It’s that time of the year, folks, with WOMADelaide, South Australia’s premier musical celebration of all genres, sounds, and cultures returning for its 30th anniversary.
For three decades now, WOMADelaide has existed to bring an eclectic range of artists to the forefront of the public’s consciousness, collecting some of the world’s most iconic acts and bringing them to the oft-overlooked city of Adelaide.
Following a smaller celebration last year due to to COVID, this year sees WOMADelaide able to celebrate its pearl anniversary in style, with a massive range of stellar acts all lining up for the 2022 edition of the festival.
But with so many names on offer, who should you check out? Which artists stand out among the bulk of talent? Well, while we could pick out the likes of New Zealand’s L.A.B, the phenomenal A.B Original, the ARIA-Award winning Joseph Tawadros AM, or world renowned composer-producer-DJ Floating Points, we figured we’d focus on five less obvious picks that also undeniably deserve your attention.
Check out the full list of artists performing at WOMADelaide below, and be sure to check out these five exceptional acts when you head along to the festivities in mid-March.
If you’ve been following Electric Fields over the last few years, then you already know why you need to see this truly electric duo live. New to the pair? Well, with seven National Live Music Awards to their name, two South Australian Music Awards, and an ARIA nomination for Best Australian Live Act, it’s barely any surprise why they draw a crowd.
Comprising Zaachariaha Fielding and producer Michael Ross, the pair combine Indigenous culture and language with stunning instrumentals and an energetic live show. Just give recent single ‘Gold Energy’ a spin, imagine it blaring out across Botanic Park, and you’ve got a recipe for magic that’ll be on offer at WOMADelaide next year.
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Check out Electric Fields’ ‘Gold Energy’:
It’s hard to look at Springtime as anything but the closest we’ve received to a supergroup in recent years. Making their official debut earlier this year, Springtime comprises three of Australia’s most revered musicians, including Gareth Liddiard (The Drones, Tropical Fuck Storm), Jim White (Xylouris White, Dirty Three, PJ Harvey), and Chris Abrahams (The Necks). Together, the three storied musicians create a stunning combination which not only transcends genres, but showcases their worth as some of the finest artists in the country today.
With their self-titled album capturing the attention of countless music lovers upon its release last year, it’s easy to see why, with the mesmerising ferocity of Liddiard pairing with the mesmerising power of Abrahams, while White keeps the beat via his inimitable intensity. Listening to Springtime is an experience you won’t soon forget, and witnessing them live is something you won’t want to miss.
Check out Springtime’s ‘The Viaduct Love Suicide’:
It was only last month that Barkaa unleashed her debut EP, Blak Matriarchy, via Briggs’ Bad Apples label (catch him at WOMAD as part of A.B. Original, too), but already she’s managed to assert herself as one of the names to watch this year.
A proud Barkindji woman by birth and a powerful rapper by trade, Barkaa utilises production from jayteehazard and Just A Gent on her recent EP as she shares tracks that celebrate generations of Blak women, motherhood, and taking control of one’s life path. Translate that to the live stage, and Barkaa is one artist that you will need to ensure you see when you head along to WOMADelaide this year.
Check out Barkaa’s ‘Blak Matriarchy’:
The Empty Threats
They’ve been on the scene for just a few years, but already Adelaide’s own Empty Threats have made it clear that they’re some hometown favourites who will command your attention at this year’s festivities. With last year’s self-titled EP in their arsenal, and years spent playing countless well-received shows both in SA and interstate, it’s been a rapid rise to the top for the group.
Now, as 2022 brings with it more gigs once again, The Empty Threats are on track to ensure that this is their year, with WOMADelaide serving as the perfect stage for another powerful performance. In the mood for powerful guitarwork and pounding rhythms blaring out across the Adelaide sky? Look no further than The Empty Threats.
Check out The Empty Threats’ ‘K’:
The Cat Empire
It almost goes without saying by now that no festival is complete without an appearance from the beloved Cat Empire. Having announced the dissolution of the group’s original lineup back in September of last year, a run of final shows around the country are currently underway, with South Australia set to get in on the act as well.
So what does this mean? Well, if you want to recapture the energy and fun of the classic Cat Empire show you’ve always known and loved, this is the time and place to do it, with WOMADelaide 2022 set to host the final South Australian show with the original lineup. What better way to say “goodbye” than while singing their breakthrough single, ‘Hello’?
Check out The Cat Empire’s ‘Hello’:
Adelaide Symphony Orchestra – Silence
AROHA – DJ set
Australian Art Orchestra – Hand to Earth
Azymuth & Marcos Valle
Carla Lippis’ Mondo Psycho
The Cat Empire – final SA show of the original line-up
Cedric Burnside (USA)
Elephant Sessions (Scotland)
The Empty Threats
Farhan Shah & Sufi-Oz
Floating Points (UK) – DJ set
Gaby Moreno (USA)
Jayda G (CAN) – DJ set
Joseph Tawadros & James Tawadros (duo show)
Joseph Tawadros with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra
Karen Lee Andrews
Sonz of Serpent
Te Tangi O Te Ka’ara
Troy Kingi (NZ)
Victor Martinez Parada
Balkan Ethno Orchestra
The Crooked Fiddle Band
Dancenorth – NOISE
El Gran Mono
Emma Donovan & The Putbacks
Inner City (Live) (USA)
Melbourne Ska Orchestra
The New Monos
Reb Fountain (NZ)
The Shaolin Afronauts
L- FRESH The LION
Danse Carpe Diem/Emmanuel Jouthe, Maï(g)wenn et lesOrteils & Restless Dance Theatre – Écoute
Pour Voir (Listen to See)
The Shaolin Afronauts
March 11th – 14th, 2022
Botanic Park/Tainmuntilla, Adelaide, SA
More info: WOMADelaide