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5 of the Best Annual Festivals in Adelaide and Nearby


As well as being one of Australia's most historic cities, Adelaide is also considered the true cosmopolitan hub of the country. Today, the city is home to more than 1.3 million people, locals claiming ancestry from just about every corner of the planet. Unsurprisingly, this eclectic cultural heritage is represented in local life, with no shortage of annual festivals and events that celebrate Adelaide's melting pot identity.

Luxury Escapes in Adelaide - Biggest Festivals and Events

Adelaide has enjoyed a bush schedule of festivals, fairs and annual events since the 1830s. However, it wasn't until the 1960s that this South Australian city would become the beating heart of an internationally renowned arts scene. With dozens of dynamic festivals and live arts events held every year, Adelaide works hard for its UNESCO Creative City designation. It might also be a good idea to stay near Adelaide, so you can enjoy the whole of Adelaide and not just the city. Thinking about luxury escapes near to Adelaide? We've picked five of the best festivals to seek out during your stay.

5. The Royal Adelaide Show

The first-ever Royal Adelaide Show kicked off in 1839. Although the festival changed over a lot over the past two centuries, it still holds true to its origins as an agriculture and horticulture event. Competitors take part in more than 60 different categories, while thousands of entrants flock to Adelaide to take part, every year. Held every September, this must-visit state fair also offers a full-fledged carnival, complete with food stalls, fairground rides and more

4. Adelaide Cabaret Festival

The Adelaide Cabaret Festival is the largest festival of its kind on the planet. Running for two weeks every June, this festival has been a favourite with locals and jazz fans further afield since 2021. In previous years, performers like Olivia Newton-John, Natalie Cole and Idina Menzel have all taken to the stage. If you're thinking about luxury escapes with the other half, the Adelaide Cabaret Festival will deliver some much-needed evening entertainment.

3. South Australian Living Arts Festival

The South Australian Living Arts Festival is a statewide event, so luxury retreats near Adelaide will allow you to enjoy the festival in several towns. However, once you're in the area, many of the activities take place in the capital, making it a must-see. Every year, hundreds of venues open their doors to artists, poets, singers and more for a month-long celebration of the creative arts.

2. WOMADelaide

The World of Music, Arts and Dance (WOMAD) is an international organization that celebrates all disciplines of the performing arts. The WOMAD network was established in 1980 and works with many partner cities. Adelaide has been running its own festival, WOMADelaide, since 1992. Most years, this live arts festival is held in Botanic Park, just north of the city centre. Running for an entire weekend, it's one of the most popular music events in the country and regularly attracts more than 90,000 visitors.

1. Adelaide Fringe

Adelaide Fringe is, without a doubt, the biggest arts celebration in the entire country. In terms of attendance figures and the number of exhibitors, it almost gives the Edinburgh Fringe Festival a run for its money. Kicking off in the middle of February and running for an entire month, this annual event has been a mainstay of South Australia since 1960. This open-access event transforms the city, with hundreds of locations across Adelaide playing host to comedians, dancers, musicians and more.

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