The 2022 Adelaide Festival opens

71 events, 9 world premieres, 6 Australian premieres, 17 events exclusive to Adelaide

The 2022 Adelaide Festival officially opens today! With a whole host of events over the next 17 days, 2022 marks the 37th Adelaide Festival over 62 years, and the sixth festival under Artistic Directors Neil Armfield and Rachel Healy.

Joint Artistic Directors Neil Armfield and Rachel Healy:

To keep an international arts festival flourishing while a deadly virus is running rampant across the globe is no mean feat. If delivering 2021 was difficult, 2022 has been herculean. Given the absence of live streaming in the program, and the wonderful presence of large companies of European and African artists in the city right now, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the Adelaide Festival had ‘bounced back’ to normal. But all the meticulous planning for this event took place at a time of unprecedented uncertainty and chaos, in Australia as much as the performers’ home countries. Would we all be vaccinated? Would our health system cope? How long would guests have to quarantine? Would flights be available? Could the sets be freighted on time? How big an audience will be allowed? Can we rehearse? Can we sing? Can we dance? The answers to these questions changed from day to day and the leap of faith required to surmount the chasm between then and now was simply too big for many to make.

But it’s now not then and the people of Adelaide have an extraordinary festival on a grand international scale to relish and be proud of. The best and most stimulating music, dance, theatre, opera, visual and public art that Australia and the world have to offer are here, and sometimes only here, for the next three weeks. Get amongst it!


Operatic centrepiece The Golden Cockerel makes its Australian Premiere at the Adelaide Festival Theatre on Friday 4 March. Written by Rimsky-Korsakov 113 years ago, and directed by revered international opera director Barrie Kosky, the opera will play 4 sold-out shows across the opening week.

The world premiere of Watershed: The Death of Dr Duncan has already opened at Dunstan Playhouse with 7 sold out shows. The new oratorio is a long-awaited artistic response to the landmark tragedy 50 years ago that stemmed from the death of Dr George Ian Ogilvie Duncan. It is a joint commission between Adelaide Festival, Feast Festival and State Opera South Australia.

Adelaide Festival exclusive The Rite of Spring / common ground[s] will open at Her Majesty’s Theatre for three sold out shows across the opening weekend. Emanating from Germany, Senegal and the UK; produced by the Pina Bausch Foundation, École des Sables and Sadler’s Wells; with choreography by the late Pina Bausch, her contemporary Germaine Acogny and Bausch colleague Malou Airaudo. More than 30 dancers from 14 nations across the African continent, The Rite of Spring is Bausch’s towering and unsurpassed response to Stravinsky’s music, recreated in its entirety by a brilliant, hand-picked ensemble.

The opening weekend spectacular on Saturday 5 March will see favourite homegrown contemporary circus powerhouse Gravity & Other Myths (GOM), team up with dance sensations Djuki Mala from North East Arnhem Land to present the FREE concert Macro at the Village Green, Adelaide Oval. Featuring a 30-strong acrobatic troupe, a mass choir, ancient Celtic rhythms, fireworks and giant projection scrims in a fun, FREE family event.

On Tuesday 8 March, another major event at the Village Green, Adelaide Oval will be ICEHOUSE: Great Southern Land 2022, a concert celebrating the 40th anniversary of the band’s legendary anthem. Also on the bill will be yidaki master William Barton and Groote Eylandt’s ARIA-nominated blues and roots artist, Emily Wurramara.

Rundle Mall again becomes a pop-up environment for free and joyous experiences, with Groundswell, designed by Melbourne artist Matthias Schack-Arnott. The six-metre, circular tilting platform equipped with 40,000 illuminated ball bearings has already opened in Rundle Mall for anyone to walk on and become a composer of oceanic soundscapes.


Look to the skies early on the new date of Saturday 12 March as Patricia Piccinini’s Skywhales: Every Heart Sings soars above Elder Park from 6am. Skywhale and Sky whalepapa complete with their brood of calves, will float some ten stories high in a majestic floating art installation.

The Summerhouse, home and hub of the Adelaide Festival will feature 40 free and ticketed events involving more than 235 artists, speakers and special guests from Thursday 3 March. Transforming its look and feel from early morning breakfast sanctuary, a go-to meeting place before a show, to live music hotspot; it is the beating heart of the Adelaide Festival.

Opening weekend will feature Billy Davis & The Good Lords on Thursday night, Genesis Owusu (SOLD OUT) and HMC on Friday night, and Amyl and the Sniffers (SOLD OUT) and Ministry of Sound on Saturday night. Breakfast with Papers kicks off on Saturday 5 March with Tom Wright and a panel of informed guests at 8am daily.


Update on Box Office (as of Friday 4 March, 12AM)

The box office target is $4,300,067. Adelaide Festival is currently at 92% of target with revenue currently at $3,972,333.

Facts and Figures for the 2022 Adelaide Festival:

This year’s program features a spectacular line-up of FREE and ticketed events across dance, theatre, visual arts, music, writers, installations and exhibitions taking place from 4 – 20 March 2022.

  • The 37th Adelaide Festival will run for 17 days, with 71 events across music, opera, dance, film and visual arts events alongside Adelaide Writers’ Week and WOMADelaide events.
  • The line-up includes 6 Australian premieres, 9 world premieres and 17 events exclusive to Adelaide
    8 works are especially commissioned by the Adelaide Festival.
  • The Summerhouse, a new home and hub for Adelaide Festival, will feature 40 free and ticketed events involving more than 235 artists, speakers and special guests across the contemporary music program and Breakfast with Papers.
  • Adelaide Writers’ Week will host 175 authors and 43 chairs across 100 Writers’ Week sessions, with 16 sessions and 1 performance running across Kids’ Day + YA Day.
  • There will be a total of 823 performances (includes 100 Writers’ Week sessions + Kids’ Day + YA Day) given by 863 artists from 22 countries.

Sold out shows:

  • Contemporary music shows at The Summerhouse including: Genesis Owusu, Amyl & The Sniffers and Vinyl Destination.
  • Sold Out shows at UKARIA include Consecration, Bach and Britten, Handel’s Acis and Galatea, Debussy and Ravel, Dolcissimo, Et in Arcadia Ego, Four Hands at the Erard, Evolution of the Piano, and Camerata with Tenzin Choegyal.

Almost Sold Out shows:

  • The Golden Cockerel, opera by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov and directed by Barrie Kosky.
  • Australian Premiere and Australian Exclusive The Rite of Spring will play 3 shows across opening weekend.
  • After Kreutzer, starring Anna Goldsworthy and Andrew Haveron, will play 4 shows at Ayers House.
    All the way from the UK, dance theatre piece Juliet and Romeo will play 9 shows at the Scott Theatre.
  • State Theatre Company South Australia present Girls & Boys starring Justine Clarke will play 16 shows at the Odeon Theatre.
  • Prayer for the Living conducted by Benjamin Northey with choral direction by Carl Crossin and featuring the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, plays for one night only at the Festival Theatre.

Shows added:

  • Due to overwhelming demand, an additional performance of World Premiere and Australian Exclusive Watershed: The Death of Dr Duncan has been added on Sunday 6 March, 7pm.


Nearly 2000 people who are at a financial disadvantage will have the opportunity to attend selected Adelaide Festival productions through two separate Open House programs generously supported by The Balnaves Foundation, whose support since 2019 has totaled $250,000. Tix for Next to Nix and Pay What You Can are aimed at providing access to flagship Adelaide Festival productions for those in the community who otherwise could not afford to attend.

Tix for Next to Nix – 1,977 tickets were set aside at $5 each and made available to registered community groups and healthcare/pension cardholders.

Pay What You Can – healthcare/pension cardholders and students can name their own ticket price. Tickets to be collected 1 hour before curtain-up and available shows include:

  • Wudjang: Not the Past: Thursday 17 March, 7pm
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray: Sunday 20 March, 12pm midday
  • Chineke! Chamber Ensemble: Thursday 17 March, 7:30pm
  • Manifesto: Saturday 19 March, 1pm
  • The Nightline: Sunday 6 March, 10pm


Thanks to the generosity of the Lang Foundation, special prices to 12 shows, plus online resources for teachers (with links to ACARA, SACE and IB) will create opportunities for students to develop as active and interrogative theatregoers and cultural critics.

Primary, secondary and full-time tertiary students will again have access to exclusive discounts to a range of Adelaide Festival shows. Discounted tickets can be purchased online or at any BASS outlet and collected by presenting student ID at the box office.

The Festival Connect program will ensure 252 students from 6 disadvantaged schools will be provided with transport to and from the theatre.

Through the SAPN (SA Power Network) funding students from 4 disadvantaged school will take part in a workshop with artists from Chineke! Chamber Ensemble.

Season Details

Venue:  Adelaide Festival Theatre
Date: 04- 20 Mar 2022

For more information click HERE

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