As reported last month, the world music festival will return to the park in its usual seven-stage format from March 11-14, but performers, festival-goers and others on site aged 12 and over must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19.

Australian singer-songwriter Courtney Barnett will make her WOMADelaide debut in 2022 on the back of her latest album, Things Take Time, Take Time, released this week, while Adelaide-born multi-ARIA-winner Paul Kelly returns for the first time in 16 years. Kelly played at the first-ever festival in 1992, then returned in 1997 and 2006, as well as performing on the 1996 “WOMAD Indian-Pacific” 2000km train trip across the Nullabor in 1996.

Paul Kelly performs at the 2006 WOMADelaide Festival.

WOMAD organisers say they will have one of their strongest ever line-ups of Indigenous musicians, led by Yolngu rapper and dancer Baker Boy – AKA The Fresh Prince of Arnhem Land –  whose debut album Gela has just been nominated for the Triple J album of the year.

Adelaide favourites Electric Fields (Zaachariaha Fielding and Michael Ross) will return next year, performing with the Antara singers and Tjarutja First Nations Dance Collective, with other First Nations artists including Emma Donovan (with rhythm section The Putbacks), King Stingray, Kutcha Edwards and Barkaa.

Folk-rock group Goanna will also re-form to perform songs from their 1982 debut album Spirit of Place.

Due to ongoing uncertainty surrounding international travel, the 2022 festival will feature mainly Australian-based acts, with New Zealand singer Reb Fountain and American electronic group Inner City the only artists from overseas in today’s announcement.

However, WOMADelaide director  Ian Scobie said in a statement that the Australian artists performing demonstrate “the extraordinary creative and cultural diversity that lies within our own borders”: “Botanic Park will be filled with the sounds of South America, the Seychelles, Iran, PNG, West Papua and Africa; folk, blues, Klezmer, DJs and so much more.”

That diversity is illustrated through acts including the Sydney-based Balkan Ethno Orchestra; the 25-strong Melbourne Ska Orchestra; Eishan Ensemble, led by Persian-Australian tar player Hamed Sadeghi; and Sorong Samarai, a group comprising Australia-based vocalists, log drummers and dancers from PNG and West Papua’s underground urban music.

Other highlights include a performance by Queensland dance company Dancenorth featuring 100 South Australian drummers on a purpose-built stage, a newly commissioned live music project by electronic producer Motez, and a one-on-one experience with dancers from Adelaide’s Restless Dance Theatre.

The maximum daily capacity in Botanic Park will be reduced from 25,000 a day to 18,000 a day in 2022, and audience members wanting to get close to the main stages will need to pass through a barrier and scan a QR code (in addition to that required for entry to the park).

The next line-up announcement will be made in December.

The full list of 30 artists announced today is:

Baker Boy
Balkan Ethno Orchestra
Courtney Barnett
The Crooked Fiddle Band
Dancenorth – NOISE
Eishan Ensemble
El Gran Mono
Electric Fields
Emma Donovan & The Putbacks
Grace Barbé
Haiku Hands
High Ace
Inner City (USA)
King Stingray
Kutcha Edwards
Martinez Akustica
Melbourne Ska Orchestra
Motez (Live)
The New Monos
Paul Kelly
Reb Fountain (NZ)
Danse Carpe Diem/Emmanuel Jouthe, Maï(g)wenn et les Orteils & Restless Dance Theatre – Écoute Pour Voir (Listen to See)
The Shaolin Afronauts
Sorong Samarai
Valanga Khoza

Note: This story has been amended since publication to reflect the fact that the vaccination requirement now applies to those aged 12 and over.

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