Your Adelaide Fringe guide to Australia’s biggest summer arts festival

You can easily fill a weekend or a longer mini break with a kaleidoscope of performances - this Adelaide Fringe 2023 guide will help you plan your best festival experience.

Adelaide Fringe - ‘born’ in 1960 - the biggest arts festival in the Southern Hemisphere, will yet again transform the city into a mecca of culture, creativity, and art. 

Across the State, Fringe spreads it wings from Adelaide City to Adelaide Hills, the Riverlands, Limestone Coast, Fleurieu Peninsula & Kangaroo Island, Barossa Light & Lower North (Yorke Peninsula), and Eyre Peninsula.

For 31 magic summer days and nights from 17 February to 19 March 2023, be transported into a wonderful arts utopia with the best local, national and international artists taking over the city across pubs and bars, theatres, art galleries and the parklands.

Be sure to swing by “The Virgin Australia Wonderful Hub” at Fringe Corner this season, live every Friday and Saturday evening during the festival. Get glammed up and enter the Velocity Vault to WIN wonderful prizes including Fringe tickets, Velocity points, Betty’s Burgers and much more!

The toughest decision will be picking which events to book, so make a week of it and enjoy all that Adelaide Fringe and this artsy destination has to offer.

frolic-follies-adelaide-fringe

 

What is the Adelaide Fringe festival?  

Known as ‘The People’s Festival’, with audiences from 1 to 100+ years old, Adelaide Fringe showcases a diverse range of artists and acts. With a total line-up of more than 1200 events, Adelaide Fringe has also happily returned to pre-pandemic show levels.

With next year marking the 10th anniversary of Adelaide Fringe’s ambassador program, 2023 ambassadors will be drag artist Kween Kong (who’s performing with fellow Ru Paul’s Drag Race Down Under stars in B.A.Bz  in the Wonderland Spiegeltent at Hindmarsh Square), British comedian Sarah Millican (presenting a Fringe show at Thebarton Theatre), and US performance artist Penny Arcade and her headline show Penny Arcade: The Art of Becoming.

all-stars-adelaide-fringe

Where are the Adelaide Fringe venues? 

There are 300 Adelaide Fringe venues, with performances everywhere from parks, theatres, shipping containers, galleries and more.

The city is the festival’s epicentre, with performances spilling out from Rundle Mall to Rymill Park, and where you’ll find the festival’s signature venues Gluttony and the Garden of Unearthly Delights which features everything from risqué to family friendly.

The Garden of Unearthly Delights is celebrating its 21st anniversary, based in Rundle Park. The program showcases a mix of emerging artists alongside award-winners, with the centrepiece The Party, a circus-music show by Strut and Fret. Another major show will be Kaleidoscope, an immersive show by Keith Courtney, which invites audiences to get lost in a mirror maze full of changing sounds, light and colour.

Head to Gluttony, the east end hub, with 150 shows programmed, including favourites such as Rouge, 27 Club, and 2022 circus hit The Defiant. Amongst the new shows at Gluttony is 50 Odd Years of Crabb (TV presenter Annabel Crabb shares 50 things she’s learnt over 50 years, in 50 minutes), a Harry Potter themed musical theatre show Voldemort & The Teenage Hogwarts Musical Parody, and Yummy: The Kids Extravaganza – a family friendly take on the drag/cabaret show Yummy.

The Pyramid, a 15m high pyramid-shaped venue that will be hosting circus acts, burlesque, music and dance in Fringe’s new precinct Fool’s Paradise in Tarntanyangga/ Victoria Square. Fools Paradise will also have a bar and food trucks.

Also amongst the Fool’s Paradise hub is second venue The Vault – a 20m geodesic dome especially designed for physical theatre and circus, acts include GODZ, YUCK Circus and Barbaroi.

borealis-adelaide-fringe

2023 HIGHLIGHTS

One of Adelaide Fringe 2023 highlights is the return of Electric Dreams program, with a series of events centred about digital technology, augmented reality, immersive storytelling, and virtual reality.

Below are just a couple of highlight acts at Adelaide Fringe 2023.

Electric Skies

24 – 25 Feb 2023

Across two magical nights, catch the unforgettable sight of 500 drones launched over hundreds of metres into the night sky at Electric Skies. This multi-sensory show, woven with First Nations language and traditional songs, features curated music from Electric Fields duo Zaachariaha Fielding and Michael Ross. One not to miss! 

Electric Dreams: Torrent

Various 17 Feb – 17 March 2023

A stunning, multi-sensory immersive experience combining a digital world with live performers, amplifying dance, poetry and sound in an unforgettable show illustrating the live-giving force of water.

Wait 'til tomorrow: a tribute to Silverchair

24 & 25 Feb 2023

Take a nostalgic journey through Silverchair’s extensive musical repertoire, with talented Queensland -based singer, guitarist and songwriter, Liam Griffin. A raw and intimate solo debut performance showcasing the range from grunge-laden ‘Freak Show’, to the final progressive-pop final record ‘Young modern'.

Deadly Darwin: back in blak

28 Feb - 4 Mar 2023

A group of Darwin's much-loved Aboriginal stand-up comedians, Deadly Darwin are alikened to the Village People but more like the village idiots - much laughter is guaranteed at this act!

 

What are the Adelaide Fringe festival dates?  

The festival takes over Adelaide from 17 February to 19 March, 2023. There are daily performances from mid-morning to late at night. 

Turn the beat around - Adelaide Fringe 2022

credit: Ian Coker, Adelaide Fringe 2022

How do I get Adelaide Fringe tickets? 

It’s easy! Just go to the Adelaide Fringe guide and choose the shows you want to see. You can book tickets online and keep an eye out for online deals that are updated daily on the website. Many shows book out early and some are only one performance, so make sure to book in advance, especially if there is an Adelaide Fringe show you desperately want to see.  

21 Jordan Gollan, Inma, The Moa at Gluttony

Is the Fringe Festival Free? 

Much of the festival is free, and if you wander the streets and parks, you’ll discover performances, music, mime and more. You’ll find many of the free performances in Rundle Mall, as well as buskers, food stalls and other entertainment. Make sure to visit the many galleries across the city that are hosting free art, design, pottery, ceramics, and textile exhibitions. When you need a break, just grab some street food and drinks, sit on the grass or picnic areas at the performance hubs and watch the world go by. While you can certainly enjoy a huge amount of the festival for free, remember that if you want to see certain performances, you’ll need to book your tickets in advance with the Adelaide Fringe guide.   

 

Are there shows for families?  

Fringe marries its wild and wacky adult content with an abundance of Adelaide Fringe shows for families and kids. From Best of Edinburgh Comedy for kids, to 101 Ways to Annoy your Parents and Other Really Old People, the Adelaide Fringe children’s program is bursting.

bubble-show-adelaide-fringe

Where to stay in Adelaide for the Fringe festival

If you want to be in the thick of the action, then accommodation near Rundle Mall is the most convenient. The Crowne Plaza Adelaide is a Fringe festival partner and its location places it right in the centre of the festival, close to Rundle Mall and just a short walk to Rymill Park/ Murlawirrapurka. Nearby you’ll find the Ibis Adelaide and Quality Apartments Adelaide Central, plus a number of other hotels that circle the mall. If you prefer peace and quiet after you’ve spent the day and night at the festival, you might want to book something just a little further away from the party.  

Adelaide is bursting with boutique accommodation and luxury city apartments; however, accommodation will be in demand so book as early as you can.  

 

While you’re in Adelaide

If you want to extend your stay and explore a little further, take a look at the incredible regional events happening around South Australia as part of Adelaide Fringe. Music in the Valley is a one-day family music festival (returning after its inaugral last year) at Inman Valley just 20 minutes from Victor Harbour (one hour from Adelaide) on 25 March featuring music and cultural performances. You can camp here or stay in Victor Harbour and take a taxi or Uber in and out.  

The renowned Barossa Valley or McLaren Vale vineyards are each under an hour’s drive from Adelaide and can be explored in a day trip or with a day or two stay. If you have the time,  beautiful Kangaroo Island is only two and a half hours by car and ferry and is worth at least a night or two on the island to explore its beaches, local cafes and renowned nature.  

Virgin Australia has direct daily flights to Adelaide from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and the Gold Coast. 

Written by Cris Cali - Published 23 January 2022
Quick Facts 
Population Approx 1.2 million
Area 870 km2
Time Zone GMT +9.5
Languages English (official)
Currency Australian dollar (AUD)
Electricity 220–240v 50Hz
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