LATE NIGHTS AND BRIGHT LIGHTS - WINTER IN SOUTH AUSTRALIA JUST GOT A WHOLE LOT BRIGHTER.
Reignite your curiosity this July as South Australia’s premier winter event, Illuminate Adelaide, transforms the city and its iconic locations into a national beacon. This city-wide spectacle invites you to experience a program of art, light, sound and imagination. Shake off those winter blues with this year’s program of free and ticketed events from local, national and international artists and companies for you to enjoy. Use our glowing guide to navigate the best things to see and do at this year’s festival.
After two sold-out seasons, the team behind the iconic Light Cycles are back with a brighter and bolder experience, now called Resonate. Watch as the Adelaide Botanic Gardens transforms into a lush green canvas for a kaleidoscopic light show. With six new installations suitable for all ages, discover this world-leading technical innovation, nestled in the heart of our city, from 29 June to 30 July. Resonate connects you to the natural world like never before.
2. CITY LIGHTS
City Lights is the centrepiece of Illuminate Adelaide. This festival favourite can’t be found in one location, like an installation, but rather City Lights is exactly as the name suggests – a series of light designs and artworks scattered across the CBD for people to stumble upon. Turning Adelaide’s iconic streets into a night-time playground of colour and sound, this free event features large-scale activations from local and international artists. Experience City Lights by setting off on a stroll of the historic north, east and west precincts of the city. As you meander through laneways and past some of our more iconic street fronts, you will notice the unusual glimmer and glow of a City Lights spectacle. TIP: New to Illuminate Adelaide? The best way to get a first taste of what this festival has to offer is by taking a stroll down North Terrace, checking out some of the City Lights, before retiring to one of quirky city bars for a drop of local vino. City Lights is free for all ages, accessible and running nightly from the 7th of July.
3. LIGHT CREATURES
A nocturnal adventure for the family, Light Creatures is back and wilder than ever. After two sell-out seasons, go behind the gates at Adelaide Zoo after dark and explore new up-close and mesmerising animal statues? Structures? Think you need to separate from the actual live animals including floating jellyfish in the underwater world and the majestic golden Falcon. This ticketed event is sure to be one for the whole family, featuring appearances from the zoo’s own furry and feathery residents.
4. YOTHU YINDI
The music and messages of Yolngu rock pioneers Yothu Yindi revolutionised the Australian music industry. Bursting onto the scene in 1991, Yothu Yindi were determined too normalise black voices and stories being heard in mainstream music. When their single Treaty (co-written with the nine time ARIA award winner and AO Paul Kelly) gained popularity, it simultaneously broke new ground - giving non-indigenous Australia a unique window into the world of remote First Nations communities. The success of this track saw the band win the Human Rights Commission’s Award for both Songwriting and Record of the Year, and Best Australian Single at the ARIA Awards. In a NAIDOC week special, join the ARIA Hall of Fame inductees 30 years on, featuring original and next generation band members as they take the stage at Hindley Street Music Hall.
5. ARCHITECTS OF AIR
In an Australian premier, Architects of Air’s newest instalment – Arborialis – is a calming, sensory-driven wonderland guided by air, sound, light and colour. Featuring a collection of walk-in sculptures, step into an expansive inflatable airlock and navigate your way through the installation or find a nook to sit back and enjoy the ambience of the immersive soundscape. Comparable to walking through a stained-glass window or a futuristic space station, Architects of Air is suitable for all ages and the perfect place to wander, relax and lose yourself.
6. MIRROR MIRROR
Designed to awaken your consciousness, step into a brand-new immersive installation, Mirror Mirror. Through a series of entrancing digital installations and a reimagined hall of mirrors, this multi-room experience offers a unique interaction with everyone who enters. Embark on a journey of your own imagination at this brand-new exhibition located at the Illuminate Pavillion, in Victoria Square.
7. UNSOUND ADELAIDE
From its ground-breaking festival in Krakow, Poland, Unsound returns to Adelaide to celebrate 10 years of the most exciting and arresting sounds heard anywhere in the world. With a special selection of underground DJs and electronic artists from around the globe taking to the stage at both the Polski Centre and Hindley Street Music Hall, you can’t unlearn what you discover at Unsound. Opening night will feature an unmissable performance by Ukraine artist Heinali – who garnered global media attention when he live streamed his concert from a bomb shelter, right in the midst of the Russian invasion. Heinali (real name Oleh Shpudeiko) went on to pen a love letter to his embattled home country with the album Kyiv Eternal – released in March and dubbed “a ravishing audioscape of the Ukrainian capital” by none-other than The New York Times. Reflecting on the creation of his mid-war masterpiece, Shpudeiko describes it as “a farewell to my (and our) past, a place in time and space to which there is no return, which will exist only in our memory”. Join Unsound for an unforgettable weekend of music and unlike Cinderella – when the clock strikes midnight – continue the buzz and your all night rave with Unsound Club.
Fresh off the release of their 2022 album Inside Out, English electronic artist Tourist is bringing their signature dreamy electronica to Illuminate Adelaide. The moniker of William Phillips, Tourist famously co-wrote Sam Smith’s Stay With Me - that won an Grammy Award in 2015 for Song Of The Year. Phillips has since collaborated with some of the biggest names in global music such as The Weeknd, Wolf Alice and Chvrches. With an unforgettable stage presence,that incorporates digital elements and live visuals, don’t miss this awe-inspiring performance at Hindley Street Music Hall on July 29 .
9. ONEOHTRIX POINT NEVER
Also on the Unsound line-up is musician, composer and producer Oneohtrix Point Never, AKA Daniel Lopatin. Known for his mesmerising tunes that blend orchestral tones with new-age electronic sounds, Lopatin has produced for the likes of The Weeknd, Soccer Mommy and composing film scores for Uncut Gems (2018) and Good Time (2017). This triple threat Brit is bringing his critically-acclaimed work to Hindley Street Music Hall for one night only.
10. KLASSIK UNDERGROUND
Bending the rules of classical performance, Klassik Underground is a concert series that will shatter expectations. With an inspiring line up across Friday and Saturday night, get your tickets to see acts like world-renowned Gewandhaus Orchestra, Béla Bartók, John Cage, Sofia Gubaidulina, Igor Stravinsky and more. Blurring the lines between visual art, classical sounds and alternative spaces, this two-night stand promises to engage music with the senses in a whole new way.
The FUN DOESN'T STOP HERE...
Warm up your events calendar with more things to see and do in South Australia this winter. Check out what's on in South Australia or plan ahead with our year round South Australian Festivals and Events Calendar to discover more.