I boarded my flight out of Brisbane, and we took off on time just after 6 in the morning.
I was in a window seat, and the couple in the seats next to me were also first-time WOMADelaiders heading down to Adelaide for the world music festival. (But with thousands of people in the park, I didn't actually end up seeing them again at any of the shows.)
With a tailwind, we landed in Adelaide almost a full half-hour ahead of schedule. South Australia is in the Central Australian time zone (GMT + 9.30), so it's usually 30 minutes behind Brisbane. But since that state observes Daylight Savings, it's now half an hour ahead of Brisbane. So I flew westward, but the clock went forward... weird.
When I travel to other countries, I re-set my watch to local time. With only a half-hour difference, I kept my phone on Brisbane time for the week, and just had to remember to add 30 minutes to whatever it said.
|The sign inside Adelaide Airport, welcoming me to South Australia.|
Across the road from Adelaide Airport is the city's IKEA store. The Adelaide and Perth stores are franchised differently to the East Coast stores, so I went in for a look around. A lot of similarities, quite a few differences too.
|Adelaide's Big Blue Box.|
|Waiting for the bus.|
|Trees in the Botanic Gardens.|
Not having realised the distinction between the Botanic Gardens and Botanic Park (which is next to the Gardens), the way I chose to walk on Saturday morning to get to the festival was a little longer than it needed to be. I soon found the shorter route by the time I needed to head back for sleep.
|Hackney Road entrance to WOMADelaide festival.|
|Free bicycle parking.|
And then began some great music!
12 - 1 pm, Stage 1I started my festival with some African flavour. I didn't see a lot, as I found shade by the nearby Stage 3, where I could still hear all the music from the main stage.
Christine Salem and her band (Réunion).
1 - 2 pm, Stage 3These two guys were amazing shamisen players, performing works from the northern part of Japan. The MC on this stage absolutely murdered the pronunciation of "Shunsuke", though.
Shunsuke Kimura & Etsuro Ono (Japan)
There were free drinking refill stations in the park, but I hadn't brought any water, so after the shamisen set was over I headed back into Adelaide City to buy some water. I got a cheap 1.5 litre bottle at Woolies (to save on refilling trips), since the festival allowed patrons to bring in either a full sealed bottle of water or an empty bottle.
I also had a few drinks at a bar in town, at prices slightly cheaper than festival prices. Then it was back for more music!
4 - 5 pm, Stage 4As mentioned in my "Music Month" post, I've been looking forward to seeing these guys live. They were the number one reason behind my deciding to book tickets to Adelaide and the festival. Amazing music, using only traditional (albeit modified and electrified) instruments. Instead of a drum kit, there was a giant calabash, and a small talking drum. Most of the band play the ngoni, an African stringed instrument something like a lute or a guitar. Simply amazing music.
Bassekou Kouyaté & Ngoni Ba (Mali)
|Bassekou Kouyaté & Ngoni Ba|
5 - 6 pm, Stage 2I'd seen Kingfisha, a Brisbane-based reggae group, once before at The Zoo when they supported Easy Star All-Stars. It was good to see another set.
6 - 7 pm, Stage 1Son of the late great Ali Farka Touré, a great blues guitarist from Mali, Vieux is also a great guitar player in his own right.
Vieux Farka Touré (Mali)
|Vieux Farka Touré.|
|Low afternoon sun.|
7 - 8 pm, Stage 2Antibalas were one of the acts performing only the one show at the festival, so I went to Stage 2 after seeing Vieux, to check them out. I didn't really know anything about them, but was completely blown away. Hailing from Brooklyn, they played an hour of energetic, infectious Afrobeat along the lines of Femi Kuti (they even played one of his songs as their finale). They were the absolute highlight of the day, which I told the band when I got to say g'day at the signing tent. Sadly they aren't playing any shows in Brisbane.
8 - 9 pm, Stage 6Stage 6 was in the "Speakers Corner" section of the park, and hosted various talks on sustainability and economic/ecological/social issues, as well as interviews with selected artists. On Saturday night, via a translator, Vieux was interviewed on a range of topics. He spoke about his music, his collaborations and recordings, as well as the political climate in Mali and its impact on the music scene.
Vieux Farka Touré (Mali), Artist In Conversation
9 - 10 pm, Stage 2Vieux's interview went a little past 9 pm, so after that I wandered around the park, checking out a couple different stages before heading back to the main stage to await Hugh Masekela.
Clairy Browne & The Bangin' Rackettes (Australia)
9 - 10 pm, Stage 7
The Correspondents (UK)
10 - 11.15 pm, Stage 1
Hugh Masekela (South Africa)
|Panoramic view of the stage lighting and crowd as the band await Hugh's grand entrance.|
When I got in, some other backpackers were playing pool, so I lasted a little while longer and joined in for a game or two.
Then it was time for sleep.