Culture

From Fringe To Womad: Festivals That Prove Adelaide Is the Place to Be in March

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There are no prizes for guessing why March is known as “festival month” in Adelaide. With three major festivals taking place in the city over the course of the month, the answer is glaringly obvious.

Adelaide is a hive of activity come the first month of autumn and it’s hard to imagine wanting to be anywhere else than in amongst the buzz. So, if you find yourself in the South Australian capital this March, you should make at least one of the major festivals a priority.

Adelaide Fringe

February 15 to March 7

 

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Adelaide Fringe is only just behind Edinburgh Fringe in size, and it’s right up there with it on eclecticism. As the largest open-access arts festival in Australia, Adelaide Fringe is the go-to festival to catch some of the country’s most raw, quirky and unique performances. Anyone can sign up to perform at Fringe, and everyone does.

What to see:

An easy place to start at Adelaide Fringe is the free cultural light show Yabarra – A Gathering of Light. Each night from February 15 to March 17, you can watch the stories of Kaurna country come to life through projected light and sound.

 

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Prepare for your jaw to hit the floor at Circus Abyssinia’s Ethiopian Dreams. The 17-strong Ethiopian acrobatic cast perform incredible stunts to tell the story of two brothers who join the circus – their life-long dream. Expect to see a whole lot of aerial acrobatics, contortion and dance.

If comedy is more your thing, catch up with ex-radio host Sam Simmons at his 26 Things You Have Been Doing Wrong stand-up show. His undeniable quirk and general ridiculousness are guaranteed to make you giggle.


The Adelaide Festival

March 1 to 17

 

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With events spanning the genres of theatre, music, dance and visual art, there truly is something for everyone at Adelaide Festival. Coinciding with writer’s week, the festival also has an extensive six-day program of talks, workshops and events for budding and keen writers.

What to see:

The free National Geographic: Symphony for Our World opening night concert is not to be missed. To welcome the festival, 130 years of National Geographic footage will be played on giant screens in Elder Park, set to the sounds of live music by the Adelaide Festival Orchestra and Chorus.

Start your day by sitting in on a Breakfast with Papers session at The Palais. Armed with a coffee and a copy of The Advertiser, you can join in on a discussion about the daily news with host Tim Wright and a panel of guests.

 

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Triple J Unearthed 2008 winner Megan Washington is set to showcase her new album at The Palais on Friday March 15. Gone are the angst and heartbreak of previous albums – in their place are some old-fashioned love songs and her lush new ’60s-inspired tones.


Womadelaide

March 8 to 11

 

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Womadelaide is by far the most culturally and creatively diverse festival on the Australian festival calendar. Each year, around 500 artists come from all corners of the globe to take to the stage in the Botanic Park in inner-city Adelaide. The four-day festival is one big celebration of unique global music, food, art and dance.

What to see:

Baloji is the ultimate slashie. Born in the Congo and raised in Belgium, he is a musician, artist, poet and film director. Even his music comes under the slashie banner, fusing Congolese Soukos (dance music) with funk, soul and rap to create one heck of a unique sound.

 

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Bringing their unique style of smooth reggae across from New Zealand, Fat Freddy’s Drop’s Saturday night set is the perfect way to round out a big day at the festival. Grab a drink, park up and wind down to their smooth sounds.

Some of the most interesting acts coming to Womadelaide are from our own backyard. Mambali – a young, energetic group from a remote community on the Gulf of Carpentaria in the Northern Territory – will get your hands clapping and toes tapping to their unique blend of traditional Indigenous and rock music.

 

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It isn’t all just about the music though; there are market stalls, food stalls, workshops, and art installations to get around, too.

Wander through the global village or WoMade, where you can feast your eyes on wares from a variety of local vendors. If you want to exercise your creativity, there are plenty of great workshops in music, yoga and even dance to get involved in over the course of the weekend, too.

When the hunger sets in, grab a feed from local favourite Honki Tonki or some vegan Greek from Staazi & Co. If you’re particularly interested in the food that the festival has to offer, get yourself a seat at the ORSO and the Polenta Stars Taste the World restaurant. The pop-up restaurant serves a six-course shared menu, while the Willmott’s Gastronomia bar slings some of the best drinks on site.

(Lead image: Taras Vyshnya / Shutterstock)

Don’t miss a moment of Adelaide’s most exciting month. Book your Adelaide festival experience with Qantas. With baggage, food and points included in every Qantas flight, there’s no better place to book.