7 Stunning Festivals to attend in Adelaide

7 Stunning Festivals in Adelaide

One of the best things about Adelaide is the abundance of festivals! They’re held all throughout the year and many are budget-friendly. There really is no shortage of amazing events, concerts and festivals to choose from. This Is Why Adelaide Is Known As The Festival City.

Here are my seven festival top picks not to miss in Adelaide!

Image Below Courtesy – Capital City Committee Adelaide

7 Stunning Festivals in Adelaide
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Fringe Festival (February/March)

It’s the big one! Every February and March, Adelaide throws a LAVISH party to remind themselves that they actually are pretty cool. And what an amazing festival it is.

The Fringe Festival initially began as a celebration of all the arts on the “fringes” of the mainstream. Think comedians, magicians, burlesque dancers and all the other performers that the hoighty-toighty types turned their noises up at.

Since then, it’s grown to be the second largest arts festival in the world (after the Edinburgh Fringe). It’s an amazing month long smorgasbord of shows, exhibitions, festivals and more.

Even if you’re backpacking in Adelaide and on a budget, you can still enjoy the Fringe. While larger acts can be expensive, there are still plenty of shows that cost just $5 or $10 a ticket. 

You won’t need to travel far to taste the best of South Australia!

Adelaide Festival  (February)

The Adelaide Festival was first held in 2017, one of the arts festivals in Australia. This late-summer international festival gem has emerged as one of the biggest celebrations in Australia of art showcasing visual, performing, literary, and media arts, and is held every year capturing the imagination of audiences world over.

It has a plethora of events, but most are centered around visual arts, dance forms, opera, cabaret, literature, classical and contemporary music, as well as new media.

The festival has grown so huge that it has subsumed other cultural fests of the city – WOMADelaide and Adelaide’s Writers Week also now happen during this festival. 

Tasting Australia (March/April)

A festival that lets you taste all the amazing regions of South Australia is one small space? Hallelujah! It’s no wonder this is one of my favourite festivals in Adelaide, and one I highly recommend to backpackers.

I mean picture this: you get a souvenir glass that you can take all around the various stalls laid out on Tarndanyangga (Victoria Square) under the festoon lights. Think a little bit of Coonawarra Cab Sav followed by a big Barossa Shiraz… and maybe a pinot from the Hills if you’re feeling a bit ~lighter. 

There’s also great food, live music and those fabulous ~vibes that everyone is always banging on about on Instagram. That’s Tasting Australia, and if you’re in Adelaide in March/April, I highly recommend swinging by.

Cabaret Festival (June)

The Adelaide Cabaret Festival is an annual arts festival featuring cabaret held in the South Australian capital of Adelaide. It has been held in June each year since 2001, with the exception of 2020 owing to the COVID-19 pandemic in Australia, when an online event was presented on Facebook.

 The Cabaret Festival sees some of the best cabaret performers in the world visit Adelaide, while you’ll also find some more informal shows around Adelaide. The Cabaret Festival was founded by Frank Ford who also paved the path for the Adelaide Fringe. Since its inception, the Festival has amassed a loyal following of musical theatre buffs with over 50,000 people coming to bask in the best of emerging and established artists from across the globe.

While those events organised by the Festival Theatre can be on the pricey side, you can keep your eye out for bargains and cheaper adjacent events.

Womadelaide (March)

WOMADelaide is an annual four-day festival of Music, Arts and Dance, which was first held in 1992 in Botanic Park, Adelaide, South Australia. One of many WOMAD festivals held around the world, it is a four-day event which presents a multicultural selection of music from artists around the world, as well as side-events such as discussions and talks. Between 1993 and 2003 it ran in alternate odd-numbered years, in between the Adelaide Festival of the Arts years, moving to an annual event from 2004.

The WOMADelaide festival has become a truly unique part of the Australian festival landscape, showcasing the best, the essential – and the surprising – in global music, dance, art and ideas.

The iconic WOMADelaid open-air festival set in Adelaide’s stunning Botanic Park is an award-winning celebration of the very best of the World of Music, Arts & Dance.


Umbrella: Winter Sounds (July/August)

Adelaide tends to stuff many of its events into a short few weeks, in a phenomenon known as “Mad March”. That’s why I’m so glad to see an event smack-bang in the middle of winter.

It’s enough to tempt Adelaideans out of their post-Fringe slump, and out into the bars for some fabulous music.

Organised by Music SA, one of the things to love about the Umbrella: Winter Sounds festival is that it’s very accessible, even for smaller artists. While the big names of the Fringe and Cabaret are great, it’s also important to foster a local, smaller scene as well.

Best of all, quite a few of the events are totally free – so definitely get along to one if you’re backpacking in Adelaide in July and August!

OzAsia Festival (October/November)

Just as the city is waking up after winter, the OzAsia Festival arrives on the scene. Beginning with a fabulous opening ceremony complete with lanterns and a dancing dragon, it bursts to life each October.

The opening ceremony ushers in a fabulous festival celebrating Asian culture and engagement, including food, shows, events and more. There’s a great calendar of things to do and see – Phare the Cambodian Circus was a particular highlight last year!

Even if you don’t get along to any events, I highly recommend paying a visit to the market near the banks of the Torrens to try some delicious street food!

Where to stay in Adelaide

To make the most of your time in Adelaide, I recommend staying in the Adelaide CBD. From here, you’ll have easy access to everything on this list from Agoda.

  • Adelaide Central YHA (Budget) –  Adelaide Central YHA is clean, friendly and well located in the centre of Adelaide. Breakfast is even included in the price!
  • Adelaide Travellers Inn Backpackers (Budget) 15 minute walk from centre of Adelaide but right next to all the beautiful parks. There is a great chill balcony.
  • Majestic Minima Hotel (Mid-range) – technically this is just out of Adelaide in North Adelaide, but there’s a free bus or you can walk. This charming hotel has a gorgeous mural on the outside and is cosy but comfy on the inside.
  • Hotel Richmond (Upper mid-range) – in terms of location, you can’t get much more central than Hotel Richmond. Located in Rundle Mall, it’s an easy walk to all of the city’s attractions and has a great balcony.
  • Mayfair Hotel Adelaide (Luxury) – got a little more room to move in your budget?  It’s super central location is really convenient.
  • OR you may wish to check out some more Adelaide accomodation on Agoda and compare prices.
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