Latest News

Back to Latest News back

 

Festival Centre redevelopment to reconnect Adelaide with Asia

Festival Centre redevelopment to reconnect Adelaide with Asia
May 19, 2015

The recent announcement of funding to upgrade the Adelaide Festival Centre will help to again attract top productions to the venue and enhance the Adelaide’s artistic community’s growing links with Asia.

Speaking at this week’s 2015 Venue Industry Congress, Adelaide Festival Centre Chief Executive and Artistic Director Douglas Gautier (pictured below) highlighted now, the venue, which predates the Sydney Opera House as Australia’s first modern festival and arts venue, would benefit from planned renovations.

With much of the Adelaide Festival Centre’s facilties and technology still in their original 1973 condition, Gautier backed the recently announced improvements, stating “this recognises that arts and entertainment, along with sports at the Adelaide Oval, are the main consumer drivers into this leisure precinct.”

Under the plans, co-ordinated by the South Australian Government’s Riverbank Authority, $90 million has been promised to restore and upgrade the Festival Theatre in the biggest spend on the buildings since they opened.

The upgrade will occur as the Festival Centre’s multi-level plaza undergoes significant change through a $610 million joint venture between the South Australian Government and property developer Lang Walker.

The renovations are included in the redevelopment of the Torrens River embankment, which includes the $610 million Adelaide Oval upgrade, the $2.1 billion build of the new Royal Adelaide Hospital, a $350 million casino redevelopment and the $396 million rebuild of the ­convention centre.

The redevelopment will remove the plaza and sculptures by West German artist Otto Hajek to make way for a two-storey dining and shopping space.

Lang Walker will build a 24-storey office tower, redevelop the plaza and build a 1560-space carpark in the Festival Centre.

With the South Australian Government contribute $180 million to the plan, $90 million has been set aside for the theatre upgrade and $90 million for the plaza works.

Gautier says although the theatres are in good condition and were designed well, they have failed to keep up with technical advances, and some equipment is as old as the buildings.

He explained “the technology in the Centre is quite elderly, particularly in sound systems, lighting systems, stage systems so we need major investment on the technical side.”

The technical upgrade will put the Festival Centre in a much better position to attract international acts to Adelaide, Gautier states, adding “it will help us with bringing in the big musicals in terms of the technical side because some of the big musicals producers have questioned our technical capabilities in the last couple of years and that’s not a good position to be in.

“They need to hear good things about why they should come to Adelaide. Now I think we can say quite confidently that our technical side will be up to spec.”

The redevelopment will reorientate the entrances to the Festival Theatre and Dunstan Playhouse to face the Torrens’ riverbank, capturing foot traffic coming from Adelaide Oval. The upgrade will also improve the Festival Theatre foyer and fix water damage caused by leaks.

About 800,000 people visit the Festival Centre each year, with performances at 80% ­capacity.

Gautier says he is confident these numbers will increase when the theatres are better able to engage people coming from the surrounding areas.

Gautier also sees potential for an upgraded Festival Centre to expand links with Asia, further developing recent initiatives.

In 2013, the Adelaide Festival Centre Trust and the University of South Australia founded the Asia-Pacific Centre for Arts and Cultural Leadership to educate and develop art and cultural managers, at all levels, across the Asia Pacific, tapping into the development of innovatively designed venues and arts centres and the emergence of many dynamic artists, companies and other organisations in the region.

In addition, since 2007, the Adelaide Festival Centre has presented and produced the two-week OzAsia Festival - the premier Australian event contributing to, and engaging with, the cultural landscape of the Asian region.

Commenting on the Festival, Gautier stated “the OzAsia Festival, which has grown each year since the first event in 2007, is the flagship of our cultural engagement program.”

The 2015 OzAsia Festival is being held from 23rd September to 4th October.

14th March 2015  - SA GOVERNMENT BACKS $610 MILLION ADELAIDE FESTIVAL PLAZA UPGRADE

24th July 2013 - LEAKING ADELAIDE FESTIVAL CENTRE ROOF FORCES CONCERT RELOCATION

24th April 2012 - ADELAIDE FESTIVAL CENTRE WANTS TO REVAMP RIVER TORRENS PRECINCT


Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at www.ausleisure.com.au is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

Click here to subscribe.

 

supplier directory

The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.

See the directory see all

Smart Connection Consultancy

Smart Connection Consultancy is a boutique sport and recreation consultancy who has become one of Australia’s leading advocates for the use of synthetic sports surfaces as a vehicle to grow…

read more

Consultants / Recreation / Sport / Surfaces

 
 

SENtag

Developed in Europe, this innovative system offers a safety management solution for swimming pools that checks individual swimmers via their wristband - monitoring their depth and time. Sensors…

read more

Aquatics / Hospitality / Safety / Technology / Waterparks

 
 

VLOCKER

Vlocker Pty Ltd has been designing, manufacturing, installing and servicing locker systems worldwide since 1995. Vlocker specialises in providing locker solutions to suit client requirements in…

read more

Aquatics / Attractions / Safety / Security / Venues

 
 

Worldwide Sports Management

Principal Consultant Simon Weatherill has spent the last 20 years developing the world renowned Melbourne Sports Hub, as former Chief Executive Officer of the State Sports Centres Trust…

read more

Aquatics / Consultants / Recreation / Sport / Venues

 
 
 

The Jump Pad

The Jump Pad is a safe, flat inflatable made in a variety of sizes which can be used indoor or outdoor. From 3mx3m up to a whopping 9mx21m. Markets include Indoor and outdoor playgrounds, schools,…

read more

Attractions / Entertainment / Play

 
 

Aquaspin

AQUASPIN™ - Aqua Cycling Aquaspin™’s sessions have been specially designed by our Master Trainer to be challenging yet fun group cycling sessions. Each session is tailored to…

read more

Aquatics / Fitness / Recreation / Wellness

 
 

GUNNEBO

Gunnebo is a global provider of security and access control solutions and services with sales companies in 31 countries in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, the Americas and Australia.…

read more

Attractions / Entertainment / Security / Ticketing / Venues

 
 
 
 

get listed with our suppliers directory

Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!

list your business