11 Free Illuminate Adelaide Events Worth Checking Out

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11 Free Illuminate Adelaide Events Worth Checking Out

Winter ain’t a miserable time when Illuminate Adelaide lights up the city.

Illuminate Adelaide officially kicks off this Friday 16 July and the mid-winter festival is bringing to town a whole host of local, national and international artists and companies to fill the city’s streets and laneways with art.

Across the two weeks and three weekends of the festival, more than 150 installations, performances, and events will take place including a staggering 41 world premieres. The program consists of both free and ticketed events with a splattering of immersive experiences that can make choosing what to go see and do somewhat difficult.

In order to help, here’s a selection of events we think you should check out.

Adelaide Festival of Ideas

With a mix of free and ticketed events, the Adelaide Festival of Ideas makes a return at a time when the world is a-changing.

In partnership with the University of Adelaide and curated by Kirstie Parker, Isobel Marshall and Prof John Carty, a number of diverse and fascinating topics will be discussed across the three days of the festival (within the festival) beginning on Thursday.

A few notable discussions include…

1. Pizza in Space

Aside from thousands of kilometres, a vacuum of nothingness and money, what stands in the way of Friday night pizza and beer on the moon? To find out, head along to this discussion featuring space experts talking about what it would take, technically and philosophically, to get there and do just that.

When: Friday 16 July, 1.45pm – 2.45pm

2. Souper Foods

If you eat, then you might be interested in heading along to this talk that focuses on the future of food and our systems of production and consumption from the restaurant to the supermarket. And y0u won’t go hungry at this discussion as panel member and chef Ben Shewry will be serving up soup.

Free but only for South Australian students.

When: Saturday 17 July, 1.00pm – 2.30pm

3. Profit for Purpose

Can capitalism have a conscience? Can a business be ethical and still turn a profit? Is that even possible?

When: Friday 16 July, 10.15am – 11.15am

4. Let’s Get Digital

Digital art is everywhere these days, but what does that mean for the artists creating it or using digital mediums to spread their visions of the world? Find out how digital practices have affected the way these Australian artists work.

When: Friday 16 July, 3.45pm – 4.45pm

City Lights

Every night from 6-11pm the city will be lit up and the streets, laneways and open spaces will be home to projections of light and playgrounds for your imagination.

The light trail, of which there are three, is free to follow and will take you to see each and every light installation, projection and immersive experience. Check out the map here.

However, a few that have caught our eye include…


5. Airship Orchestra

Airship Orchestra is a collection of 20 inflatables representing ”a mystical tribe of otherworldly characters” who have travelled from afar to be here. Those who visit these travellers are drawn into their formation to experience the musical score (written for a 20-person choir) as light pulsates all around them.

Where: South Australian Museum (Front Lawn), North Terrace

6. The Big Picture Series

Adelaide street artist Vans the Omega has brought together a dream team of visual and conceptual artists and shepherded them to Adelaide’s West End where they will respond to the  architecture and social fabric of urban spaces.

Where: West End, various locations

7. East End Echoes

This one is big and you’re going to need your headphones because East End Echoes is a self-guided walking circuit that encompasses lighting, projections and soundscapes.

8. Emergent Horizons

You’ve seen Harry Potter and you’ve seen movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but have you seen the crack team at work behind these imagined worlds? Artists from Rising Sun Pictures and others are descending on Lot Fourteen with a world-first installation of innovative interactive projection mapping.

Music and Art After Dark

9. Dreamachine21

Contemporary artist Matt Huppatz is recreating the legendary ‘Dreamachine,’ first invented in 1962 by artist Brion Gysin with the intention of triggering ”threshold consciousness”, the moment between wakefulness and sleep. This is going to be a trip.

When: Saturday 31 July, 5pm

Where: ACE Open, Lion Arts Centre, North Terrace

10. Peter Rabbit Garden Party

DJs Fantastic Black Plastic and Danvers get on the ones and two to spin the tunes that will make you shake, shimmy and boogie all night long at Peter Rabbit. Dance amongst the overgrown plants with cocktails in hand at this urban oasis.

When: When: Saturday 31 July, 6pm

Where: Peter Rabbit, Hindley Street

11. West Oak Hotel X Sunny’s Pizza

LL Cool Dre and Late Nite Lew will be on hand at West Oak Hotel dropping the party tunes while you’ll be sipping on $10 passionfruit mojitos under the glittering light of the disco ball. Or, you could be eating pizza in the beer garden. Either is good.

There are so many more awesome and free events taking place at Illuminate Adelaide that you should check them all out. Take a look here.

Illuminate Adelaide runs from 16 July to 1 August. 

Have you checked out Van Gogh Alive?

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