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Adelaide Festival announces new ‘pop-up’ entertainment hub

Adelaide Festival announces new ‘pop-up’ entertainment hub
February 18, 2021

Adelaide Festival has announced its new hub - The Summerhouse - which will be home to fifteen headlining contemporary music acts, opera on the big screen, Breakfast with Papers and Festival Forums through the 2021 Adelaide Festival from Thursday 25th February until Sunday 14th March.

Designed to ‘pop up’ on the fall of land between the Adelaide Festival Theatre and Dunstan Playhouse, the demountable lightweight pavilion – based around intersecting circles providing an auditorium and Crescent Bar overlooking the river – will be open from dawn to dusk to midnight.

The Summerhouse program features 40 free and ticketed acts involving more than 130 artists and special guests across 18 days and nights. Transforming its look and feel from an early-morning breakfast sanctuary, to a lively lunchtime centre for debate, a go-to meeting place before a show, to live music hotspot; it is set to become the new beating heart of the Adelaide Festival.

Joint Artistic Director Rachel Healy notes “we wanted to create something very special, a Festival ‘centre’ that will surprise us again and again over the next three years. We are incredibly aware of the eagerness of our community to reconnect with each other, it is a primal human need, especially after a period of prolonged isolation. Whether it’s enjoying d’Arenberg wine, Archie Rose gin or Coopers in the Crescent Bar with the summer evening breeze of the Crescent Bar, watching live music in front of an evening cityscape or being part of the cut and thrust of daytime debate and interviews, the Summerhouse is a place to come together with friends and neighbours, lively musicians, deep thinkers, and artists.”

Joint Artistic Director Neil Armfield added “set amid the beauty of the Torrens and Parklands, it will breathe with light and life and offer a place for pleasure, reflection, and stimulation: there’s truly something for everyone.

“There are so many highlights but shows not to be missed include Hip Hop Finale, four young men at the crest of the current wave of new Indigenous voices shaking up Australian hip-hop culture. We also have X Factor champion Dami Im, The Shaolin Afronauts playing the soundtrack, live, to the movie Mad Max 2, and Melbourne’s The Tarantinos performing a live soundtrack to the film Pulp Fiction.

“We’re excited to have Mo’Ju who will deliver a superb live show and we must also make mention of Paul Grabowsky – former Director of our 2010 and 2012 Festivals – returning to play with his fellow jazz colleagues Vince Jones, and also with jazz ‘supergroup’ Torrio!”

Popular acts Vinyl Destination, Jaguar Jonze, Prince: A Tribute by Late Nite Tuff Guy, San Cisco and the Grabowsky & Jones collaboration are moving fast and will certainly sell out.

Also in the Festival tradition, the club serves as the stimulating, convivial venue for the lunchtime and breakfast activities Festival Forums and Breakfast with Papers: opportunities to reflect on Festival themes, current affairs and life’s bigger questions; with Tom Wright and a panel of informed guests at 8am daily; and with David Marr in unmissable behind-the-scenes lunchtime conversations with visiting artists – both free events.

Not a Festival Club tradition – and very much a sign of the times – the Summerhouse is also venue for the sold-out, big-screen live streaming of major opera A Midsummer Night’s Dream on Sunday 28th February.

For more information on dates and times go to

Related Articles

10th February 2021 - Adelaide Festival Centre’s major performance space to close for up to seven months from mid-July

30th December 2020 - Record-breaking voting sees new stars celebrated on Adelaide Festival Centre’s Walk of Fame

3rd December 2020 - Adelaide Festival Artistic Directors discuss why 36th Adelaide Festival is special

19th November 2020 - South Australian COVID-19 circuit breaker sees Adelaide Festival Centre cancel all performances

20th October 2020 - Adelaide Festival Centre’s OzAsia Talks focus on cultural engagement between Australia and Asia

14th October 2020 - Adelaide Festival Centre reports 77 shows cancelled during Coronavirus shutdown

13th October 2020 - Plan for Adelaide Festival 2021 to be held in outdoor event spaces

12th August 2020 - Adelaide Festival Centre welcomes audiences to newly developed Her Majesty’s Theatre

20th June 2020 - Adelaide Festival Centre trust announces new appointments 

18th March 2020 - Adelaide Festival Centre and Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre announce venue closures

13th October 2019 - Adelaide Festival Centre executive fights back against online ticket scalpers and reseller sites

20th June 2019 - Adelaide Festival secures extra funding in South Australian budget

26th August 2016 - First construction contract awarded for Adelaide Festival Plaza redevelopment

23rd May 2016 - Adelaide Festival Plaza development gets approval

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