings ahead of the festival debut from Norwegian folk-pop singer AURORA, and Grammy Award-winning US indie-folk outfit Bon Iver, who will perform a set spanning their 15-year career and close the night on the Foundation Stage.

Opening night also includes the first of four Australian exclusive appearances from French company Gratte Ciel, with their extraordinary aerial ballet Place des Anges (Place of Angels), where feathered angels dance high above the treetops of Botanic Park before descending to earth to meet the audience below.

Other highlights across the weekend include Florence + The Machine making their WOMADelaide debut to a sold-out Saturday crowd, the return of Youssou N’Dour & Le Super Etoile de Dakar, who performed at the first WOMADelaide in 1992, and Zambia’s Sampa The Great.

Other anticipated international highlights include one of the most exciting stars in Latin music, Cuba’s Cimafunk, Scottish rock duo The Proclaimers, the ‘king and queen of the banjo’, Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn, and one of the most celebrated and influential musical quartets of our time, Kronos Quartet.

The Planet Talks, the festival’s three-day ecological and conversational forum, will feature some of the world’s foremost thinkers, activists, and scientists, including appearances from renowned human rights advocate Patricia Anderson AO and Eytan Lenko (CEO of Mike-Cannon Brookes’ philanthropic Green Fund, Boundless) and Australian journalists Patricia Karvelas and Fran Kelly.

The Taste the World Restaurant @ Sanctuary, located in the Adelaide Zoo and led by Soi.38’s Terry Intarakhamhaeng and Blanco Horner’s Executive Chef Jack Bird, will offer a menu of the vibrant flavours of Thailand and beyond, in an exclusive three-course banquet with table service and restaurant-level comfort.

KidZone is the home of storytelling, song, dance and adventure-filled learning for under 12s. it is a joyous melting pot of artistic creativity and fun and this year’s program features a culture workshop by Ripple Effect Band, an all-woman group from Arnhem Land, and sessions with Play School’s Rachael Coopes.

The WOMADelaide 2023 program has captured the attention of the nation, with Saturday, 3-day and 4-day tickets selling out at record pace by 4 February, surpassing the previous record set in 2008 when 3-day and Saturday tickets sold out just days ahead of the festival opening.

Director, Ian Scobie, expressed his excitement at the overwhelming response to the program.

“We are thrilled by the incredible response to our first fully international program since the pandemic, with unprecedented ticket sales and the number of people traveling from interstate to South Australia for the festival growing to 50% - the highest ever number of new visitors to the event.

“WOMADelaide 2023 is the probably the largest and most diverse program we have ever been able to bring to Botanic Park. With artists such as Florence + the Machine (UK), Youssou N’Dour (Senegal), Bon Iver,(USA) Bangarra Dance Theatre (AUS), Foco alAire (Mex) and Gratte Cie (FRA), this year’s festival will be a tremendous international celebration of music, arts and dance.”

South Australian Minister for Tourism, Zoe Bettison welcomed the return of full international programming to WOMADelaide and recognised the boost the event will bring to the state.

“What a spectacular lead-up to this iconic festival, with ticket sales at an all-time high and more visitors travelling to South Australia for this event than ever before,” she said.

“The unprecedented demand for WOMADelaide is already translating to hotel bookings, and will mean more people filling restaurants, cafes, bars and retail this long weekend. It also marks another spectacular major event on what is South Australia’s largest events calendar yet.”

WOMADelaide gates open to the public at 4pm on Friday 10 March.