WHAT: WOMADelaide Festival & Adelaide Festival
WHERE: Botanic Park
WHEN: 6-9 March 2020 – tickets here
International Women’s Day Address (Jan Fran)
On this International Women’s Day we started off our day at the Address, given by none other than Jan Fran and hosted by Tory Shepherd. Jan began acknowledging the Indigenous Matriarchy, and asking all of us what our relationship with Indigenous sovereignty is? She then focussed on the power of the girl, talking about her own life growing up in a world that felt as if it belonged to women and girls. Of course, she mentioned that photo of Greta and Malala. It was the perfect mix of funny and sombre, recognising that there is still a long way to go. And of course, I can’t not mention her insane Frida Las Vegas kaftan.
Public Opinion Afro Orchestra
We missed the Public Opinion Afro Orchestra last night, so were keen to get to their workshop today. It was so much fun, with more different types of percussion than you could count, a DJ, and of course some of the singers and dancers. It was a workshop to learn some of the dances they do on stage, and of course the reality was a bunch of people dancing not in time, but it was so much fun.
Next we took it down a notch at Bill Callahan. He’s been a big name in lo-fi rock for 30 years and there was a very big crowd for his seated performance. It was very chill, and very sunny, but perfect for an afternoon lie down if you could find some shade.
Los Amigos Invisibles
And it’s lucky we had a lie down, because the rest of Sunday included no more moments of being horizontal. We checked out Los Amigos Invisibles over on Foundation Stage and the energy was out of control! Los Amigos are a well oiled machine, having played together for a long time. They are experts at managing a crowd, teasing us by playing the beginning of a lot of pop hits and then heading into their own songs. It was a great way of managing a crowd who aren’t familiar with your songs, get them dancing to something they already know then hit them with something unknown but equally funky.
We next headed over to see Ezra Collective. Starting off as a music jam group for at risk youths in London, the group thought jazz was kind of lame. Cut to day, they’re playing some of the most interesting new-wave jazz around. They took us to church in between songs, commenting how special the vibe is here at WOMAD. We are so blessed, thousands of people who come together and just want to have a good time. This was a special set, so much so I think I will try and see them again today.
Hiatus Kaiyote were next to take to the stage. The set is groovy, with the band playing songs from across all of their albums. The audience loves it, stretched as far as you can see every person is moving.
Jorge Ben Jor
We wrapped up the day with Jorge Ben Jor. Jorge is the father of samba rock, and if you didn’t know it, the mammoth crowd gave it away. People were buzzing with excitement, chanting and cheering. When he finally took to the stage, it hits us how old he is. 77 and he still has it! We are so lucky to get to see him in action. Aside from the music, which was all so excellent and literally non-stop from one song into the next, the visualisations were great. From the live feed of Jorge Ben appearing to be flying through space to just the words ‘Jorge Ben Jor’ in Arial Bold red, it definitely added to the atmosphere. The man is a legend, which made it all the more disappointing when he had one last song to play and WOMAD staff wouldn’t let him. I get it, he went over his time, but it’s Jorge Ben!
That was it for another day. We are looking forward to one final day, hopefully including many more rests beneath the trees of Botanic Park. We’ll see you there.