The 2024 Adelaide Festival opens today

The 2024 Adelaide Festival is here! With a whole host of events, this is the first festival to return to pre-pandemic proportions, with 236 international artists and over 1200 Australian artists from 15 countries gathering in Adelaide over the next 17 days.

The cutting-edge program, the first fully curated by Artistic Director Ruth Mackenzie and Chief Executive Kath Mainland, together with the added expertise of Associate Artistic Director Wouter Van Ransbeek, delves deeper into the role of an international festival in the 21st century.

Chief Executive of Adelaide Festival Kath Mainland CBE:

I’m so excited that AF 2024 is finally here. Adelaide Festival is Australia’s premier international festival and I know that the world-class international artists who are coming to the festival to take the stage alongside their counterparts from right here in South Australia will delight, excite, engage and enthral us all. There is no place better to be than Adelaide in March, with all our wonderful festivals, and we are eternally grateful to the government of South Australia for their unstinting support.

Adelaide Festival Artistic Director Ruth Mackenzie CBE:

We launched Adelaide Festival 2024 in Bordertown with our first free event, HARBINGERS: Care or Catastrophe, at Walkway Gallery in collaboration with Country Arts SA, showcasing new work by a remarkable group of women artists. Meanwhile, near Glenelg, Stephen Page and his team are preparing the opening performance from February 28 to March 2, a perfect family show on the beach with the sunset setting the stage. Our world-class artists are presenting indoor and outdoor performances, both free and ticketed, providing everyone with an opportunity to embark on an extraordinary adventure with them.

Minister for Arts Andrea Michaels MP:

Adelaide Festival is our state’s premier arts festival and I’m so happy to see it return for 2024 with an incredible program featuring world-class artists and performances. This year’s festival has been centred around South Australian young people, communities and artists with initiatives like Create4Adelaide and Floods of Fire. It will be a convergence of international artists, First Nations talent, and acclaimed South Australian companies and artists on our stages and in our galleries for a truly special festival.


The festivities commence at Glenelg Beach tonight at 7:30pm with the world premiere of Stephen Page’s Baleen Moondjan, a commissioned work by Adelaide Festival. Visually stunning and beautifully told, Baleen Moondjan inaugurates the Festival with a vibrant celebration of our First Nations’ stories and culture. Bring your picnic blankets and chairs and join us under the stars, along the ocean, as we kick off the 2024 Adelaide Festival.

Also opening on Thursday is the world premiere of Guuranda by Jacob Boehme at Her Majesty’s Theatre. Restless Dance Theatre opens their world premiere of Private View at the Odean Theatre across 11 performances. Marina Abramović Institute: Takeover will take over Adelaide across venues as some of the world’s best durational performers create site-specific projects.

Other highlights across the opening this week include the Australian Premiere of Stravinsky’s The Nightingale and Other Fables directed by Robert Lepage, transforms the Adelaide Festival Theatre from Friday 1 March with four shows. Goodbye Lindita opens at the Dunstan Playhouse on Thursday 29 February with Albanian theatremaker and rising star Mario Banushi.


Adelaide Festival has 15 free events spanning installations, exhibitions, forums and music events.

Highlights include: Create4Adelaide at Bicentennial Conservatory, Floods of Fire at University of Adelaide; forums across Adelaide in the Time to Talk sessions; I’ll Be Your Mirror at the State Library of South Australia; GONDWANA VR: The Exhibition at SA Museum; the 2024 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art Inner Sanctum at AGSA; Neoterica at Adelaide Railway Station; Dana Awartani and Bruce Nuske with Khai Liew HARBINGERS: Care or Catastrophe at Walkway Gallery in Bordertown.

Adelaide Writers’ Week opens Saturday 2 March with over 200 writers across 130 sessions. On Sunday, Young Readers’ Day provides a jam-packed program designed for children and young people, while Tuesday evening is a night just for Young Adults. Invigorating forum Breakfast with Papers is the way Adelaide Festival starts its mornings with Tory Shepherd and Jonathan Green from 8am in the Pioneer Women’s Memorial Gardens.

The centre piece of this year’s festival, among these free events, is Little Amal: an iconic 3.5-metre-tall puppet who will be in Adelaide from Friday 15 March – Sunday 17 March for three days of free celebrations.


The Open House program is once again, generously supported by The Balnaves Foundation. The two initiatives under the Open House program, Tix for Next to Nix and Pay What You Can are aimed at providing access to flagship Adelaide Festival productions for individuals and not for profit organisations at an affordable price.

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