100,000 attendances at DreamBIG Children’s Festival 2021

South Australian schools and families have once again embraced DreamBIG Children’s Festival 2021 with more than 100,000 attendances across an assortment of arts experiences for children of all ages – along with their schools and families.

The biennial festival ran from May 19 to 29 and featured more than 80 free and paid events across the
schools and families programs including 11 world premieres, three Australian premieres and 13 Adelaide
premieres. Festival organisers are thrilled with the response from audiences, with the programs boasting more than 100 sold-out performances for around 20 shows and events such as First Nations cultural experience Spirit, spectacular theatre work ZOOOM and beatboxing fun with Dr AudiYO’s Giant Adventure.

With a theme of ‘Be Curious’, DreamBIG 2021 had it all – from thrilling stage productions and spectacularart exhibitions to roving performers and engaging, hands-on activities for children to explore.
Proudly presented by Adelaide Festival Centre and formerly known as Come Out Festival, DreamBIG is
the longest-running children’s festival in the world.

DreamBIG Children’s Festival Creative Producer Susannah Sweeney:

“We are so grateful to all of the families and schools who came out and showed their support for DreamBIG Children’s Festival. I also owe a huge thank you to the staff and volunteers who make this wonderful festival possible. Our hard work has really paid off to see so many smiles on young people’s faces as they’ve come through Adelaide Festival Centre and other participating venues over the past couple of weeks.”

Milestones achieved this year included DreamBIG’s first-ever concerts in the Festival Theatre, which hosted performances by ARIA award-winning children’s band Teeny Tiny Stevies along with various local youth arts groups for Big Family Weekend Concert and the Tutti Arts Choir plus a special guestinternational cabaret star Hans, for Big Tutti Singalong.

An Opening Event for local schools featured 17-year-old actress Shantae Barnes-Cowan as guest speaker,
along with a sing-a-long rendition of David Bowie’s Space Oddity led by Adelaide’s own Mighty Choir of
Small Voices (thanks to Primary Schools Music Festival) before a special appearance from singersongwriter and Australia’s Got Talent finalist Mitch Tambo, who was accompanied by dancers from Adelaide High School.

The ever-popular Big Family Weekend attracted more than 30,000 attendances across the two-day event, which in 2021 included Fork on the Road in Elder Park and more than 30 free events at Adelaide Festival Centre and other venues across the city.

DreamBIG even headed to the suburbs, bringing youth theatre to the Marion Cultural Centre and visual
art by local primary school students to Prospect’s Newmarch Gallery. Regional events included a pop-up
music performance in Port Augusta and an art exhibition in Lobethal, while still to come is Magic Beach at Port Lincoln’s Nautilus Theatre tonight and tomorrow.

The festival offered an inspiring excursion for more than 150 schools, including 75 experiencing
disadvantage and 25 travelling from regional South Australia to attend. Schools made up around 22,000
of more than 30,000 event bookings for the festival.

South Australian Education Minister John Gardner;

“DreamBIG Children’s Festival has once again provided a wealth of opportunities for South Australian school students to develop their creativity and gain a greater appreciation of the arts and all it has to offer. The Government is proud to support this year’s festival, and I look forward to seeing what it has in store for us at the next DreamBIG in 2023.”

Throughout the 11-day festival, attendees enjoyed roving performers and free art exhibitions at Adelaide
Festival Centre such as Finding Robyn, a collection of maquettes curated by cabaret superstar Robyn
Archer, and Creating a Mural, a collaboration between First Nations artist Elizabeth Close and students
from Elizabeth Park Primary School.

And of course, who could forget the fabulous range of ticketed performances on offer to children of all
ages – from Our Corka Bubs and Touch & Go for toddlers through to Mental and Everything They Ever
Said With Fingers Crossed Behind Their Backs for teenagers.

Headliners Magic Beach and Wolfgang’s Magical Musical Circus were well received by schools and familyaudiences alike, while immersive theatre experiences like The Narrator and Still Point of a Turning World demonstrated the power of creativity and a sense of adventure.

DreamBIG 2021 even boasted an international act – Tröll by New Zealand’s Trick of the Light Theatre –
while local arts organisations presenting work included Patch Theatre with ZOOOM and Windmill Theatre Company with Creation Creation.

Adelaide Festival Centre CEO & Artistic Director Douglas Gautier;

“We are all overjoyed to have deliveredthe first full-scale festival at Adelaide Festival Centre since 2019. The reception from our audiences hasbeen amazing, and we were very fortunate with fantastic weather over the Big Family Weekend. It wasgreat to see so many families enjoying some of Australia’s best arts experiences for children in our venuesalong with the wonderful outdoor activities we had along the riverbank precinct.”

Session Details

Venue: Adelaide Festival Centre’s
Date: May 19 to 29
For more information HERE

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