by Xavier Toby in New Events on Friday 19 February 2010

More than 500 artists, with 56 bands from 27 countries over four days. That’s WOMADelaide, the annual world music festival held in Adelaide’s botanical gardens over the Labour day long weekend, this year from Friday March 5 to Monday March 8.

Every year someone I know makes the trip, and afterwards, every year I have to listen to them telling me how amazing it was. The new sounds they heard, bands they discovered, all the cool stuff they got up to and so on. It’s become really annoying. That’s why this year, I’m going.

WOMADelaide has been going since 1992, and this years’ line-up features the Ethopian music ensemble the Éthiopiques, Ravi Shankar and Anoushka Shankar, The Buena Vista Social Club’s Eliades Ochoa, Spain’s Ojos de Brujo, Xavier Rudd and Izintaba plus many more.

The only drawback is that there’s no camping onsite for anyone travelling from interstate, but I organised my own accommodation and it wasn’t that hard or expensive. Come on, Adelaide’s a decent city, sort of like Melbourne’s more adorable but less cultured younger brother.

Other than music, there’s workshops, cooking classes, a kid-zone, over a 100 food craft stalls, and a circus-themed parade. I’m a sucker for anything to do with the circus, but I’ll be too busy with the music to check out any of the other stuff. Someone must be interested though, otherwise they wouldn’t bother.

Passes for each night, or day and night, three and four day passes are all still available, but have sold out in the past. There’s also a festival compilation CD around if you want to taste before you commit.