Posts Tagged ‘Adelaide Festival of Arts’

Adelaide Festival Time!

Thursday, March 8th, 2012

Adelaide is at its best at festival time, and right now the Adelaide Festival of Arts and the Adelaide Fringe Festival are in full swing, and Womadelaide begins tomorrow.

The buzz in Adelaide at festival time is amazing. The streets and parks are full of life, colour and energy.  Adelaidians love a party, and they flock to the city at festival time where they go to shows, stay up late, wander through The Garden of Unearthly Delights in Rymill Park, spend all weekend listening to world music under the trees in the Botanic Park, and throng, dozens deep, around buskers from around the world in Rundle Mall, Adelaide’s central shopping precinct.

People come from across Australia and the world to attend and to perform. The Festival of Arts is a premier international event and the leading arts festival in Australia. It’s responsible for bringing major, groundbreaking shows, events and performances to Australia, and for introducing much new work, ideas and discussion and debate. The Festival includes an extensive programme of free performances, exhibitions and discussion forums, while the Fringe Festival brings significant colour, edge and spectacle to a normally quiet and quite conservative city.

A Fringe Festival is a spin-off from a mainstream arts festival. Arts festivals draw audiences and participants, and they also draw buskers and other performers and artists who come to see the festival, to be around the general environment and atmosphere, and who stage casual or impromptu performances and events on “the fringe” of an official festival. In Adelaide, like Edinburgh, the Fringe Festival rivals the popularity of the main festival, and has become an independent event. In Adelaide, the Fringe is so popular that it is held annually and autonomously, and though it doesn’t seem to have lost it’s edge, it has become like a grown up child.

I love to be in Adelaide during festival time, and always try to be here then, especially since our Adelaide rooms overlook Rymill Park, the hub of the Fringe Festival. Every day here at the moment almost feels as exciting as being at the circus, as crowds of people go past our windows on their way to the events at the park, stop for coffee on the footpaths of the coffee shops surrounding us, and groups of little school children look like flocks of birds chirping excitedly with looks of wonder and glee. Yesterday, a group of about thirty 5-year olds dressed in purple uniforms and big sun hats looked like little walking, giggling mushrooms rushing past.

Though I’m a Sydney girl, my connection to Adelaide began before I was born when my mother came to Adelaide as a graphic artist and worked here for 6 months in an advertising agency. “A working holiday” she always called it. Her time in Adelaide struck her so deeply that I spent my childhood hearing stories of the elegance and sophistication of the city, the beauty of the country around Kapunda where the houses were wondrously rendered with mud that held ancient relics like shark’s teeth, and of towns where German settlers had established communities like Hahndorf and the towns of the Barossa Valley.

So Adelaide is my second home, and it feels etched into my being. Though the Adelaide Festival of Arts didn’t exist in my mother’s time here, her love of Adelaide was based on the very real commitment to and love of the arts and culture that the city has always had at its heart and which the Adelaide Festival of Arts embodies.

Sometimes in Adelaide I miss the hoards of people I’m used to in Sydney and the other bigger Australian cities. But festival time in Adelaide makes up for that. Right now, I’m fairly sure that Adelaide is the most vibrant and dynamic place in Australia to be. It’s festival time in Adelaide!


Lynette Jensen

Lynette Jensen is a director and co-founder of Genesys Australia and is committed to helping people achieve work-life balance through good job fit. In addition to contributing to this blog, she also writes regularly for HR Daily Community and Dynamic Business Magazine. Her articles have been re-published in India & the United Kingdom.

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