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Last updated February 2010 .

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7-9th March 2009 .Botanic Park. Adelaide.

Corporate Womadelaide ?

Instead of entertaining our eyes with cool projections, we were treated to a bit of product placement © B Wilde


    WomAdelaide 2009 was blessed with much milder weather then 2008, which broke records not only regarding in the number of people who were there, but also by passing the 40C mark for much of the time. Thankfully , 2009 never passed the 30c mark and was much more tolerable and easier on the body than the previous year.

  However , there were some changes which did not go down well with yours truly . Not all of them were musical, in an fact many would not seem much of a big deal unless you were an old festival attendee. But for me these were changes that did not enhance the festival. In fact ,the absence of the Buddha's Bowl eatery ( a traditional Womadelaide fixture since at least 1993 ) and the movement of the Holy Cow restaurant from the Speakers corner to the global village seemed to leave gaping holes in areas which were special to me and perhaps to many others who had come to take their inclusion for granted.

  Musically, as usual , there were some great acts , but the organisers did not seem to get the Friday night bill right ( partly due to a under functioning Natacha Atlas , who frankly, looked bored with the whole exercise ) . The rest of the weekends music had its hot spots, particularly the African acts, such as Egypt 80 and Rokia Traore and overall , musically there was little to complain about- in fact, I mostly had a great time .

   However,( and I hate to say this , as I am a huge Womad booster) there seemed to be something integral missing from the festival . The music was good to great, so why was I left with a feeling of being slightly less fulfilled than normal ?

   After some reflection, I have come to the conclusion that the festival felt a bit flat because of the absence of a REALLY GREAT visual theatrical event , such as Compagnie Carabosse and Zic Zac Zou, who had just been knockout items of the 2008 lineup . Overall there seemed to be fewer visual entertainments than there had been in the previous years and this left me with the impression that the organisers had either not been able to find any acts that would have fitted into the time frame or that they had simply skimped this side of things - perhaps due to lack of funds ?

   Overall, most prices had risen , alcoholic drinks and food were all considerably more than in previous years , possibly Buddha's' Bowl had gone because they could not afford the fees? Whatever, it wasn't quite the knockout that I have come to expect from this festival, although its still one of the best around and the venue was , as usual- absolutely wonderful.


Bedouin Jerry Can Band proved to be a hoot both visually and aurally . Wowing crowds whenever they played .

Here we see them on the Sunday performing at the Zoo Stage © D Bunce

Crowd at the Morton Bay stage watching Paprika Balkanicus on Sunday arvo, one of the hits of the festival © Teedy

  Audience numbers were down slightly on 2008, overall 3,000 less, which is a drop in the ocean really . I put this down mainly to poor attendance on Friday night, which lacked a good headliner. Natacha Atlas was also due to perform on Sunday evening as well, so there was little need for anyone to attend Friday just to see her and the only exclusive performance on Friday night was by Redhead, who were hardly a big drawer.

  From my perspective , It was noticeably easier to move around on Friday night, so it was no big surprise to me when the local news outlets reported that there were fewer folks there than there had been in the record breaking 2008 festival . However, 72,000 still passed though the gates over the entire weekend . Both Saturday and Sunday nights seemed as crowded as they had been in 2008 .

Manager Annette Tripodi said the box office sales target of $2.7 million was reached before the gates opened last Friday.

More tickets were sold during the three-day festival itself.

"This year has at least equalled and possibly surpassed the 2008 festival figures," Ms Tripodi said.

"I think the perfect weather and the really strong program has a lot to do with that.

"The behaviour and the attitude and the friendly spirit of the audience this year has been extraordinary," she added.

"Everyone's been very relaxed, helping each other where they can, just enjoying themselves and it's been a very peaceful but exciting place to be."

Organisers are working on a plan to add a fourth day to the event, possibly next year.

Source :ABC News

   Cost pressures may have been a factor in the paucity of top quality theatrical acts, according to press sources, the drop in the Aussie dollar led to a 30% hike in international artists fees so the organisers did well to do what they did considering we were in the middle of a recession .

  We would also like to profusely thank those folks who have allowed us to use their photos of Womadelaide 2009 on the site. If you follow the links to their personal sites you will see even more photos from this most wonderful of festivals !

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If you have any pix you took and want hosting , whether of bands or the grounds, Contact us and we will add them to the site.

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