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Winter nights are for Illuminate Adelaide and it’s coming SOON!

Illuminate Adelaide, winner of the 2023 Gold Medal Award for Major Festivals or Events at the South Australian Tourism Awards and fast becoming one of Australia’s most exciting winter events, today announced its exciting program for 2024.

Celebrating the intersection and innovation between art, light music and technology across three full weekends from 04 – 21 July, it features a dedicated program of major ticketed events, music performances and free installations taking over the Adelaide CBD.

Highlights of the ticketed program include the dynamic flaming sculptures of Fire Gardens at Adelaide Botanic Garden, after-dark puppetry and animationsin Universal Kingdom at Adelaide Zoo, Dutch pianist Joep Beving, interactive digital work Eden from Berlin, British electronic musician Max Cooper, Patch Theatre’s Superluminal, andSonic Youth’s Kim Gordon and UK artist The Caretaker as part of Unsound Adelaide.

The free program centres around the celebrated City Lights initiative, featuring 40 installations and projections the explore across the city, and the hub of food, drink and surprises with Base Camp in its new home at Lot Fourteen.

Now in its fourth year, Illuminate Adelaide anticipates increasing the audience at its 2024 program, after attracting 1.3 million attendances in 2023. The event supports almost 150 local, national and international artists including 62 coming from overseas and 54 from South Australia.

Illuminate Adelaide’s co-founders and creative directors, Rachael Azzopardi and Lee Cumberlidge said: “This year the 2024 Illuminate Adelaide program features some of the most exciting creative innovators and artists the world has to offer – and we can’t wait for July when they will brighten our winter with installations, projections, performances and immersive experiences across the city for a full 18 nights.”

South Australian Minister for Tourism, Zoe Bettison said: “In its fourth year, Illuminate Adelaide has changed how we experience winter in our city. It has been embraced by South Australians and visitors alike, cementing its position as a major event in the annual calendar.

“A city-wide celebration, the 2024 program welcomes people from all walks of life to experience a wide range of free and ticketed events. The return of the popular City Lights is once again a fantastic free program that will no doubt light up winter nights for many families and festivalgoers. 

“South Australia’s favourite winter event saw a record attendance last year and generated more than $54 million for the state – which was another record-high for Illuminate Adelaide.” 

Running for 17 nights, and coming to life from 5:30pm each night, City Lights will transform some of the city’s most cherished cultural institutions and heritage buildings including Government House, Bonython Hall, Art Gallery of South Australia and Lot Fourteen. 

From interactive experiences to breathtaking visual spectacles, this year’s instalment will feature a spectacular line-up of immersive activations, created by a stellar mix of national and international visionaries, alongside local South Australian artists. 

Experience the magical world of dynamic flaming sculptures at the Adelaide Botanic Garden with Fire Gardens by French fire alchemists, Compagnie Carabosse. Over 12 spectacular nights, witness more that 7,000 giant handcrafted fire pots, enchanting candlelit archways, captivating kinetic sculptures and live music performances, which will transform the garden into a bewitching night-time wonderland. 

A magical menagerie of ancient creatures will roam the earth when the Adelaide Zoo hosts Universal Kingdom: Prehistoric Nights. This all-new experience brings together two of Australia’s leading lights in immersive experiences: A Blanck Canvas and first-time event contributors, Erth Visual & Physical Inc. After-dark puppetry and illuminated spectacular is set to ignite the imaginations of young and old as it showcases the evolution of the first creatures to crawl and roam the planet – from baby dinosaurs and luminescent marine life to some of the largest carnivores and herbivores that ever walked the planet. 

Acclaimed Berlin design studio, flora&faunavisions have created a breathtaking immersive journey through EDEN, a magnificently imagined interactive digital wonderland where art, nature, and science spectacularly collide. Exclusive to Adelaide, and designed to inspire audiences of all ages, EDEN celebrates both the beauty and importance of the planet. 

In the music program, co-presented with Adelaide Festival Centre, Joep Beving, the Dutch pianist renowned for his minimalist style and profound connection with the piano will perform his latest album, Hermetism at Her Majesty’s Theatre. Beving became an overnight sensation at the age of 38 after streaming his debut album Solipsism for fun and attracting 85 million views, and is now ranked alongside Nils Frahm, Max Richter and Ólafur Arnalds

Belfast-born, London-based scientist, electronic musician and artist Max Cooper brings his live 3D AV phenomenon to Illuminate Adelaide, as part of a major world-wide tour. For this Australian-exclusive performance, Cooper will merge immersive visuals, breathtaking sound design, and experimental electronica, creating a truly thrilling experience. 

At Nexus Arts, Lion Arts Centre, Helen Svoboda, will showcase her skills in a solo performance that promises to be playful, expressive and masterful. As a double bassist, vocalist, and composer, she brings a unique voice to Australian jazz and art music. 

Hailed as one of the world’s most exciting and progressive experimental music festivals, Unsound Adelaide is ready to turn up the volume in Adelaide’s Polish heartland – the Dom Polski Centre. 

This year’s line-up includes former Sonic Youth member Kim Gordon; British ambient musician The Caretaker (aka Leyland Kirby) in his first ever show in Australia; the visionary force behind BOREDOMS, Japan’s ∈Y∋ performing with C.O.L.O.; Australian collaboration Yirinda; Shanghai’s 33EMYBW; an Unsound commission with British artist Lee Gamble collaborating with Spanish choreographer/action artist Candela Capitán to bring his new album Models to the stage; Japanese multi-instrumentalist Eiko Ishibashi in partnership with renowned producer and musician, Jim O’Rourke; and Norwegian saxophonist and performance artist, Bendik Giske

Once the speakers have powered down at the Dom Polski Centre, Unsound Adelaide’s late-night counterpart, Unsound Club takes over The Lab @ ILA with an epic line-up which will move at full throttle. 

Filled with blinding beats and live visuals, the program includes a live show from Detroit outfit HiTech (USA), combining footwork, slippery techno and rap to make singular music; Manuka Honey (AUS), who brings sensual chaos to the dancefloor by colliding club genres from across the globe, from baile funk to gqom, pop edits and more; Lee Gamble (UK) playing an exclusive Unsound Club DJ set, taking us on a rapid-fire unpredictable but danceable journey; and Crescendoll (AUS) a Gamilaraay woman and Gadigal based DJ who flirts with juke, jersey, footwork, hard drum, UK bass, garage and acid. 

At Nexus Arts, Lion Arts Centre, Fill the Earth presents seven stories about how we fill our world, spaces and lives. A giant caterpillar giving birth to green balloons, a man negotiating a door, and a woman creating a garden from dead branches are just some of the stories created by the 12 artists through physical performance, visual art, dance and video. 

Join us at MOD. for a free screening of Miyazaki’s 1984 film Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, featuring warrior princess Nausicaä’s battle against an evil queen’s army amidst environmental destruction. Also, at MOD. explore the 2024 exhibition of BROKEN, an exploration of how the world could be different if we imagine new ways of being. 

Art and science converge at the world premiere of Superluminal, a family-friendly interactive installation from award-winning Patch Theatre that will spark wonder in the inquiring minds of children aged 4 to 8 at the South Australian Museum. 

Base Camp, Illuminate Adelaide’s popular after-dark bar and eatery village will beckon festivalgoers of all ages from a brand-new location at Lot Fourteen. Conveniently located on North Terrace between two of the festival’s centrepiece events for 2024, Fire Gardens at Adelaide Botanic Garden and City Lights, Base Camp is the perfect launching pad for an evening of luminous experiences or simply toasting toes fireside afterward, cocktail in hand. 

Dates: 04 – 21 July 2024 Tickets: For more information, please visit – 

Illuminate Adelaide is supported by the State Government through the South Australian Tourism Commission. 

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