Why Adelaide is known as the Festival City?

Written by: Cameron Ward

Published: 11/01/2019

Reading time: 3 mins

Aussies love to stereotype their cities. You’ll get four seasons in one day in Melbourne. Everyone in Sydney spends their days surfing. And Adelaide always has a festival on.

Adelaide has staked its claim as the home of festivals in Australia. Artists from around the world travel to Adelaide each year to participate in a collection of standout arts, music and cultural festivals. We’ve highlighted some of Adelaide’s standout festivals below!

  • Adelaide Festival of Arts

    Celebrating its 60th year in 2020, the Adelaide Festival marks the start of Adelaide’s yearly calendar of festivities. Until 2012 the event was biennial, and there was some controversy when it was announced it would shift to yearly. The change however has been a resounding success and Adelaide locals cannot wait for the festival to arrive each year. As the city explodes with shows, the Adelaide Festival opens itself to all with several initiatives providing discounted or free tickets to low-income individuals. The Adelaide Festival is a light on Adelaide’s yearly calendar that truly embodies community and creativity.

  • WOMADelaide

    WOMADelaide claims to be the Worlds Festival. Showcasing music, arts and dance, WOMADelaide welcomes around 500 artists to the city to preform across eight stages at Adelaide’s gorgeous Botanic Park. In 2015 Adelaide was designated Australia’s only UNESCO City of Music, recognising the city and WOMADelaide festival as using creativity for a strategic factor of urban development. Alongside world-class music acts WOMADelaide celebrates International Women’s Day and holds their annual WOMADelaide Planet Talks panels. The panels cover a wide variety of topics from climate change, to Australian politics and the efforts everyday people can make to help save our planet. WOMADelaide is a fantastical mix of contemporary activism, political debate and world class musical acts.

  • Adelaide Fringe

    The Adelaide Fringe is the southern hemisphere’s largest open access arts festival. What does that mean? It means that acts from across the world can put on a show as part of the festival, no invite required. Thousands of artists from around the globe all flock to Adelaide for the month-long festival, there’s so many shows you can barely walk without finding yourself in the middle of one! From pubs to parks, tents to theatres, just about every room with a chair has something for you to explore. With such a large variety of shows on offer across the month you’re sure to find a show suited to your tastes.

  • OzAsia

    The OzAsia festival showcases the best theatre, dance, music, arts, food and cultural events from across Asia. Artist from around the globe flock to Adelaide for the contemporary arts festival. Their exciting program included over 60 events in 2019 including 25 world premieres. The event has grown to now include the Jaipur Literature Festival, a celebration of writing, discussion, ideas and debate. One of the festivals most iconic events is the Moon Lantern Parade, Australia’s largest lantern parade. To get your fix of Asian cuisine, head to the Lucky Dumpling Market, where you can find plenty of pop up bars and food trucks.

Adelaide isn’t just a city of festivals, it’s a city of great festivals. No matter what walk of life you come from Adelaide has something for you.

Related article: Adelaide Cabaret Festival

Cameron Ward
Cameron Ward
Managing Director at Sightseeing Tours Australia

Cameron Ward turned his travel passion into a thriving Australian tourism business. Before he co-founded his own business, Sightseeing Tours Australia, he was enjoying being a Melbourne tour guide. Even now, Cameron delights in helping visitors from all around the world get the most out of their incredible Australian trip. You’ll see Cameron leading tours or writing about his favourite Australian places where he shares his local insights.