WOMADelaide is a hot musical melting pot that cools the soul

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WOMADelaide is a hot musical melting pot that cools the soul

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Words by Stephen Trutwin

WOMADelaide 2024, the iconic world music festival held annually in Adelaide, was not just a celebration of diverse musical genres but also an experience marked by scorching temperatures, powerful activism, and soul-stirring performances in a most beautiful, picturesque setting.

The festival kicked off as a heatwave enveloped the city, creating a challenge for organisers, festival-goers and the resident grey-headed flying fox population. Despite the soaring temperatures, the infectious energy of the crowd remained undeterred, with attendees finding creative ways to stay cool while immersing themselves in the rich cultural tapestry of the event. Schedule changes were made to accommodate bats dying in the heat, a stark reminder of the interconnectedness of all living beings and the urgent need for awareness of climate change and biodiversity.

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A home-grown performer from Peramangk country Erin Baku’s soulful neo-soul melodies provided a soothing oasis, reminding attendees that even in the heat, music has the power to cool the soul.

SA’s Druid Fluids, a dynamic young ensemble known for their experimental soundscapes, brought their psych-rock sounds to the festival.

Mad-hatted Slowmango brought a touch of colour and amusement to the stage, infusing their performance with extravagant costumes that resonated with the crowd.

Noongar artist Bumpy, a rising star in the RnB/neo-soul music scene, delivered an emotionally charged set that had the audience entranced.

Rwandan farmers and genocide survivors, The Good Ones, showcased the resilience of the human spirit through their music, proving that even in the face of adversity, hope and beauty can emerge.

The legendary Brazilian Gilberto Gil mesmerized the audience, his timeless Tropicalia-inspired tunes creating a musical tapestry that transcended the boundaries of language and culture.

Morcheeba’s mesmerizing performance added a touch of enchantment to the festival. The iconic British band, known for their distinctive blend of trip-hop, rock, and electronic elements, delivered a spellbinding set that captivated the audience.

Voodoo queen priestess Moonlight Benjamin brought her explosive trance-rock-blues to Adelaide and delivered a spine-tingling performance.

Irreverent Balkans DUBIOZA KOLECTIV & dynamic Mexicans Son Rompe Pera brought their frenetic and contagious antics to their respective performances, wowing the crowd who braved the conditions to sweat it out in front of the stage.

The dynamic duo of Charlotte Adigéry and Bolis Pupul delivered a propulsive and electrifying performance that seamlessly fused electro-pop, house, and techno influences, creating a sonic journey that captivated their well-acquainted audience.


Womadelaide 2024, despite the heat wave, will be remembered as a melting pot of global sounds, a testament to the unifying power of music. As festival-goers dispersed, they carried with them not only the memories of scorching performances but also the warmth of a community bound together by the magic of music.

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