Illuminate Adelaide shines light on innovative program

North-Forest-Lights---Created-by-Moment-FactoryA celebration of innovation, music, art and light, Illuminate Adelaide will bring winter to life over 17 days and nights from 16 July 2021.

Australia’s new major event, Illuminate Adelaide has unveiled highlights of its curated program of world premieres, local and international collaborations, and immersive experiences exploring the union of future technologies and the creative industries.

Highlights include: the world premiere of Light Cycles from Canada’s acclaimed Moment Factory – a site-specific work across nearly two kilometres of the Adelaide Botanic Gardens; inaugural Luminary Artists in Residence, The Avalanches performing Since I Left You with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, in addition to appearing in conversation with Zan Rowe and Jonathan Zawada, curating exhibitions with local artists, and performing a DJ set at MAAD – a massive closing weekend block party in the West End.

In addition, City Lights – over 40 large scale installations, brilliant projections, and immersive works spanning three precincts; Light Creatures – an enchanting twist on the animal kingdom at Adelaide Zoo; and world premiere VR works Thin Ice (recreating Shackleton’s epic Antarctic trip while highlighting the effects of climate change).

Squares Circles (drawing upon William Barton’s country, culture and dreaming) and a reimagined Adelaide Festival Of Ideas in partnership with the University of Adelaide, to illuminate the challenges and opportunities of our time.

“We boast a world leading reputation for the arts and cultural events, South Australia’s future technology and creative industries are making sure Adelaide remains one of the world’s greatest creative cities,” said Hon Steven Marshall MP Premier of South Australia. “The event supports our Growth State agenda – and is a great alignment for future facing companies.”

Homegrown co-founders and creative directors, Rachael Azzopardi and Lee Cumberlidge are collaborating with the city’s cultural, academic and science artists and institutions to take over city streets, laneways and buildings, in addition to working creatively with renowned international artists and companies to deliver innovative and immersive experiences in Australia.

“Right from the outset, Illuminate Adelaide strives to bring together leading artists and innovators from around the globe to collaborate with technical teams and cultural partners in our city in delivering exceptional experiences and performances in the public realm and iconic venues,” said Rachael Azzopardi and Lee Cumberlidge.

“We’ve sought opportunities to embrace ambitious ideas and emerging technology, to explore new and diverse voices, and to celebrate spectacular Australian and international works. We are also commissioning major South Australian projects, demonstrating the incredible work being created in the state.”

“Audiences and families from across the country are invited to explore this wonderful city’s architecture, streets, laneways, gardens and zoo, as we transform them all with new immersive stories, adventures and experiences.”

With over 150 installations, performances and events, including 41 world premieres, Illuminate Adelaide will create hundreds of jobs in South Australia and the opportunity for audiences around the country to explore a city brimful of innovative and immersive experiences. Other program highlights include:

Kinara, free specially curated event of music, culture, Kin and Country led by a line-up of ground-breaking Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists co-presented by TANDANYA and Music SA; Australian String Quartet & William Barton, inspired by the land and its stories, featuring music composed by William Barton.

Light Visions, Dark Intervals, a rare chance to witness one of Australia’s great improvisers Paul Grabowsky AO make new music in real-time to photographs by distinguished photographer Alex Frayne; and Van Gogh Alive the Experience – the life and legacy of Vincent van Gogh comes leaping off the canvas in this multisensory tribute to one of Western art’s greatest names.

Club Satellites a late night journey into new and exhilarating sonic landscapes curated with some of Adelaide’s best nightclubs – Ancient World, Mary’s Poppin and Sugar; Permanent Public Artwork, co-commissioned by City of Adelaide, a gift to the city  of a new public artwork inspired by themes of light, technology and community to celebrate our inaugural year; and Being Different Together – children, many of whom are first-generation migrants and refugees presenting stories of diaspora, belonging and visions of the future.

Illuminate Adelaide runs 16 July – 1 August 2021. The full program will be released in May. For more information, visit: for details.

Image: North Forest Lights – created by Moment Factory