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March 5, 2015

How to: WOMADelaide

Go to WOMADelaide, get your hair done, meet a special someone doing some 'special' dancing, have your first date at a fancy restaurant and then have a kid. It's all possible in Botanic Park.

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  • Words: Tiarne Cook and Joshua Fanning

Between Balkan Beat Box and Max Savage the expansive world of WOMADelaide offers weekend revelers a plethora of wholesome, delicious and weird things to do. Pack our guide in your Thai Fisherman pants and be sure to squeeze every last drop of goodness out of CityMag’s favourite music festival this year.


First stop, the hairdresser. We all know that WOMADelaide brings about a certain shift in people’s wardrobes each year for four days but why stop at tie-dye tees, when you can walk (barefoot) right up to the Osadia barbers and have your whole head made over?

Finding its origins in Barcelona in 1994, Alex Rendon started turning people’s hair into art as a way to promote his skills as a hairdresser and stay living in Spain. However, each time he pushed his concepts further he found people were happier with the results.

Working with re-purposed materials, an array of colour and makeup, Osadia create a spectacle as the two artists create a circle around the volunteer’s head and build up something truly sculptural.

Alex believes the value of the experience is that his weirdo hairdos live on beyond the moment they’re created in.

“We’re on stage for three hours creating magic in front of the public, but the people who have their hair done will be at the festival not just for a few hours, not just for a day, but maybe for the whole weekend,” he says.

“I recently had an email from a lady whose hair I did at a festival in Munich and this year she said she kept it in for 400 hours,” continues Alex, “The nice thing about that was she was making people happy those 400 hours. She was walking out in the street with this art on her head and it was inspiring people to be happy, and I think that’s the most important element of the show.”


Jock Zonfrillo is slowly taking over Adelaide. Resistance is futile. The brilliant mind behind Orana on Rundle Street has spawned not one but two food stands bearing the name of his casual eatery, STREET ADL at this year’s pop-up venues. Now he’s putting STREET ADL in the Park too.

Returning for its 21st year at WOMADelaide, the Taste The World program runs across the full four days of the festival and puts musicians on an entirely different stage where instruments are made for cooking.

The incredible opportunity to have your favourite headliner from the festival cook their favourite dish from home is an offer too good to pass up. Add to this Zonfrillo’s permanent eatery, Street in The Park – Taste the World Restaurant and all of a sudden WOMADelaide is looking tastier than ever before.

The Taste the World Restaurant has been created as a place to enjoy a fine dining experience without leaving Botanic Park. Full table service, a menu matched with wines and (real) cutlery and crockery tell us that Zonfrillo is keen on challenging traditional notions of a festival food experience whilst paying homage to the simple but sophisticated culture of street food from around the world.

Be sure to book your table for lunch or dinner to avoid disappointment.

Vegetarian options available, of course.


Just like a fine wine or an exquisite piece of art, a good conversation should develop slowly, resonate deeply and spark something new.

WOMADelaide’s Planet Talks do just this.

“The Planet Talks offer time out for people to have a conversation about a range of different issues, whether that’s ‘how we see the growing population’ or ‘how you sustain fishing in the ocean given the demand,’” WOMADelaide Director Ian Scobie explains.

The hour-long sessions and workshops are focused on sustainability and allow festival goers the opportunity to pop in and out, whilst gleaning opinions and wisdom from experts, comedians, media personalities, activists and authors. Of course you’ll be encouraged to seek answers to your own deep and meaningful questions too.

Hear from SA foodie and chef Simon Bryant, former Australian Greens Leader Bob Brown, acclaimed American marine scientist Sylvia Earle and award-winning journalist Simran Sethi, as well as Australian TV legend Andrew Denton.

So whether you stop by for a fiery debate on genetic engineering or find yourself wrapped up in some light banter on the political blunders of climate change, make sure you engage in the conversation. The Planet Talks promise to enhance your WOMADelaide experience, leaving you inspired long after the music has stopped.

The Planet Talks run two sessions per day from Saturday to Monday.



If you’ve found someone with whom you’ve been able to break through the “friendzone” with, then perhaps you’ll be looking for the Kidzone at this year’s festival.

Because Andy Griffiths will be there.

Also myriad other activities led by some of South Australia’s great cultural institutions.

CityMag is particularly keen to make our nieces and nephews get their hands dirty with the SA Museum’s Explorers tent, where millennia-old fossils are connected to the natural world we inhabit today.

Of course, festival favourite Evelyn Roth’s Nylon Zoo returns with inflatable, inhabitable art to teach kids about the fun you can have pretending to be an animal. OK – kids might be aware of this already but at least Evelyn will have to deal with the consequences and not you. Peace.



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