Come Out Children’s Festival has a new name!

Childrens Festival facepaint and balloon artAfter more than 40 years, Come Out Children’s Festival has a new name – dreamBIG Children’s Festival. Hundreds of children and teachers across South Australia voted in the Come Out Children’s Festival name change competition.

dreamBIG Children’s Festival was the clear winner, gaining 32 percent of the public vote over the past weeks. It beat the four other hot contenders which were Jolt! Children’s Festival, SA Children’s Festival, CREATE! Children’s Festival and Inspire Festival for Children.

Come Out Children’s Festival has inspired and entertained South Australian children for over 40 years and is an important part of South Australia’s reputation as a leader in children’s theatre and entertainment,” said Jack Snelling, Minister for the Arts.

“I congratulate Clementine and all the other children who put up wonderful name suggestions. The arts inspire children to dream big dreams and I am sure the dreamBIG Children’s Festival will continue to do just that for generations of children to come.”

The new name was suggested by eight-year-old Clementine Struthers, a year three student at Prospect North Primary School. She said she was “proud and happy” to have come up with the winning name.

The Festival’s creative producer Susannah Sweeney says the responsibility of renaming such an iconic and well-loved South Australian festival weighed heavily, but she is thrilled with the result:.

“It has been under discussion for years so now was a good time. I was very happy with the process which has been thorough and inclusive, said Susannah. “We got more than 300 suggestions from more than 60 schools, both primary and secondary, public, private, regional and Catholic. It was a broad group who came up with a great array of names.”

The shortlist was selected by a panel made up of staff from Come Out, Adelaide Festival Centre, Department for Education and Child Development, Arts South Australia and local media, who went through an exhaustive process to come up with the final five names.

Everyone had their favourites but the panel agreed any one of them were worthy winners. And the names that didn’t make the grade won’t go to waste – many will be used in a new song that will celebrate the new name, commissioned for the fast growing tradition of the Mighty Choir of Small Voices singing at the Festival’s opening event.

“Everyone agreed that dreamBIG Children’s Festival is a fantastic name that beautifully sums up what the arts and all creative experiences offer children,” said Susannah Sweeney. “All children deserve and need access to great arts experiences, because they all deserve and need to be allowed to dreamBIG as they make their way along life’s journey.”

Adelaide Festival Centre CEO and Artistic Director Douglas Gautier agreed that the new name truly reflects what this world famous children’s event is all about: “Adelaide Festival Centre recognises the importance of ensuring children are engaged in and learn from the arts from an early age,” said Mr Gaultier.

“Today, over 130,000 children and their families visit Adelaide Festival Centre annually to experience an arts activity. This includes more than 6,000 students from disadvantaged or regional schools. Our dreamBIG Children’s Festival will become the flagship of Adelaide Festival Centre’s strategy to engage with children, young people and their families.”

“We are delighted with the creative, inventive responses to the name change competition and look forward to proving many more opportunities for the children of South Australia to ‘dream big’ for years to come.”

The dreamBIG Children’s Festival will run from 18 – 27 May 2017. For more information, visit: for details.

Image: Children enjoying balloon art