OzAsia Festival celebrates more than 85,000 opening week attendances

Adelaide Festival Centre’s OzAsia Festival is celebrating attendances of more than 85,000 across the first four days of performances and community events at Adelaide Festival Centre and around the Riverbank precinct.

Families and fans flocked to the popular Moon Lantern Trail as it lit up Tarntanya Wama/Pinky Flat with more than a dozen giant lanterns, including the 40-metre-long Hong Kong Dragon. Attendees enjoyed roving performances, puppetry, live music, food and interactive workshops on the festival’s opening weekend.

Two new lanterns designed by local artists were unveiled including Nicky Tsz Tung Li’s Jade Rabbit and Jaydenlee Tong’s Kurdany Tangku (Rainbow Serpent), created to celebrate Adelaide Festival Centre’s 50th anniversary celebrations.

OzAsia Festival Artistic Director Annette Shun Wah:

We couldn’t have hoped for a better start to OzAsia Festival. The beautiful moon lanterns reflected in the Torrens, delicious aromas at the Lucky Dumpling Market and the theatres full for the breathtaking performances of tiaen tiamen Episode 1 and Paradise or the Impermanence of Ice Cream.

Thank you, Adelaide, for coming out to celebrate with such enthusiasm. There’s much more to come over the next two weeks and we hope to see you there.

Crowds also gathered at Elder Park’s Lucky Dumpling Market which continues to serve up a delicious range of cuisine from the best local vendors, as well as live entertainment on the Lucky Beats stage, community performances, and free workshops from Tuesday to Sunday each week.

Coming up this week, OzAsia Festival’s second week, the Lucky Beats stage welcomes some of Australia’s hottest musical artists including pioneering DJ and Triple J alumni Jade Zoe and Friends, multi-instrumentalist singer/songwriter Jaguar Jonze and Brisbane J-Pop group A-MUSE Project.

Adelaide Festival Centre CEO & Artistic Director Douglas Gautier AM:

We are thrilled to see so many people enjoying OzAsia Festival’s opening week. These attendance numbers are a testament to the vision and hard work of Annette Shun Wah and the OzAsia Festival team in bringing such an engaging program to life.

The Honourable Andrea Michaels MP, Minister for Arts:

What an incredible opening weekend for OzAsia with more than 85,000 people heading to Adelaide Festival Centre and the Riverbank precinct.

The Malinauskas Government is proud to support this fabulous event and I look forward to seeing even more people out enjoying it over the next couple of weeks with a packed program of events, performances and talks along with the fantastic Lucky Dumpling Market serving delicious Asian dishes and treats.

This week audiences also have the opportunity to take to the Festival Theatre stage with the Australian premiere of Singapore’s T.H.E Dance Company’s Infinitely Closer, featuring Australian dancer Billy Keohavong led by director Kuik Swee Boon. Audiences are welcomed to step inside the work itself for an interactive and uniquely engaging experience that combines contemporary dance with enthralling holograms.

In another Australian premiere by a celebrated international performer, Canadian composer, and performer Njo Kong Kie has transformed the poetry of worker-poet Xu Lizhi into song. In I Swallowed a Moon Made of Iron Njo’s score for solo voice and piano delivers a contemplative landscape combined with a rich tapestry of video imagery.

Music is used to explore the migrant experience in Dung Nguyen and Peter Knight’s 1988, taking the year Dung arrived in Australia as the starting point for an extraordinary musical and visual journey.

Back by popular demand this weekend, are fan favourites The Special Comedy Comedy Special at Dunstan Playhouse featuring a stellar bill of Asian Australian comedians hosted by Sami Shah. And AnimeGO! – the annual celebration of Japanese pop culture – is back at Adelaide Festival Centre.

Rounding out the second week offerings is Australia’s leading Butoh artist Yumi Umiumare in solo performance Buried TeaBowl OKUNI, underscored by dynamic visual elements, a compelling original musical score, and a tea ceremony.

In OzAsia’s third and final week Rainbow Chan draws on her Weitou ancestry (first settlers of Hong Kong) in her theatrical debut The Bridal Lament. Featuring a suite of new songs, The Bridal Lament brings to life a dynamic world of projection, movement and colour. Proudly co-commissioned by OzAsia Festival, The Bridal Lament comes to Adelaide after wowing audiences at Sydney’s Liveworks Festival via commissioning partner, Performance Space.

In an Australian premiere direct from Malaysia, a performer, a journalist, and an activist excavate school textbooks, inherited memories, and video interviews of exiled revolutionaries in A Notional History – uncovering erasures, exclusions and questions around the Malayan Emergency.

OzAsia’s Lucky Beats free programming at Lucky Dumpling Market continues in week 3 with Nothing, But Just A Moment direct from Singapore, Asian-Australian collective Big Bao and returning after rave reviews at OzAsia 2022 are Adelaide’s very own supergroup Hyoshi in Counterpoint and boundary-defying powerhouses 1300 .

OzAsia Festival’s final weekend will see more than 60 incredible writers and thinkers from across Asia and Australia will engage in important conversations at writing and ideas program In Other Words, curated by writer and performer Jennifer Wong, alongside guest curators Durkhanai Ayubi and Sami Shah.

For one night only, MasterChef favourites Poh Ling Yeow (What I Cook When Nobody’s Watching) and Sarah Tiong (Modern Asian) join forces with Benjamin Law (Stop Everything!) at Dunstan Playhouse to discuss what food and cultural connections means to them, in A Night with Poh Ling Yeow and Sarah Tiong In Conversation with Benjamin Law.

Don’t miss the popular Bubble Tea Garden at Festival Plaza from November 4 to 5, celebrating the beloved Taiwanese delicacy that has taken the world by storm. Overlooking Lucky Dumpling Market, Bubble Tea Garden provides the perfect pit-stop between In Other Words sessions.

OzAsia Festival 2023 runs from October 19 to November 5

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