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Adelaide's Top 12 Festivals in 2018

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by Barry J (subscribe)
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Published January 8th 2018
The Best Things in Life are Festive
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The colours of sound (by Adelaide Festival)


Why is Adelaide named one of the world's most liveable cities? South Australian culture is a big part of the answer. The local calendar features many of Australia's largest and most exciting festivals, celebrating and supporting local and international visual and performing arts, cinema, music, dance and food. Don't miss out on the fun - add these festivals, listed in date order, to your diary.

Australia Day in the City – 26 January 2018 – free event
Celebrate our national day in Elder Park with over 40,000 people at twilight with a street parade, concert and fireworks. In 2017, David Campbell entertained the crowd with music alongside Christine Anu and Mahalia Barnes. The 2018 lineup will be announced shortly.

Crush – 26 – 28 January 2018 – free and ticketed events
Crush any excuses to sample the finer things with a drive to the Adelaide Hills for Crush, touching all the senses with music, dance, food and wine. The Festival is a series of themed experiences, including a Mexican Fiesta in Lenswood with street food, sombreros and sunshine, a summer soir้e with sparkling wine, food and live music in Woodside, and a performance of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night in Longwood. View the full programme at the Crush Festival website.

Adelaide Fringe – 16 February – 18 March 2018 – free and ticketed events
The southern hemisphere's biggest arts festival, open to all-comers, will host over 4,000 artists in hundreds of pop-up events throughout the city. Every type of performing art is covered, ranging from comedy, cabaret and circus, to music, magic and dance. Overwhelmed by the program packed with over 1,300 events? The website has an excellent search filters, with the Dr Rube's Flea Circus, the Parade of Light and the Australian Premiere of Cirque Alfonse - Tabarnak. View the full programme at the Adelaide Fringe Festival website.

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The best view in Adelaide (by Crush Festival)


Adelaide Festival – 2 – 18 March 2018 – free and ticketed events
For over 50 years during spring, the Adelaide Festival has presented local and international theatre, music, dance, writers and visual art. The 2018 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art: Divided Worlds presents an allegory of human society, one that meditates on the drama of the cosmos and evolution; on the past and the future; and on beauty and the environment. Be soothed with sweet songstress Kate Miller Heidke or the Can You Hear Colour? exhibition. View the full programme at the Adelaide Festival website.

Womadelaide – 9 - 12 March 2018 – ticketed event
During the Adelaide Cup long weekend, celebrate in the open-air of Womadelaide in the Botanic Park with DJs, dancers and bands performing a mix of Indigenous and contemporary music on the main concert stage. Painters and performers create visual and dramatic art while orators discuss our relationship with the environment. Visit the pop-up stalls for charity information, gifts and sweet and savoury treats. Amongst the dozens of local and international performers and speakers, don't miss Grammy nominated sitar player, Anoushka Shankar, Justine Clarke with children's story time, Peter Greste in conversation with Ben Doherty, and a Soul Capoeira dance workshop. View the full programme at the Womadelaide Festival website.

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Blissful beats on the main stage (by Womadelaide)


Tasting Australia – 13 - 22 April 2018 – free and ticketed events
Feast on cuisine created with local ingredients, based on the festival's motto – Paddock to Plate, championed by Aussie advocates of real food, Maggie Beer, Simon Bryant and Paul Henry. In 2018, Andrea Tortora, (three-Michelin star chef and Italy's Pastry Chef of the Year) will serve a four-course adventure in the glasshouse kitchen, while a lucky few will be enjoy a culinary experience on Kangaroo Island. View the full programme at the Tasting Australia website.

South Australia History Festival – May 2018 – free and ticketed events
Delve into our past, discovering the buried secrets of South Australia's history and uncovering a few more leaves in your own family tree. In our state's annual history festival, a series of talks, workshops, walks and exhibitions will step through the centuries of local stories, restored through artefacts, letters, artwork and photography. View the full programme at the South Australia History Festival website.

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See Tommy Emmanuel perform live in Adelaide (by Adelaide Guitar Festival)


Adelaide Cabaret Festival – 8 – 23 June 2018 – free and ticketed events
Beginning on the Queen's Birthday long weekend, The world's largest cabaret festival adds sultry sound to a cool winter with music, theatre and comedy. Highlights in 2017 included Paul Kelly and Camille O'Sullivan premiering Ancient Rain and the energetic Family Gala with Ali McGregor and Eddie Perfect. View the full programme at the Adelaide Cabaret Festival website.

Adelaide Guitar Festival - 9 - 12 August 2018 – free and ticketed events
The guitar is the musical instrument of choice for the rock star. It's also the most popular pick for children as they pick up an electric, classical or bass guitar to emulate their musical heroes.

Celebrate this sound at the Adelaide Guitar Festival, with an international lineup of guitarists in 2018, beginning with Tommy Emmanuel and continuing with award-winning talents from Europe, the USA, China and Russia.

The party continues with 'Guitars in Bars', featuring hundreds of local musicians performing throughout Adelaide in our bars and clubs.

If you've mastered the air guitar, grab a real one to compete in the Classical Guitar Competition, vying for the first prize of $10,000.

Discover why Adelaide is Australia's only UNESCO City of Music during the concerts, classes, workshops and talks at the Adelaide Festival Centre. View the full programme at the Adelaide Guitar Festival website.

Sala Festival - August 2018 – free and ticketed events
With a focus on the visual art created in our communities, the South Australian Living Artists Festival is the largest in Australia. Exhibitions will feature throughout SA in conventional galleries but also at parks, restaurants, retail shops, offices and wineries. All tastes will be satisfied, with photography, sculpture, painting and multimedia installations tackling our thorniest contemporary issues. View the full programme at the Sala Festival website.

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Don't bring your pets to the flea circus (by Adelaide Fringe Festival)


OzAsia Festival – 26 October - 11 November 2018 – free and ticketed events
Influenced by contemporary art throughout Asia, this festival features dozens of Aussie theatre and live performance premieres. After the mid-autumn Moon Lantern Festival, encouraging unity and celebrating prosperity, musicians begin performing in Elder Park for 10 nights. View the full programme at the OzAsia Festival website.

Adelaide Film Festival - October 2018 – free and ticketed events
After the Vive Le Punk themed 2017 Festival, the 2018 celebration of film will be bigger and better, fuelled by a funding boost of $1 million. This investment will lead to a new round of award-winning premieres, continuing in the vein of Charlie's Country, Samson & Delilah, Snowtown, and Tracks. The festival is considered one of Variety magazine's "50 Unmissable Film Festivals". View the full programme at the Adelaide Film Festival website.


Which Adelaide festival are you most looking forward to in 2018? Please let us know with a comment.

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Why? Enjoy the best of Festive Adelaide in 2018
When: All year!
Where: Throughout Adelaide
Cost: Plenty of free options
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