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Senegalese superstar leads second WOMAD 2023 announcement


WOMADelaide has revealed a further 30 acts bound for Botanic Park in 2023, including Senegalese star Youssou N’Dour, Scottish folk-rockers The Proclaimers, English singer-activist Billy Bragg, and multiple-ARIA-winning artist Sampa the Great.

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The latest line-up joins previously announced headline acts Bon Iver, Florence + The Machine and the feather-fuelled aerial show Place des Anges by French company Gratte Ciel, which wowed festival goers in 2018.

“We’re incredibly excited to be able to present a full international program again with such a diverse array of artists from 26 countries, many of whom are making their Australian debut at WOMADelaide next March,” director Ian Scobie said in a statement today.

Youssou N’Dour’s set with his band Le Super Etoile de Dakar on the Monday of the March 10-13 festival will mark his fourth WOMADelaide appearance since the inaugural event in 1992 when the musician – who had previously toured and recorded a song with WOMAD UK co-founder Peter Gabriel – gave a performance embedded in the memories of those who were present.

N’Dour is said to “define the essence of West African groove”, and has also collaborated with musicians such as Paul Simon, Bruce Springsteen, Tracy Chapman and Neneh Cherry (for the 1994 hit song “7 Seconds”).

Other artists in today’s announcement include Zambian singer and rapper Sampa The Great (whose latest single “Never Forget” features in the Marvel film Black Panther: Wakanda Forever), Ghanaian-Australian singer Genesis Owusu, American rising alt-country star Angel Olsen, Norwegian folk-pop singer AURORA, French-American jazz singer-songwriter Madeleine Peyroux, and Grammy-winning banjo-playing folk duo Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn.

Scottish duo The Proclaimers – best known for their 1988 international hit “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” and set to tour Australia in 2023 on the back of their latest album, Dentures Out – will make their WOMADelaide debut in 2023, while Billy Bragg’s performance will be part of a national tour that has been postponed several times since COVID began.

Australia’s Bangarra Dance Theatre – part of the 2022 Adelaide Festival program – will present their first WOMADelaide performance in 24 years with Terrain, which is described as a “breath-taking exploration” of South Australia’s Kati Thanda – Lake Eyre.

The next WOMADelaide announcement will be in late November.

The full 30 acts announced today are:

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