The Summerhouse – a brand new home and hub for Adelaide Festival!

Adelaide Festival continues the legacy of unique Festival clubs with the announcement of 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 25 February until Sunday 14 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 early morning breakfast sanctuary, to 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 said: “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 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 said:

Set amidst 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 28 February.


Where: Adelaide Festival Centre Amphitheatre, enter from Elder Park
When: Thu 25 Feb – Sun 14 March, 2021
For dates/times: www.adelaidefestival.com.au/whats-on

Book at adelaidefestival.com.au or BASS 131 246.

Peter J Snee

Peter is a British born creative, working in the live entertainment industry. He holds an honours degree in Performing Arts and has over 12 years combined work experience in producing, directing and managing artistic programs & events. Peter has traversed the UK, Europe and Australia pursuing his interest in theatre. He is inspired by great stories and passionately driven by pursuing opportunities to tell them.

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