With so much to love about Adelaide (great wine, great beaches, great scenery, great wine…), it’s only fitting that the city has an exuberant festival scene as well. In fact, Adelaide’s events calendar might be the best in the country, jam-packed with vibrant festivals celebrating music, food and wine, arts and culture, dance, comedy and more.

So, when your poor designated driver is done with wineries, you know what to do – you make them drive you to a wine festival. Here’s what’s on in Adelaide in 2020.

Adelaide Fringe 2020

ON NOW – 15 MAR 2020

The Adelaide Fringe – known formerly as the Adelaide Fringe Festival – is Australia’s largest open-access arts festival, and the second biggest Fringe Festival held worldwide.

The beauty of this particular festival is that it’s not tied to one location, but instead pervades the entire city and its surrounds, weaving magic throughout Adelaide’s streets and parklands.

All kinds of venues (and I really do mean all kinds of venues) host both acclaimed and up-and-coming artists from Australia and abroad – as well as pretty much anyone who wants to get involved.

According to the official Fringe website, you can find Fringe fun in a pub, a Laundromat or an unassuming alleyway, and a lot of the entertainment is fabulously free. The atmosphere is electric, engrossing and energetic, and it really makes for the best time of year to visit Adelaide.


Adelaide Festival & WOMADelaide

ON NOW – 15 MAR 2020

The Adelaide Festival, one of Australia’s premier cultural events, is a grand celebration of the arts.

Held every year in March, the Adelaide Festival dazzles audiences with world-class opera, theatre, music, cabaret, literature, and visual arts. Exhibitions and performances are brought brilliantly to life by internationally acclaimed artists and productions – in short, these are people who know how to put on a good show.

A bonus: much of this mind-boggling entertainment is, again, free.

The well-known Adelaide Writer’s Week and WOMADelaide, a four-day festival stretching 34 hectares in Adelaide’s beautiful Botanic Park, are both part of the Adelaide Festival. WOMADelaide will please music fans especially as a unique showcase of music from around the world. It’s family-friendly, too.


Tasting Australia

27 MAR – 05 APR

Did I mention that Adelaide has great wine? As the wine capital of Australia, it’s only natural the city should celebrate its world-famous wines with a festival every now and then.

Tasting Australia does precisely that and more, celebrating not only the region’s delicious wine but its food as well. Because why not? I’m certainly all for it, and so, apparently, were the record 64,000 people who attended the Tasting Australia event last year.

So, if you’re looking for the food and wine festival, Tasting Australia is it. Celebrate food, wine and craft beer with some of the delightful people who make it for us: award-winning chefs, winemakers and culinary experts.


Adelaide Cabaret Festival

5 JUN – 20 JUN 2020

Celebrating its 20th birthday this year, the Adelaide Cabaret Festival was born to help revive a fading interest in musicals in Australia in the late 90s. (No pressure.) Turns out it’s done its job and then some because today it’s the biggest cabaret festival in the world.

Attracting home-grown and worldwide talent, the festival’s line-up will leave you spellbound. The 2020 show will kick off with a 20th Anniversary Variety Gala co-hosted by Julia Zemiro and David Campbell. (Come again? Zemiro is the host of RocKwiz and Campbell is an Australian singer you might recognise as a co-host on Channel Nine’s Today Extra.)

Other program highlights include a four-day French Soirée headlined by Do You Hear The People Sing?, French cabaret chanteuse Caroline Nin, and RocKwiz Saultes New York.


Clare Valley Gourmet Weekend

15 MAY – 17 MAY 2020

The Clare Valley is about a two-hour drive from Adelaide, but its Gourmet Weekend should provide more than enough encouragement to get you there.

Originally created to sample the region’s wines at the end of vintage, the Clare Valley Gourmet Weekend is South Australia’s oldest food and wine festival. Visitors to the event are invited to experience the region’s natural beauty, as well as its beautiful produce, with plenty of wineries and restaurants participating in the event every year.

Attend masterclasses with local winemakers, join lively long-table lunches, and indulge in degustation dinners. Oh, and I don’t care if you prefer red, be sure to taste a Riesling; it’s the Clare Valley’s signature wine and among the best in the world.


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