DreamBIG gets curiouser and curiouser with launch of 2021 festival

DreamBig-Magic-Beach-photo-by-James-D-MorganMore than 3000 South Australian school children are enjoying events and activities at Adelaide Festival Centre and other venues across the city today as part of DreamBIG Children’s Festival.

The festival, which kicked off today and runs until Saturday 29 May, features more than 50 free and paid events across two programs – one for schools and another for families. With a theme of ‘Be Curious’, the diverse and inspirational programs boast 11 world premieres, three Australian premieres and 13 Adelaide premieres.

DreamBIG Children’s Festival 2021 has attracted 20,000 bookings from more than 150 schools, including 75 experiencing disadvantage and 25 travelling from regional SA to attend.

This morning’s Opening Event in Adelaide Festival Centre’s Festival Theatre saw an invited audience of more than 1000 school students hear from guest speaker Shantae Barnes-Cowan, a 17-year-old actress who has appeared in two Australian TV drama series and won a NAIDOC Week Award for services to her local community in Whyalla.

The proceedings also featured a sing-a-long rendition of David Bowie’s Space Oddity led by Adelaide’s own Mighty Choir of Small Voices (thanks to Primary Schools Music Festival) before a special appearance from singer-songwriter and Australia’s Got Talent finalist Mitch Tambo, who was accompanied by dancers from Adelaide High School.

“We are absolutely overjoyed to be kicking off DreamBIG Children’s Festival today and to share our fabulous program of shows, activities and exhibitions to tens of thousands of people over the next 11 days,” said Creative Producer Susannah Sweeney.

“Schools and families are in for a treat, with a range of free and paid events out there to explore. Children of all ages are welcome – from toddlers right through to teenagers.”

“We’ve picked out some of the best arts experiences that Australia has to offer young audiences, and we hope they have even more fun than we’ve had putting this together.”

Within the families program, tickets are selling fast to headliners Wolfgang’s Magical Musical Circus and Magic Beach in Adelaide Festival Centre’s Dunstan Playhouse.

South Australian arts organisations presenting works include Patch Theatre with ZOOOM and Windmill Theatre Company with Creation Creation. Local theatre maker Emma Beech is the co-creator of Still Point of a Turning World, while SA choreographers Gina Rings and Sally Chance are presenting Our Corka Bubs and Touch & Go respectively.

DreamBIG 2021 even includes an international act – Tröll by New Zealand’s Trick of the Light Theatre, while interstate artists include Holly Austin with Dr AudiYO’s Giant Adventure.

“DreamBIG Children’s Festival is always an important and joyful event, but it is made particularly meaningful this year as Adelaide Festival Centre’s first full festival presentation in more than a year,” said Adelaide Festival Centre CEO & Artistic Director Douglas Gautier.

“We are very excited to see thousands of children enjoy shows at our venues over the next couple of weeks. It is a great privilege for us to present the world’s longest-running children’s festival and to offer something really special for the South Australian community to enjoy.”

Most family shows at DreamBIG 2021 will coincide with a range of free events being held at Adelaide Festival Centre and other venues across the city for the ever-popular Big Family Weekend on Saturday 22 May and Sunday 23 May 2021.

The weekend will see the Festival Theatre host a special ticketed performance by Teeny Tiny Stevies, along with free events Big Tutti Singalong and Big Family Weekend Concert.

Other venues include the Adelaide College of the Arts, Torrens Rowing Club, Torrens Parade Ground, State Library, South Australian Museum, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide Botanic Garden and Marion Cultural Centre.

Adelaide favourite Fork on the Road is bringing its food truck extravaganza to Elder Park and will feature local vendors, wineries, breweries and performers on both days. More information about the fantastic line-up for Big Family Weekend can be found here.

The 2021 DreamBIG Children’s Festival continues to 29 May. For more information and full program, visit: www.dreambigfestival.com.au for details.

Image: Magic Beach – photo by James D Morgan