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A dark forested path with people on it is lit up with glowing lights in shades of pink, blue and purple
Photograph: Moment Factory

Illuminate Adelaide is the latest dazzling winter arts festival launching in Australia

Illuminate runs over two weeks and has a big emphasis on technology and its intersection with the arts

Nicola Dowse

Illuminate Adelaide is the new winter arts festival set to light up South Australia's capital city this July. Promising art, light and technology, Illuminate is taking over Adelaide for 17 days with a jam-packed program of more than 150 events, artworks and performances – 41 of which are premiering as part of Illuminate.

Yes, it does feel like every capital city has a new winter festival this year (Melbourne has Rising while Sydney has Sydney Solstice) but Illuminate has a point of difference. At the core of all the Illuminate events and installations is the intersection of the arts with technology, be that with projections, music or performance. Both local and international artists and organisations are on board for Illuminate, including Canadian multimedia studio, Moment Factory, which is igniting Adelaide's Botanic Gardens with Light Cycles; two kilometres of light projections, lasers and audio intended to emphasise the surroundings. 

Other highlights of Illuminate include City Lights (featuring more than 40 large scale projections); Thin Ice (an immersive virtual reality recreation of Ernest Shackleton's Antarctic journey and the effects of climate change); Light Creatures (huge glowing sculptures of the Adelaide Zoo residents, such as giraffes, jellyfish and of course the pandas); Kinara (a curated night of music, culture, Kin and Country created by Illuminate Adelaide, Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institute and Music SA)Light Visions, Dark Intervals (watch as Paul Grabowsky improvises music in response to images from photographer Alex Frayne); and the Avalanches, who are performing Since I Left You alongside Adelaide Symphony Orchestra in addition to playing a DJ set. A new permanent public artwork will be unveiled each year as part of the festival, which this year has been commissioned from South Australian artist Jason Sims. Adelaide will also get its chance to host the blockbuster Van Gogh Alive experience as part of Illuminate (it's previously delighted audiences in Sydney and soon to be Melbourne). 

The festival will take place in the heart of Adelaide, allowing locals and visitors to easily access multiple events consecutively. While some of the program will be available right throughout the festival, Illuminate also features weekend events that aim to entice out-of-towners to visit for 48 hours (similar to how Dark Mofo has operated in the past). 

The full Illuminate Adelaide program will be announced in May.

Meanwhile in Melbourne, a bunch of luxury hotels are giving away a free night of accommodation.

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