A celebration of innovation, music, art, light and technology, Adelaide’s winter music and arts festival, Illuminate Adelaide, returns from 1 – 31 July 2022.
Australia’s pretty bloody cool when it comes to the world of the performing arts. Pick a night, you can catch a killer gig at a local pub, a free gallery show, or even a festival with a bit of everything.
Adelaide is following Melbourne and Sydney’s suit; their nightlife is quickly becoming one of the country’s best. This is seen with the Illuminate Adelaide festival, an experience that’s set to light up the city of churches. We got a deeper look at the highlights of the 2022 lineup at an Illuminate Adelaide event with co-directors Rachael Azzopardi and Lee Cumberlidge.
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It’s set to be a massive show bringing together innovation, music, art, light and technology, and showing how they work almost effortlessly together.
Headlining the event are the legendary Damon Albarn fronted group Gorillaz, now 24 years into their illustrious career. They will be hitting Aussie stages after their 2020 release, Song Machine, Season One: Strange Timez.
The group aren’t strangers to the world of tech, their show pushing the boundaries over the career and shows across the globe. They will be bringing their unique technologically sophisticated stage show to Adelaide, and for a festival all about innovation, Rachael and Lee note that there is “no better example than bringing music and technology together than Gorillaz”, making them the perfect choice to head the lineup.
The programme will also feature what the Illuminate Adelaide directors are calling an “amazing collaboration,” which should be reason enough to head to this show. It’s a phenomenal collaboration between Mindy Meg Wang and Tim Shiel, with Mindy’s masterful work melding effortlessly with Tim’s stunning soundscapes.
Both performers being staples of the Aussie music scene, Meg Wang playing with groups like Regurgitator on a number of shows across the country, and Tim Shiel being a mainstay on the radio circuit, and dazzling fans across the globe with his unique electronic stylings. The pair recently worked together on a 2021 release, Nervous Energy – 触即发.
Continuing on the music focus, another massive addition to the lineup comes with the legendary electronic duo The Avalanches. Illuminate note the pair “will be featuring their seminal 2000 release, Since I Left You.
This comes after their postponed 2021 show, where they were featured as the “2021 artists in residence” for Illuminate Adelaide. To top off this already amazing show, the directors announced the pair will be backed up by “the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra”. This performance is bound to be a highlight of Illuminate in 2022, with fans blown away by the perfect match between the ASO and the music of The Avalanches. Please note, due to being postponed, this event is due to go ahead prior to the festival dates, on Wednesday, May 18.
Another killer musical adjacent show comes with an event called KLASSIK underground. The iconic Dom Polski Centre in Adelaide will be transformed to a classical musical extravaganza. It’s set to amalgamate the world of classical music and art pieces from modern Australian visual artists.
The visuals will come from renowned artists like Capital Waste, Robin Fox and Margie Meldin, and music from Aussie Violinist, Talia Petrosian. This event is set to hit Adelaide stages from Friday, July 15.
Illuminate did take place back in 2021 but was quickly impacted by COVID lockdowns and other restrictions. But one event that was able to go off without a hitch was called Light Creatures. As the name suggests, it involved Adelaide Zoo being Illuminated with a number of beautiful animal designs, perfect for people of all ages, and one of Illuminate’s many events for the whole family to enjoy.
The Illuminate team informed us that Light Creatures was one of 2021’s most successful events, with audiences “begging” the directors “to bring it back.” It’ll be returning to the Adelaide Zoo from Thursday, July 7, and it’s set to be better than ever.
On the theatre spectrum, Illuminate Adelaide allows for some original shows that maybe haven’t the opportunity to grace stages anywhere else in the world.
One of the coolest shows to hit the Illuminate Adelaide stage is one called We Will Slam You With Our Wings. This interesting visual arts event includes seven screens, each displaying a young woman in a way that is usually synonymous with men. It’s set to be a clearly powerful show that’ll start many conversations. The directors have noted it is a “very powerful take on misogynist speeches”.
This is only the tip of the iceberg. Lee and Rachael note that the lineup is stacked with people that “they love working with”, so you know there’ll be no sour note in the bunch, and everything listed will be perfect to go and immerse yourself in.
Illuminate Adelaide is happening from July 1 – July 31, 2022. Head to the festival website for the full program.