Wednesday, 15 March 2023

Adelaide Festival Luncheon

Rod and I welcome you to Government House today to celebrate the 2023 Adelaide Festival.

We extend a particularly warm welcome to guests who have travelled from interstate or overseas.

Mad March, for want of a better term, is a wonderful time of year to experience Adelaide and we trust you are enjoying it.

After the challenges of the pandemic in recent years, it has been wonderful to see festival season back in full swing.

Rod and I have been soaking up as many Festival, and Fringe, performances as we can, and we have been struck by the sense of excitement and anticipation we have experienced everywhere we go.

We congratulate the Adelaide Festival on its 2023 program, with 893 artists from Australia, and around the world, gathering to present more than 50 events.

From the stunning performance of Spinifex Gum and Adelaide Symphony Orchestra on opening night, to the haunting performances of A Little Life and Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.

From the majesty of Messa da Requiem, the magical sounds of Karin Schaupp and the Flinders Quartet, to the narrative woven by First Nations dancers in Tracker, we have been privileged to experience just some of the festival’s depth and breadth, across local and international talent and to have been challenged, as we were last year, to think more deeply about meaning, implications and actions, our past, present and future.

I thank the Adelaide Festival for the role it plays commissioning and championing some of Australia’s most innovative new work, along with presenting great companies and artists from all over the world.

Twenty five percent of tickets have gone to interstate buyers, with some flagship shows attracting up to 40 per cent interstate visitation, and I thank the festival for driving tourism to our state.

I congratulate outgoing Artistic Directors Rachel Healy and Neil Armfield for their programming of the 2023 festival. We have enjoyed sitting next to you at some performances and hearing the insights you have shared.

The success of Rachel and Neil’s innovative, and final, program attests to the enormous value they brought to the festival during their years as Co‑Artistic Directors.

I warmly welcome the new leadership team - Artistic Director Ruth Mackenzie, Chief Executive Kath Mainland and Adelaide Writers’ Week Director Louise Adler – and thank them for their efforts this festival. I look forward to seeing what they are now in the process of creating for future festivals.

To the artists, creators, directors and producers with us today, thank you for bringing the festival to life with your performances.

It is your talent, vision, creativity and energy which makes the magic of the festival, and keeps patrons returning year upon year.

I hope the festival has been an enjoyable and rewarding experience for you all so far, and I wish you every success.

Thank you making the Adelaide Festival one of Australia’s most exciting artistic events.

Coming events