Nano Stern returned to Womadelaide (we loved him in 2012) - as passionate and moving as Billy Bragg. Told us our country should treat its immigration detainees better. Couldn't agree more.
This woman in front of us was sketching Nano as he performed. I thought she was really good too.
Le Vent Du Nord from Quebec played heaps of toe-tapping tunes and even brought out a hurdy-gurdy. I love this kind of music.
Directly from my notes that night on Thundercat: "Way jazzy for me but good." OK then.
I only saw part of Daymé Arocena's set but I thought she was a gem. Short, round and gorgeous.
I posted some photos and wrote a bit about Gratte Ciel's 'Place des Anges' nightly show on instagram.
On Friday evening we were taken by surprise when this show started after Anoushka Shankar's set finished on the main stage.
It started with trapeze angels gently gliding way overhead, scattering a few feathers, all very pretty. Nice. A lot of looking up. But it progresses. The 'angels' chuck more and more feathers until eventually it's a very thorough bombing from both sky and from ground cannons full of feathers. So many feathers. It was beautiful but I really didn't love being surrounded by and dumped on by so many feathers. I admire birds but have an aversion to close contact.
Plenty of people adored this show. But on social media there was also a fair bit of anger about the feathers, from vegans, from the asthmatic, and just from people who didn't like the mess. (The show was repeated each evening so by the end of the festival there was dusty dirty feathers everywhere.)
Womadelaide is a festival that has long been known for its commitment to sustainability - they had all food containers and cutlery biodegradable long before I came across that anywhere else - so they must have been satisfied that all those feathers being introduced into to the local environment would not be a problem. A bit surprising. The company behind the show provided information assuring people that the feathers are clean, hypoallergenic, and ethically sourced.
I don't have a firm opinion on it. It was beautiful, surprising, fun to photograph, gross, overwhelming - a lot of things. We watched the show a second time on the Monday night but stayed at the fringes out of the main feather dumping zone. But I have to admit there was a magic in being surprised by it the first time.