Your ultimate guide to Adelaide's festival season

Head to South Australia, the Festival State, and check out our guide to the top Adelaide festivals and events. From culinary events and comedy acts to music concerts, storytelling and arts festivals, Adelaide is the place to go for year-round festival fun.

South Australia is known as the Festival State, and Adelaide is the epicentre of festival fun. Whether you're vibing to the beats at a music festival, feasting on culinary treats from around the world or ogling cutting-edge creations at an arts festival, Adelaide is your South Australian hotspot for cultural events. Get ready to giggle, dance, sing and soak up the sweet vibes with our ultimate guide to Adelaide’s best festivals!

Laneway Festival

Early February

Image: St. Jerome's Laneway Festival | South Australian Tourism Commission

Laneway Festival, the iconic Melbourne music festival, has taken its show on the road and landed in Adelaide, bringing its magic nationwide. Now it’s one of the top Adelaide music festivals. But this vibrant summer festival isn't just about the music. Expect pop-up stalls with Insta-worthy treats, hot bars and an electric atmosphere. From indie legends to emerging artists, Laneway in Adelaide is your ticket to an unforgettable experience.

Why you should go: Sweet tunes and incredible food – that’s Laneway in a nutshell.

Adelaide Fringe Festival

February - March (4 weeks)

Image: Blunderland - Adelaide Fringe Festival | South Australian Tourism Commission

Adelaide Fringe takes over Adelaide with a passion every February and March. This open-access festival – meaning anyone and everyone can put on an act at Fringe – is a darling of art, music, comedy, dance, theatre, circus and more. You’ll be laughing, giggling, dancing and having the time of your life. Everyone is welcome here, making this also one of the top LGBTQIA+ festivals in Australia.

Why you should go: It runs for 31 amazing Fringey days, so you’ve got plenty of time to figure out what you’re going to see.

Adelaide Festival


Vying for your attention at the same time as Fringe is Adelaide Festival. Held at various city venues, including the Adelaide Festival Center and Elder Park, it’s the older, more serious sibling of Fringe with diverse cultural offerings and though-provoking performances by world-renowned artists. From writer talks, music and dance acts, theatrical performances and art exhibitions, you’re sure to find something to love here. Elevate your Adelaide adventure with a touch of class and a jam-packed agenda of entertainment!

Why you should go: You’ll be surprised with actually how much you’ll enjoy yourself, despite all the highbrow acts.

Adelaide Writers' Week


Part of the Adelaide Festival, Adelaide Writers’ Week is a celebration of literature, culture, intellect and ideas. Listen to some of the world’s most enlightened minds debate issues, talk politics or weave a tale about life and love. If you're passionate about words and enjoy pushing your limits, this festival is tailor-made for you.

Why you should go: Books and the written word can transport us to other worlds, and this is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate them. 



Image: WOMADelaide | Jack Fenby

The big daddy of Adelaide’s festivals, WOMADelaide is a festival worth traveling interstate to attend. This four-day festival features music, art and dance from across the world in the stunning Adelaide Botanic Park – it’s an event you’ll never forget. Best of all, it’s a great Adelaide family festival.

Why you should go: Lip-smacking good food, shopping arts and crafts and live music - it's got it all. Buy your tickets here.

Tasting Australia


Image: Tasting Australia | South Australian Tourism Commission

Tasting Australia is one of the top cultural festivals in Australia. Get ready for the culinary adventure of a lifetime - 10 incredible days packed with mouthwatering delights, exquisite wines, expert masterclasses, interactive cooking demonstrations and a bounty of top-notch produce for you to take home. Tasting Australia, we can't wait!

Why you should go: Because there are free events, too! Food and wine festivals get a bad rap for being exclusive and expensive, but at Tasting Australia, there’s something for all budgets.

Adelaide Cabaret Festival


Let the festival vibes begin with the Adelaide Cabaret Festival. Held at the Adelaide Festival Centre, this exciting celebration of cabaret arts features local and Aussie talents that'll have you singing along, too. This fest steals the spotlight in the city's cultural lineup, serving up an entertaining fusion of music, arts and theatrical magic.

Why you should go: It’s the biggest cabaret festival in the world!

Illuminate Adelaide


Image: Illuminate Adelaide 2021 | South Australian Tourism Commission

Throughout July, Illuminate Adelaide transforms the city into a playground of art, music, technology and innovation from across Australia and beyond. Shake off the winter blues as this favourite cold-weather festival transforms iconic Adelaide venues into a dazzling spectacle. With free and ticketed events by local, national and international artists, it's an open invitation for everyone to stay up late and celebrate.

Why you should go: You can brighten up those dark winter days.

Adelaide Guitar Festival


For lovers of strings and melody, the Adelaide Guitar Festival takes center stage. Whether it's the soulful tunes or the mastery of guitarists from around the world, this favourite music festival adds another layer to Adelaide's rich cultural tapestry.

Why you should go: The festival includes the Adelaide International Classical Guitar Competition and performances by the Adelaide Guitar Festival Orchestra.

Adelaide Film Festival


Get ready for some serious movie magic at the Adelaide Film Festival – the ultimate gathering for film buffs from around the world. It's not just about movies; it's a stage where storytellers let loose. From documentaries to international features and cutting-edge arthouse films, the lineup of films here offers something for everyone. If you're into epic stories on the big screen, mark your calendar and grab your popcorn.

Why you should go: It’s one of the top film festivals in Australia and brings together cinephiles of all stripes.

OzAsia Festival

October - November

Get ready to dive into OzAsia Festival at the Adelaide Festival Centre – celebrating the diverse cultures of the Asia-Pacific region. Happening every spring for three jam-packed weeks, OzAsia Festival is the ultimate showcase of theatre, dance, music, visual arts, lit scenes and a culinary adventure straight from Asia - artists from Japan, Korea, China, Cambodia and more are represented here.

Why you should go: It’s Australia’s top Asian contemporary arts festival.

Where to stay in this festival madness?

YHA Adelaide Central will be your festival hub in Adelaide. Centrally located in the heart of this festival city, this bright and spacious hostel will take care of you from start to end.

Updated by: K. Hastings

Read next: 11 free (and almost free) things to do in Adelaide


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