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Updated April 2008
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Botanic Park Adelaide.
Feb 19th-21st 1993.
This was my first Womad and because of that, its possibly my favorite , but that's not the only reason.This was an incredible Womad ,because it had some incredibly good acts, performing at the height of their powers in a fantastic setting . The crowds also were still relatively small and the number of stages were such that there was minimal noise overlap . This Womad was so good that its kept me going back for the full three days every two years since, even if at times I have not really felt the caliber of the acts would sustain the big ticket price . However , so far I have been proved wrong, ALL of the festivals held in Adelaide have been great !
After the inaugural festival in 1992, which was held as part of the biannual Festival Of Arts, it was felt that if the festival was to take hold in Adelaide-which, it has to be said, is, as far as many East Coast Australian's think ,( incorrectly I believe ), a backwater where nothing much happens ) then it would need a big draw card , something to pull in the punters who would not necessarily go and see Salif Keita or Dya Singh. So the promoters pulled out the biggest card of all, the guy who started the whole Womad thing in the first place. None other than Peter Gabriel !
Since this would be his first ever appearance in Australia it would hopefully also be an extra carrot to draw in fans from all over the country .Whether this did happen or not , the size of the crowd , around 15,000 or so on most nights , was more than adequate to secure the future of Womad in Adelaide .The festival also had a damn good overall line-up as well, with Sheila Chandra, Dya Singh , the magnificent Salif Keita, Mahlathini & the Mahotella Queens, Not Drowning Waving, Geoffrey Oreyema , Holmes Brothers, Terem Quartet and Yothu Yindi to mention but a few of the artists appearing .
I more or less wandered around the arena spellbound for three nights and two full days. This was what I had been missing in my life since I attended the great rock festivals of the 60s and 70s , the same good times feeling of peace and harmony was alive and well in this crowd, absolutely uplifting to find it again after so long an absence. The weather was ideal , in the mid 20c range, the acts were superb and the crowd respectful of each other and the artists , friendly , enthusiastic- more or less a typical Womadelaide crowd. They are just great !.
Three day passes were priced at $98/$80 concession, with one person under 15 admitted free on each adult ticket. Daily tickets cost $25-$45. Now they are around $100 for a day night pass !
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Links to articles on the 1993 festival.