They call March in Adelaide ‘mad’, but don’t be deterred: this is the time to go. Besides the amazing weather, literally everything good – culturally speaking – happens at once.
Adelaide Festival (March 2-18)
If you like your art epic and Eurocentric, you need to book tickets asap for Neil Armfield and Rachel Healey’s 2018 program. Last year, Barrie Kosky’s opera Saul had sold out by December 6. This year’s headliner, Armfield’s production of Brett Dean’s opera Hamlet, seems likely to follow suit.
Adelaide Fringe (Feb 16-Mar 18)
In Australia, this is the one Fringe to rule them all: it’s massive, it’s high quality, and it brings the best Fringe theatre, cabaret and circus from around the world. The result is a buzz on the streets that’s both irrepressible and irresistible. Head to the Garden of Unearthly Delights precinct for a bite to eat and a drink, then take a punt on a show based on whichever spruiker you like best. You will not be disappointed.
Adelaide Writers Week (Mar 3-8)
It’s not only Australia’s oldest writers’ festival, it’s also now our largest free literary festival. Add the picturesque location on the banks of the River Torrens, and a line-up that in 2017 hosted heavy-hitters like American feminist Lindy West, political writer Thomas Frank and novelist Jane Smiley, and you gotta wish Sydney did it like this.
WOMADelaide (Mar 9-12)
As festivals proliferate, this remains one of the few offerings that’s both top flight and diverse, with white male acts a miraculous minority. The line-up is only part of Womad’s success, however – and you don’t need to enjoy world music to have a good time. The real X factor is the vibe: thoroughly chilled out and friendly – about what you’d expect for a festival where under-12s get in free.