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About Adelaide Festival

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.

The Australian

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.

 Looking at the East Stage of Adelaide Writers' Week with a massive crowd sitting in the shade of the trees

About Adelaide Writers’ Week

A marvellously free six-day event in a shady spot on the edge of the River Torrens

Sydney Morning Herald

Adelaide Writers’ Week is Australia’s largest free literary festival, offering both writers and readers a unique opportunity to spend time sharing ideas and literary explorations in a garden setting in Adelaide’s city centre. Each carefully selected program brings the world's most celebrated established and emerging writers together for a week that delights, surprises and enlightens audiences.

Each Adelaide Writers’ Week includes six days of free panel sessions that are presented live in the gardens, and made available online via podcast. The program also features a series of ticketed special events throughout the year, and the popular free Kids’ Weekend, which attracts hundreds of families for fun and engaging literary adventures. The directorship of Jo Dyer, in 2019, kept the traditional appointments but added some new (and very well welcomed) events, including the Middle and Young Adults day and the Twilight Talks.

Over the years, Adelaide Writers’ Week has seen some of the world’s greatest writers and thinkers in conversation about literature, politics, poetry, current events, biography, the short story and much, much more.