Womadelaide sets March dates with new location and capped numbers

Womadelaide will go ahead in 2021 but with a limited capacity, an all Aussie line-up and a change of site.

The music, art and dance festival will move from its long held location at Botanic Park to King Rodney Park, where it will hold a series of four evening concerts from March 5 to 8.

The festival will be capped at 6000 people for each fully-seated performance, which is about a quarter Womadelaide’s usual daily capacity.

“We went through lots of permutations and we had lots of different meetings with SA Health,” Womadelaide director Ian Scobie told Adelaide Now.

“What started to emerge was that the level of restrictions they would want – in terms of managing the crowd and dividing up the area with fencing – wasn’t going to be Womadelaide.

“My real concern was that the audience experience would be significantly diminished and turned into a series of check-in here, check-out there, understandably complex obligations as they went from one area to another.”

The news comes as the WOMAD festival planned for New Zealand in March was cancelled.

While organisers WOMAD UK were happy to push ahead with the March dates, the Taranaki Arts Festival Trust, which held the contract to put on the event, said it stood to lose millions of dollars if Covid-19 disrupted the festival and could not afford to take the risk.

Adelaide will also see another festival featuring pop, rock and cabaret acts in December and January.

The Summer Sounds Festival will be held at Bonython Park from December 30 to January 30.