When the Adelaide Festival in 2012 went from being a biennial event to one that happens every March, this writer was among those who feared something special had been lost. The whole point was that the festival came around only every other year, and was reason for out-of-towners to make a special pilgrimage to Adelaide. If I still had any of those reservations, Neil Armfield and Rachel Healy, co-directors in Adelaide since 2017, have thoroughly banished them. The Adelaide Festival can’t come around soon enough. Their sophisticated, aspirational programming, their deep immersion in Australia’s cultural life and understanding of their constituent audience has made the festival one of the vital conduits for Australia’s conversation with the wider world of performing arts.
For 59 years Adelaide Festival audiences have delighted in an outstanding mix of internationally acclaimed theatre productions, an eclectic array of world-class musicians, breathtaking dance pieces, renowned writers and striking visual arts displays. Enjoyed amid warm March days and starry nights, Adelaide Festival’s celebration of creative excellence makes for an event of truly epic proportions.
2020 marks the fourth Adelaide Festival presented by Co-Artistic Directors Neil Armfield AO and Rachel Healy. All of their programs, in 2017, 2018 and 2019, saw Adelaide Festival previous box office records broken and were a resounding success. Neil and Rachel will direct Adelaide Festival until 2023.
Adelaide Festival has shared Australia’s best new work along with some of the world’s great companies and artists including Johan Inger, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Hofesh Shechter, Meryl Tankard, Milo Rau, Grace Jones, Bangarra Dance Theatre, Akram Khan, Sylvie Guillem, John Zorn, Marlene Dietrich, Allen Ginsberg, James Thiérrée, Philip Glass, Pina Bausch Tanztheater Wuppertal, Isabelle Huppert, Schaubühne Berlin, Yehudi Menuhin, Isabella Rossellini, Cloud Gate Dance Theatre, Nina Simone, Jane Birkin and Malcolm McLaren.
Adelaide Festival is a member of Festivals Adelaide: representing Adelaide's ten major arts and cultural festivals.