Florence and the Machine spellbinding at WOMADelaide
Headline act Florence and the Machine have delivered a spellbinding, cosmic set at the WOMADelaide festival.
"This show is not just about you and me, this show is about you and each other, the people that you came with, the people that you love," singer Florence Welch cried out, during her ritual exhortation for the crowd to turn off their phones.
It's been four years since the band has toured Australia and on Saturday night the fans in Adelaide were more than ready to welcome her back, even if it meant putting their devices away.
There were some sublime and cultish moments, with the crowd lifting their arms up to Welch, who was dressed in an ethereal white outfit and had left the stage to perform right above the barriers.
Her powerful vocals were evident throughout the night, including on crowd favourites What Kind of Man and You've Got The Love.
"She's an angel!" exclaimed one fan. But perhaps even more strange and wonderful than Florence Welch was what came next.
As the lights went down on the main stage, the crowds looked up to see white-clad performers from Gratte Ciel of France on zip lines high above them.
More angels, or astronauts? They began to release handfuls of white feathers, at first slowly, and then in such quantities it became a blizzard lit in changing colours.
"It was absolutely incredible, so exciting, we have never danced in feathers before, I've never seen anything so crazy and fabulous," said one audience member.
But where did all the feathers come from? "Every Woolworths roast chook for the last 12 months," joked another.
They were in fact a by-product of duck farming, from farms that meet animal welfare standards.
Nearby, above a lawn strewn with these feathers, was Luke Jerram's massive installation Gaia - an illuminated inflatable earth suspended in the sky.
Measuring seven metres across, it was designed to recreate the feeling of an astronaut viewing the earth from space - a sense of environmental responsibility and a feeling of awe for the planet.
Earlier in the evening neo-soul trio Izy inspired awe too, with a virtuosic set that culminated in some extended improvisation.
"It was a beautiful time, nice to see the kids up and dancing," Izy musician Maru Nitor Zamatarro told AAP.
But he admitted the jam was actually due to the band, who are originally from Cairns, running out of material with 15 minutes left in their set.
At any rate another member of the trio, Warrigo Tyrrell, was simply loving playing for a crowd - even after running out of songs.
"It's surreal, it's been a while since we've been around so many people, you can just feel that community energy," he said.
As for the punters, Norwegian alt-pop icon Aurora was a favourite for Raph Klement from Melbourne, and he said the Proclaimers were fun too, but admitted he hadn't been born when their anthem I'm Gonna Be (500 miles) was in the charts in 1988.
"I just went with my Auntie, she loves them," he told AAP.
Barbara Moore had travelled from Gympie in Queensland for her first WOMADelaide, and picked out Billy Bragg's set on Friday as a favourite, along with Australian folk-rock musician Grace Cummings.
"Trying to mix up different nationalities, that's what it's all about, it's a world of music," she told AAP.
The diversity the festival is known for was on show late into Saturday night: Rizwan Muazzam Qawwals had one crowd hypnotised with Sufi devotional singing.
A short distance away UK DJ Jaguar played a cracking electronic set, and she was having just as much fun as the audience.