Adelaide is about to be lit up with the bright lights of the Garden of Unearthly Delights. Opening on the 16th of February the Garden will herald the start of the Adelaide Fringe, and will play host to many weird and wonderful shows.
You don't need a ticket to visit, just wander down Rundle Street to Adelaide's East End, and follow the crowds. Rundle Park undergoes a magical transformation as the Ferris wheel is constructed, the lights are strung and the performers roll in. You can come in to see a show, or just to grab a bite to eat and soak up the atmosphere.
The Garden official opens on the 16th of February, and runs until the 18th of March. Head along at 9PM for the opening night party, you'll get the opportunity to see some of the acts performing throughout the next month, as well as a chance to enjoy free music and a great atmosphere. After the opening night the Garden is in full swing.
There are free shows running day and night, whenever you turn up there is sure to be something entertaining to watch. These can range from comedians, to acrobats, to dancers and circus clowns. There are shows for people of all ages to enjoy. Of course the Garden is also a venue for many popular fringe shows.
Shows on offer include: The Love Birds - a cabaret style show that "pays homage to 1930's Bohemia and psychedelic, sexually ambiguous San Francisco". Porcelain Punch Travelling Medicine Show - a strange circus spectacular with odd characters, and plenty of physical comedy. Hardboiled Lolly - a show with a sultry detective, catching bad guys and drawing a crowd.
The Garden of Unearthly Delights does have a focus on circus, cabaret, and sideshow events. There are adults only shows that look at the saucier side of performance art, as well as fun filled kids' shows that are there to draw a laugh. On top of this a host of comedians will also be performing in the Garden, including Sam Simmons, Tom Gleeson, and Sammy J & Randy.
If you're not catching a show, there are still plenty of reasons to visit the Garden. Food stalls will be set up throughout the night, think juicy corn on the cob, freshly fried fries, doughnuts and poffertjes. The venue is also licensed, so you can grab a cider, beer or wine at one of the bars and enjoy the night with friends or any new people you may meet.
Market stalls also make up part of the Garden, where you'll find anything from toys, to clothing, to unique gifts. Even if you don't plan on buying anything, it is still fun to have a browse through all the stalls. While you're there you might also like to go for a ride on the Ferris wheel, or see the weird, wacky and abnormal at one of the sideshows.
The Garden is definitely one of the highlights on Adelaide's festival calendar. If you've been before, then it probably needs no introduction, but if you've never stepped inside make 2012 your year. It offers an enchanting place, to escape everything from the outside world, and instead just enjoy all of it's 'unearthly delights'.
You can check out the full Garden of Unearthly Delights program online. For all tickets and bookings just head to their website, and to stay up to date head over to their Facebook and Twitter pages. Entry is free, but you will need to buy tickets to attend most of the shows.