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Festivals You Can Enjoy in Adelaide

Festivals You Can Enjoy in Adelaide

Adelaide, aside from its eye-catching attractions, is a city rich in cultural and arts festivals admired all around the world. This city is hailed as one of Australia’s UNESCO Creative Cities and dubbed the City of Music.

To explore the wonders of the city, read through to know about the festivals you can enjoy in Adelaide.

The Festival State: Adelaide

The Festival State Adelaide

Adelaide is a premier city where the heart of South Australia’s festivities lies. You can experience different festivals, particularly in music and arts, around the city throughout the year.

Recognized as a City of Music, Adelaide is home to top-notch artists and musicians. It was acknowledged by UNESCO in 2015 with 43 other Cities of Music. 

It’s also the only UNESCO City of Music in Australia.

UNESCO recognized the continuous efforts of Adelaide in promoting its music and arts through festivals held over many decades.

Adelaide joins Sydney, Bendigo, Melbourne, Ballarat, and Geelong as recognized UNESCO Creative Cities in other fields such as film, design, literature, craft, and gastronomy in Australia.

Why is Adelaide called the Festival State?

Why is Adelaide called the Festival State

Adelaide is known as the festival state of Australia because of its contribution to showcasing the proud culture and arts of the country.

Adelaide is the main place where the festivities are held. The launching of the festival that bears the name of the city, The Adelaide Festival of Arts, gave way to the launching of other festivals in Adelaide.

The Adelaide Festival of Arts was established in the 1960s. The festival’s purpose is to be an avenue where local culture and arts are celebrated through its world-class exhibitions.

The Australian Event Awards in 2020 recognized South Australia, where Adelaide is located, as the Best Event State. The Adelaide Fringe Festival 2020 also won Best Cultural, Arts, or Music Event.

People enjoy the Adelaide Festival so much that it was decided to be held annually when it reached its 60th year of celebration.

Even during the pandemic, the festivals in Adelaide never stopped. The Adelaide Fringe Festival continued its celebration even during the COVID-19 restrictions.

The Adelaide Fringe Festival was also recognized as one of the Best Public Events in the country by the Australian Event Awards in 2022.

Festivals in Adelaide

Adelaide have been holding various music and arts festivals for decades now. The festivals held in the city are well-received, and they gather a large number of people with a mix of locals and attendees outside the region. 

A visit to Adelaide isn’t complete without participating in such grand festivals. So here’s a list of festivals in Adelaide that you shouldn’t miss!

Cultural Festivals

Adelaide Festival of Arts

Adelaide Festival of Arts

You will enjoy a line-up of theatric performances and visual arts during the Adelaide Festival of Arts every March. Australian artists and other artists all around the globe team up to deliver world-class performances.

The Adelaide Festival also highlights Writers’ Week wherein beloved authors in the country participate in Australia’s biggest literary festival held at Pioneer Women’s Memorial Garden. The literary event is free for all attendees.

To launch the Adelaide Festival of Arts, an open-air concert has been held for free as a tradition since the time the festival was established. There are also various food carts and restaurants around the area to enjoy.

For more details on the event, you can visit their official web page at https://www.adelaidefestival.com.au/.

Adelaide Fringe Festival

Adelaide Fringe Festival

The Adelaide Fringe Festival is a spectacular event where different acts from all around the world can showcase their talent in cultural arts.

It transforms the city with its grandiose performances in streets, cafes, and galleries, turning parts of the city into fringe theatres.

What does “fringe” mean in theatre?
Fringe in theatre refers to when a theatrical performance is not performed on a main theatre stage. It’s usually done as a small-scale production held in unconventional venues such as streets, coffee shops, and parks. 
What is the meaning of a fringe festival?
A fringe festival is a festival that occurs just within the main festival venue. It’s usually done in open spaces for public viewing.

With no invitation required, the Adelaide Fringe Festival gathered more than 6,000 artists in 2021 to exhibit their talent through different forms of art such as circus and cabaret. 

The event runs in more than 300 fringe venues around the city recording over 1,200 shows.

In 2023, the biggest arts festival in the Southern Hemisphere, the Adelaide Fringe Festival, will run on March 17 to 19 around Metro Adelaide, Adelaide CBD, and Regional SA.

To read through the Official Fringe Guide, check out their page at https://adelaidefringe.com.au/.

South Australia’s History Festival

South Australia’s History Festival

South Australia’s History Festival is a month-long celebration in May. It’s an annual festival that aims to showcase the rich history of the country through exhibitions and forums led by the community.

The History Festival also features tours in towns, suburbs, and museums of Regional SA and Metro Adelaide. Historians and other local experts and guides participate to teach the participants more about South Australia.

Various community groups participate in the festival and some conduct workshops on skills like knitting yarn and blacksmithing.

To learn more about the registration details of the event, visit their website at https://festival.history.sa.gov.au/.

South Australian Living Artist Festival

South Australian Living Artist Festival

If you are interested in eye-catching art, you can see and be amazed by the open-access South Australian Living Artist Festival (SALA) showcasing the art of local artists. 

The festival promotes diversity through art expos and activities that goers enjoy. It runs as a one-week event in public spaces such as parks and flower shops, so you can expect busy streets in August.

Aside from street shows, it offers art trips to encourage more people to visit art galleries.

The celebration conducts bus tours to other regional areas and has also included online visual art exhibitions where artists can talk about their craft.

If you want to stay updated, check out https://www.salafestival.com/.

OzAsia Festival

OzAsia Festival

The OzAsia Festival focuses on showcasing Asia’s premier contemporary artists. The festival is a two-week celebration from late October to November.  

During the OzAsia Festival season, the audience can watch outstanding acts from all around the world that features dance, theatre, film, music, and visual arts. 

Some of the famous shows during OzAsia are Moon Lantern Trails, Lucky Dumpling Market, and In Other Words.

Visit https://ozasia.adelaidefestivalcentre.com.au/ to see other performances that you shouldn’t miss.

Music Festivals

WOMADelaide Festival

WOMADelaide Festival

The WOMADelaide is a music festival held in Adelaide every March. The city’s beautiful Botanic Park transforms into a concert ground with eight performance stages occupying its 34-hectare green space.

WOMAD stands for the World Of Music, Arts, and Dance. The festival celebrates independent artists from different regions and artistic backgrounds. 

It also features street theatre and forums called the Planet Talks.

The WOMADelaide Festival is also described as a family-friendly event where younger attendees can enjoy shows suitable for them. This continuously proves why Adelaide is a City of Music because it promotes inclusion in music.

To see the complete line-up in WOMADelaide 2023, visit their website at https://www.womadelaide.com.au/.

Adelaide Cabaret Festival

Adelaide Cabaret Festival

One of the most anticipated festivals during the winter season is the Adelaide Cabaret Festival, the grandest of its kind in the world. It features entertaining acts by acclaimed artists from Broadway and circuses. 

The event is held in the Adelaide Festival Centre, which has an almost 2,000 seating capacity. As a part of the celebration, the Cabaret Icon Award is awarded to people who made a mark in the industry.

The occasion is celebrated in June with productions, mostly running for 70 minutes each. Some of the biggest names in the entertainment scene, like Alan Cumming and Jane Birkin, are included in the line-up.

The comedic style that it displays is probably the reason why the audience number grows every year. The performances include theatre, comedy, satire, and contemporary shows.

To know about the show schedules, visit https://cabaret.adelaidefestivalcentre.com.au/.  

Adelaide Guitar Festival

Adelaide Guitar Festival

Famous guitarists from different parts of the world team up with local and indie artists in Australia in a two-week celebration of talent and music at the Adelaide Guitar Festival every June. 

With Adelaide recognized as a City of Music by UNESCO, the Adelaide Guitar Festival continues to prove that the city deserves its title. This festival is set to give a chance and a platform to up-and-coming artists to showcase their musicality and stories.

The guitar festival includes classical performances, industry events, music forums, and workshops where aspiring artists can learn a lot from the bands and musicians themselves.

Check out other features of the festival through this website https://guitar.adelaidefestivalcentre.com.au/.

More Upcoming Events in Adelaide to Watch Out For

DreamBIG Children’s Festival

DreamBIG Children’s Festival

The DreamBig Children’s Festival is celebrated every two years in May at the Adelaide Festival Centre. It includes magic shows, circuses, educational interactive art shows, and workshops for children.

The festival has two main parts. There are events for the family and student-participated performances. 

There are shows such as interactive exhibits and lullabies for children as young as two years old. 

The festival presents programs for schools and family tours wherein the younger ones will not just enjoy but also learn about the arts. The different events offered by the festival spark curiosity among the young ones.

To know about the upcoming shows presented, you may visit https://dreambig.adelaidefestivalcentre.com.au/.

Feast Festival

Feast Festival

The Feast Festival in Adelaide is a month-long celebration of the LGBTIQ+ community’s art and culture held in November. 

The Feast Festival promotes diversity and inclusivity and is another way of showing support to the community.

One of the brightest celebrations in Adelaide is the Feast Festival where performances ranging from cabaret to film are presented, led by the members of the LGBTIQ+ themselves. 

Everyone is encouraged to experience spectacular performances with no discrimination.

To know more about the artists participating, visit https://www.feast.org.au/.

How many festivals are there in Adelaide?

How many festivals are there in Adelaide

There are 11 major festivals of culture and arts held in the City of Adelaide.

Some of the biggest festivals known around the world such as Adelaide Festival, Adelaide Fringe Festival, WOMADelaide, Tasting Australia, and OzAsia are presented most of the time at Adelaide Festival Centre.

Adelaide’s annual calendar is always full of spectacular events that you can enjoy. Artists from all around the world are welcome to participate in the festivals. 

Who runs the Adelaide Festival?

The Adelaide Festival Centre and its management runs the show as a statutory corporation.

The management operates under the regulations of the Adelaide Festival Centre Trust Act 1971 enacted to establish the hierarchy of power in the festival and to guide its operations.

Where is Adelaide Festival held?

Where is Adelaide Festival held

The Adelaide Festival of Arts is held at the Adelaide Festival Centre in Adelaide, South Australia.

The Adelaide Festival Center is the first multi-purpose arts center in Australia where performing arts events and shows are held. It was built during the 1970s shortly after the Adelaide Festival was first presented to the public.

Some other festivals held in the Adelaide Festival Centre are Adelaide Cabaret Festival, Adelaide Guitar Festival, and OzAsia Festival. 

It is also the home of some of the prestigious performing arts companies in the city such as the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and the State Theatre Company of South Australia.

When is the best season to attend festivals in Adelaide?

When is the best season to attend festivals in Adelaide

There is no best season to attend festivals in Adelaide, as there are events throughout the year. 

However, you can enjoy the Adelaide Festival of Arts, WOMADelaide, and Adelaide Fringe Festival in the summer, while the Adelaide Guitar Festival and Illuminate Adelaide are held in winter. 

You can also visit Adelaide in spring if you wish to attend the Adelaide Film Festival and in autumn to learn about the country’s history at South Australia’s History Festival.

What to Expect in Adelaide during Festival Season

You can expect big street crowds and artists from all around the world to perform at Adelaide festivals.

The streets are filled with people during festival celebrations, especially the Adelaide Fringe Festival since it is mostly held in unusual spots in the city. 

Festivals featuring local and foreign artists are celebrated throughout the year. 

Safety Tips to Enjoy Festivals

Safety Tips to Enjoy Festivals

1. Have a buddy or be in groups

It’s important to have someone with you when exploring a crowded place, more so if you are a tourist. But if you are exploring alone, make sure to stay alert, especially if you carry important belongings.

2. Stay hydrated

When exploring and walking around an event under the scorching heat of the sun, make sure to always have your tumbler or a water bottle with you. Do this to stay hydrated and avoid fatigue caused by the heat.

3. Wear comfortable clothes

3. Wear comfortable clothes

If you want to enjoy the festivals, it’s best to wear your most comfortable clothing and shoes to be able to move freely around the place. It’s more enjoyable to party if you can be comfortable with what you are wearing.

4. Stay in contact with people you trust

Whenever you are not in the confines of your safe space, it’s best to always have your communication lines open. Stay connected with your trusted people so that in case of an emergency, you will be able to reach them as soon as possible.

5. Stay vigilant

Of course, you must enjoy everything about the festival, but be alert to what is happening around you to keep yourself safe. It’s best to know where the emergency and security teams are stationed. 

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