Adelaide Festival 2024 Program

Adelaide Festival 2024 Program

Photographer: Andrew Beveridge.

64 events, 16 world premieres, 12 Australian premieres and 23 exclusives

The 39th Adelaide Festival, the first of the next three festivals curated by Artistic Director Ruth Mackenzie CBE and Chief Executive Kath M Mainland CBE, invites citizens, artists and communities to help shape the way the Festival can support and inspire. 

Ruth and Kath bring international festival experience from Melbourne, Edinburgh, Amsterdam, Paris, Vienna and London, with the added expertise of Associate Artistic Director Wouter Van Ransbeek, who focuses on new ideas and talent in the northern hemisphere. 

Ruth and Kath’s first program features a line-up of both returning international stars Robert Lepage, Thomas Ostemeier, Laurie Andersen, Angélique Kidjo, Barrie Kosky, Stephen Page, Akram Khan and Milo Rau; and artists making their Festival debuts: Marina Abramović, Elizabeth Streb, Jacob Boehme, Édouard Louis and Víkingur Ólafsson.

Ruth and Kath’s first program promises to “delve deeper into the role of an international festival in the 21st century”. It provides opportunities for everyone to get involved through new bookend events Create4Adelaide and Floods of Fire and unveils Adelaide Festival’s three-year plan co-commissioning ambitious new works showcasing Australian talent to the world.

Image: Ruth Mackenzie, Wouter Van Ransbeek and Kath M Mainland. Photographer: Andrew Beveridge

Key threads in the 2024 Adelaide Festival program are:

World premieres of Adelaide Festival-commissioned work with Stephen Page’s Baleen Moondjan, which opens the Festival at Glenelg Beach, Jacob Boehme’s Guuranda and Restless Dance Theatre’s Private View all taking place on the opening weekend. In addition, the program includes the world premiere of Marrow by Australian Dance Theatre, led by Artistic Director Daniel Riley. The biennial also features a commission by writer Kate Llewellyn and the Adelaide Chamber Singers and new works are created by young people and South Australian artists in Create4Adelaide and Floods of Fire.

Image: Guuranda. Jordan O'Davis, Jada Narkle and Luke Currie Richardson. Photographer: TJ Garvie

First Nations First with the Festival’s hero image, Areyonga (2019), by South Australian Angkuna Baker from Indulkana, and approximately 77 First Nations artists taking part onstage and off in 10 separate works in 2024.

The Adelaide Festival operatic centrepiece – Stravinsky’s The Nightingale and Other Fables, directed by Robert Lepage.

The brightest 20-something rising stars of tomorrow, including Mario Banushi, Australian playwright Thomas Weatherall and Melbourne theatre collective Pony Cam, are making their debut appearance at the 2024 Adelaide Festival.

Image: Stravinsky’s The Nightingale and Other Fables. Photographer: Michael Cooper.

Cultural Democracy which prompts us to ask: “Who has the right to make art? Who has the right to curate it?” Create4Adelaide gives young people curatorial power. 2000 young people voted on their top three climate action priorities - extreme weather events, extinction of animals and plants, and pollution of our air and waterways. Over 1000 artworks made by young people on those priorities have already been submitted to the Open Call and submissions are welcome until the end of October here. Young people will then choose the artworks that most closely align with their top priorities for the AF24 exhibition. Continuing the Create4Adelaide journey, at the end of the 2024 Festival the vote will open to decide the themes for the year-long project for 2025. 

Floods of Fire is created by the ASO and curated by international artist Airan Berg, on the Festival’s final weekend. On Saturday 16th Floods of Fire will take over the campus of AF partner The University of Adelaide, which celebrates 150 years in 2024. The event will see composers and communities create new music, stories and art in response to extreme weather events. After the success at the opening of AF23, the Citizens Orchestra is back in 2024 giving everyone the opportunity to participate, regardless of musical background. Register here.

On Sunday 17th, the world premiere of the Floods of Fire Symphony, a collaboration between South Australian composers, musicians and the ASO will take the stage at Adelaide Festival Centre. The performance will include a new song commissioned from Electric Fields.

Image: The Threepenny Opera. Photographer: Moritz Haase.

A spotlight on climate action, biodiversity loss and the human environment connection is evident in climate action projects like Create4Adelaide and Floods of Fire, as well as Festival pieces Gondwana and Antigone in the Amazon which focus on damage to equatorial and tropical forests. The Festival’s operatic centrepiece, Stravinsky’s The Nightingale, has inspired Festival artists to create 18 pieces featuring the songs of 17 different birds, which are dotted throughout the 2024 program. In 2020, Adelaide Festival became Australia’s first festival to be certified carbon neutral and holds ongoing partnerships with conservation startups Wilderlands and Reforest.

Adelaide Writers’ Week, curated by Australian literary leader Louise Adler AM, once again brings together writers from across the world, with a focus in 2024 on South Asia and an impressive array of star names including Dame Mary Beard, Édouard Louis, Richard Ford, Elizabeth Strout, Ted Chiang, Yanis Varoufakis, Alastair Campbell and Rory Stewart.

This year’s artistic hub will be located at Community at Lot Fourteen on North Terrace, ideally placed near many 2024 Adelaide Festival venues and with free entry to continue conversations into the night. 

Discount ticket schemes for those facing a financial barrier in continuing established Festival initiatives Tix for Next to Nix and Pay What You Can, thanks to The Balnaves Foundation.

Artistic Director Ruth Mackenzie CBE says: “Since 1960, Adelaide Festival has led the way with international artists opening hearts and minds through inspiring art. It is an honour to play my part in creating an Adelaide Festival program which give artists and all of us in South Australia an important voice to the world.”

Chief Executive Kath Mainland CBE says: “When a festival comes together, common threads and shared concerns among artists from around the world start to emerge and shape the program. This year, a resounding global concern revolves around climate change and the deterioration of our natural environment, as artists and communities take centre stage in the quest for solutions.”

Adelaide Writers’ Week Director Louise Adler AM says: “In 2024, novelists, poets and writers from across the world (including seven contemporary South Asian writers, one of this year’s areas of focus) will again join us to reflect on the lessons of history, make sense of the present moment and imagine a future that just might hold the promise of hope. The issues writers lay bare for us are both universal and specific to this time and place, and explorations of the personal and the private are inescapably also political and public.” 

South Australian Premier Peter Malinuskas MP says: “Time and again, Adelaide Festival has proven itself to be a catalyst not only for economic growth but also as a vital wellspring of social and cultural enrichment and creative talent development for the people of South Australia. With pride, my Government has committed an additional $2.3 million in support over the next three years to expand the Festival and enhance its capacity to draw groundbreaking international events, ensuring its continued prominence globally.”  

Minister for Arts Andrea Michaels MP says: "The Malinauskas Government has committed an additional $2.3 million for Adelaide Festival and I’m thrilled by the rich diversity of voices for 2024, as Adelaide again emerges as a cultural heart, drawing art lovers locally, nationally and internationally for an extraordinary celebration. We'll see a convergence of international artists, First Nations talents, and acclaimed South Australian companies and artists on our stages and in our galleries for a truly special festival."

The 39th Adelaide Festival runs over 17 days and nights from Friday 1 March to Sunday 17 March, 2024. 

Adelaide Writers’ Week runs from Saturday 2 to Thursday 7 March and the full program will be announced in January 2024.  

BOOKINGS: or 131 246

Opening Event

Baleen Moondjan created and directed by Stephen Page with Jacob Nash, Alana Valentine, Steve Francis, Jennifer Irwin and Damien Cooper
Glenelg (Pathawilyangga) Beach, 28 February – 2 March


The Nightingale and Other Fables directed by Robert Lepage with soloists Meredith Arwady, Taras Berezhansky, Andrew Goodwin, Owen McCausland, Yuliya Pogrebnyak, Nabil Suliman and Yuliia Zasimova and singers from Ukraine, the United States, Canada and Australia. Performed with the State Opera South Australia Chorus and Adelaide Symphony Orchestra
Festival Theatre, 1 – 6 March

Theatre and Music Theatre

Guuranda written, choreographed and diercted by Jacob Boehme. Created with Narungga Elders and a collective of First Nations and non-Indigenous artists
Her Majesty's Theatre, 29 February – 3 March

Blue (with State Theatre Company South Australia) written by Thomas Weatherall, directed by Deborah Brown and performed by Callan Purcell
Scott Theatre, 23 February – 16 March

Goodbye, Lindita created and directed by Mario Banushi
Dunstan Playhouse, 29 February – 3 March

Marina Abramović Institute: Takeover featuring Marina Abramović (appearing digitally) and the Marina Abramović Institute (MAI) curating a series of long-durational works by artists from Australia and neighbouring countries
Space Theatre, 1 – 4 March

Grand Theft Theatre created and performed by Pony Cam and David Williams
Latvian Hall 'Tālava', 3 – 11 March

I Hide in Bathrooms (with Vitalstatistix) created and performed by Astrid Pill with Ingrid Voorendt, Zoe Barry and Jason Sweeney
Waterside Workers Hall, 5 – 16 March

The Threepenny Opera written by Bertolt Brecht and Elizabeth Hauptmann with music by Kurt Weill. Performed by the Berliner Ensemble and directed by Barrie Kosky
Her Majesty’s Theatre, 6 – 10 March

The Promise performed by Wende and co-conceived by Chloe Lamford (Royal Court Theatre)
Space Theatre, 7 – 10 March

Qui a tué mon père (Who killed my father) written and performed by Édouard Louis and adapted and directed by Thomas Ostermeier (Schaubühne Berlin)
Dunstan Playhouse, 8 – 10 March

The Tree of Light (with Slingsby) based on Hans Christian Anderson’s The Little Match Girl, written by Ceridwen Dovey and directed by Andy Packer
Slingsby's Hall of Possibility, 15 – 16 March

Antigone in the Amazon by Sophocles and adapted and directed by Milo Rau. Co-created by Milo Rau, NT Gent and Movimento dos Trabalhadores Rurais Sem Terra (MST)
Dunstan Playhouse, 15 – 17 March


Daylight Express featuring Lucinda Collins, Anna Goldsworthy, Konstantin Shamray, Elizabeth Layton and Lloyd Van’t Hoff; Meredith Arwady in recital with Michael Ierace; David Greco in recital with Vatche Jambazian; Joseph and James Tawadros; Anthony Romaniuk; Nicholas Lens and JM Coetzee; Tejendra Majumdar and Ambi Subramaniam with Tanmoy Bose and V V Ramana Murthy; Goldner String Quartet; and Ensemble Offspring
Elder Hall, The University of Adelaide, 1 – 15 March

Band of Brothers performed by Slava and Leonard Grigoryan with Joseph and James Tawadros
Dunstan Playhouse, 4 – 5 March

Long Lost Loves (and Grey Suede Gloves) (with Musica Viva) performed by Anna Dowsley and Michael Curtain
Adelaide Town Hall, 7 March

Nothing: Chamber Landscapes curated by Richard Tognetti AO featuring Rhyan Clapham (Dobby), David Greco, Sharon Grigoryan, Louis Hurley, Craig Jeffrey, David Jones, Chloe Lankshear, Hanna Lee, Donald Nicolson, Li-Wei Qin, Konstantin Shamray, Katherine Tonkin, Satu Vänskä, Carmen Warrington, Kristian Winther, Emma Woehle, Caleb Wright and Tom Wright
UKARIA Cultural Centre, 8 – 10 March

WOMADelaide taking place over four days with artists appearing from over 25 countries
Botanic Park / Tainmuntilla, 8 – 11 March

Compassion & Ngapa William Cooper composed by Lior, Lou Bennett and Nigel Westlake, and performed by Lior, Lou Bennett and Nigel Westlake with Adelaide Symphony Orchestra
Festival Theatre, 9 March

Angélique Kidjo in concert and supported by Maatakitj (Clint Bracknell)
Festival Theatre, 12 March

Ensemble Offspring: Night Songs created and arranged by John Rose and performed by Ensemble Offspring
Space Theatre, 12 – 13 March

There Will Come Soft Rain performed by Adelaide Chamber Singers, conducted by Christie Anderson
Adelaide Town Hall, 13 March 

Víkingur Ólafsson: Goldberg Variations by J.S. Bach and performed by Víkingur Ólafsson
Adelaide Town Hall, 15 March, and UKARIA Cultural Centre, 17 March

Goldner String Quartet: The 2020s performed by Goldner String Quartet
Adelaide Town Hall, 16 March

Floods of Fire: Our Voices, Our Dreams conceived and directed by Airan Berg, led by Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, presented in collaboration with Adelaide Festival, The University of Adelaide in celebration of their 150th anniversary and over 100 South Australian partner organisations
The University of Adelaide campus, 16 March

Floods of Fire: Our Citizens' Orchestra conceived and directed by Airan Berg, musically directed by Tim Steiner and Ricardo Baptista
The University of Adelaide campus, 16 March

Floods of Fire: Our Celebration with Electric Fields and the ASO performed by Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and Electric Fields 
Festival Theatre, 17 March

Dance and Dance Theatre

Private View (with Restless Dance Theatre) created, choreographed and directed by Michelle Ryan, in collaboration with the Restless dancers and Carla Lippis 
Odeon Theatre, 29 February - 9 March

Marrow (with Australian Dance Theatre) choreographed and directed by Daniel Riley 
Odeon Theatre, 13 – 17 March

Time Machine created, choreographed and directed by Elizabeth Streb 
Her Majesty's Theatre, 14 – 17 March

Jungle Book reimagined by Rudyard Kipling, choreographed and directed by Akram Khan 
Festival Theatre, 15 – 16 March 

Wayfinder directed by Amber Haines and Kyle Page with Hiatus Kaiyote, Byron J. Scullin, Hiromi Tango and Niklas Pajanti 
Space Theatre,  15 – 17 March 

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