Adelaide’s international summer festivals may be readjusting to what is expected to be a mostly national program due to coronavirus travel restrictions, but the newest event on the city’s calendar will have no such disadvantage.
- A new winter festival is set to showcase technology, art and innovators in Adelaide
- The budget is not yet settled, with the co-founders seeking to make it as big as possible
- A possible collaborations with the Cabaret Festival is on the cards
Illuminate Adelaide was announced on the weekend, a new 2021 “winter event” that will have a strong focus on technology, innovation and art.
“I think we’re fortunate in that working in this area there are a lot of different possibilities in how we might present artists’ and innovators’ work from elsewhere, essentially by using technology,” co-founder Lee Cumberlidge said.
Exactly what the festival will look like remains unknown, but punters have been told to “expect the unexpected”.
“It’s too early to say what the exact footprint of the event will be,” Mr Cumberlidge said.
“But I don’t think it will be taking its lead from what the Adelaide Festival and Fringe do here in the summertime.
‘Redefining the cityscape’
Mr Cumberlidge said “the very new concept” would involve immersive experiences, interactive installations, presentations of music and technology, “explorations into AI-driven art projects”, light installations and projection mapping.
“We’re really focussed on this area of art and technology broadly, and that will involve really digging into some of the great innovators in terms of artists and future tech companies that are working here in SA,” he said.
Adelaide has been the site of extensive projection mapping before, with heritage buildings along North Adelaide transformed during past Adelaide Festivals..
But Mr Cumberlidge said that would be taken “much further, in terms of exploring technology interactivity in the CBD”.
“We’ll be redefining the cityscape and are seeing it as a major event for SA rather than an arts festival, per se, because of the things that we’re going to be programming across the disciplines of art and technology,” he said.
As big as possible
Having secured the support of the SA Government for what Premier Steven Marshall called a “major winter event”, the event’s budget was not yet settled.
Mr Cumberlidge and co-founder and co-creative director Rachael Azzopardi are working hard to secure additional funds “to do this on the largest scale possible”.
Scheduling is also yet to be locked in, although the festival, at this stage, will run for two weeks at some point from July.
This would see it start shortly after the Adelaide Cabaret Festival, which in 2021 runs from June 11 to June 26.
“We’re open to collaborating with all of the cultural and technology institutions, all of the existing events in that timeframe, to make sure that the offering SA and Adelaide puts out at that time of year is a really substantial one,” Mr Cumberlidge said.
Mr Marshall said the Government had been seeking a major winter event, and hoped Illuminate Adelaide would be a drawcard to bring visitors into the city for Adelaide’s “usually quieter winter period”.