DreamBIG Children’s Festival opens to the beat of more than 3000 feet across Adelaide Riverbank Footbridge

Posted by Adelaide Festival Centre on Thursday 18 May 2017

Around 1700 excited South Australian school children from 23 schools will parade across the Adelaide Riverbank Footbridge today to kick start the 2017 DreamBIG Children’s Festival, which runs until 27 May with a huge selection of performances, workshops, exhibitions, activities and much more for kids of all ages.

Opening festivities begin at 11am with an official welcome to the crowd by Christies Beach High School students Holly Frith and Emily Ferry before all students sing the original song, ‘Dream Big’, written by local musician Robyn Habel to celebrate DreamBIG Children’s Festival’s re-naming from Come Out Children’s Festival.

The theme of this year’s festival is Feed the Mind and this is reflected through the images on 15 huge parachutes that have been decorated by students from 15 regional schools, and will form a colourful canopy which the children will parade under as they walk across the bridge. The parachutes will be held up by 80 retiring South Australian teachers.

The Big Family Weekend is a cornerstone event of DreamBIG Children’s Festival. Saturday and Sunday (May 20-21) will see Adelaide Festival Centre and various inner-city locations along North Terrace transformed into a child’s wonderland of adventure and discovery.

This year it takes the shape of art trails of creativity at many iconic venues and public spaces such as the State Library, Art Gallery of SA, South Australian Museum, Mercury Cinema, Migration Museum, Ayers House Museum, Freemason’s Hall, Carclew and Tandanya. On offer are performances, workshops, activities, food, and exhibitions. A free map will be available at all venues detailing various age appropriate arts trails (ages 0-4, 5-8, 9-11, 12+, and all ages). The map is also downloadable at www.dreambigfestival.com.au.

The Big Family Weekend will see trees on North Terrace wrapped in coloured fabric creating the “DreamBIG forest”. There will be Dig a Dino outside the museum (where kids can dig up dinosaur bones in a ball pit), mud play activities, Silent Disco walking tours, outdoor circus workshops, tours of Government House (Sunday only), roving entertainment and much more! Two stages (Elder Hall stage and King William Rd stage) will have free entertainment all day from 11am-3pm. Highlights include drumming from Heathfield High School Renegades, classical Indian dance with Shruthi Adelaide, ballet with Les Petits Danseurs, swing with Swing Out Adelaide, Bollywood from Fusion Beats, and hip hop from the Indigenous Hip Hop Project.

The festival’s creative producer Susannah Sweeney says, “After a wonderful 2015 festival, our dreams for the next continuing chapter of DreamBIG Children’s Festival are soon to be underway. We can’t wait to see how schools and families experience the funny, creative, inspirational and challenging program we’ve put together which showcases the undeniable role the arts plays in creating empathetic, curious and confident kids.’’

Key points

  • DreamBIG Children's Festival (formerly Come Out Children’s Festival) is bi-annual and proudly presented and managed by Adelaide Festival Centre. The new name was suggested by Clementine Struthers, a year three student at Prospect North Primary School, who won a state wide competition to rename the iconic festival
  • DreamBIG Children’s Festival has two program streams – one for schools only and one for the general public
  • There are more than 270 school shows and 126 general public shows, including 20 South Australian premieres, four Australian premieres and nine world premiere events
  • Several performances have already sold out, including adventure game In a Deep Dark Forest, chilling ghost tale Grave Child, interactive performance installation Rain, and the school shows of Mr Stink, The Listies 6D, McNirt Hates Dirt,  Gone Viral and The Lion Who Wanted to Love
  • 25,000 bookings have been made for this year’s festival
  • 20,000 people expected to attend the Big Family Weekend (20/21 May)
  • 179 schools have booked events: an increase of 30 schools over 2015
  • Over 210 schools are participating
  • 55% of schools attending are disadvantaged
  • Approx 2500 school students will be attending each day
  • On the Opening Day there will be over 50 schools attending events in the city of Adelaide
  • 70% of events are free, 30% are paid
  • 33 Regional Schools will be attending in Adelaide, including all of Leigh Creek and Hawker Area Schools
  • DreamBIG Children’s Festival events are happening in 9 regional locations

Just some of the ways for children and families to DreamBIG during the festival are…

  • Getting their groove on with dancing game Touch & Go by Sally Chance Dance (18-21 May, Age 2)
  • Tackling the tough childhood issues of loss of a parent and cyber bullying with the Australian premiere of award-winning play Gone Viral by Free Range Theatrix (20-21 May, Ages 12+) and E Bully by True North Youth Theatre Ensemble (19 & 20 May, Ages 10-17)
  • Experiencing a theatre production in an actual house in Adelaide’s southern suburbs with Losing Faith in Unicorns (20 May, Ages 12-16)
  • Channel their inner Scorsese by making their own movie care of a helmet mounted GoPro in every performance with The Listies 6D (20-21 May, Ages 5-12) and experience the world’s best short films made by children at the Adelaide International Youth Film Festival (20 May, All Ages 2+)
  • Donning their headphones and mobile phone to become a character alongside The Flesh Beasts and the Slaterfaces in Into the Jungle, by Side Pony Productions (20-21 May, Ages 8+)
  • Getting a magnificently muddy start into recycling with McNirt Hates Dirt, presented in an earth-inspired tent in the Adelaide Botanic Gardens (20-21 May, Ages 3-6)
  • Envisioning the idea of Adelaide becoming its own country with The Children’s Republic of Adelaide (18 May, All Ages) and creating a brand new world made entirely of paper with Paper Planet (20-21 May, All Ages)
  • Seeing our country through the eyes of our Indigenous child predecessors in Hart (22 May, Ages 12+)
  • Getting a new view into the fast-paced sport of parkour with Jump First, Ask Later (27 May, Ages 8+)
  • Exploring the extreme power of the human body and how it assists us to connect with one another with Tetris (27 May, Ages 5-12)

Adelaide Festival Centre CEO and Artistic Director Douglas Gautier says: ’’The next 10 days are significant: for the thousands of South Australian school children and their families who will attend DreamBIG Children’s Festival, many for the first time; and for the Adelaide Festival Centre, as we continue to develop the event which for decades has been a “must do” on school calendars. The opportunity to participate in and experience the arts is one that should be open to every child - a notion with which we are certain Roald Dahl, Tim Minchin, and a young girl named Matilda would agree.”

Minister for the Arts, Jack Snelling says, “Today’s school children are South Australia’s future leaders, and who can predict what ideas, possibilities and opportunities may be ignited in their minds as a result of their attendance and involvement in the arts. With a program and opening weekend showcasing many of the state’s premier performing artists and the best of our city’s artistic and cultural heritage, there’s something to feed the mind around every corner and I encourage all families to take part.’’

Full details for the program can be found on our website dreambigfestival.com.au

Get social with us at #DreamBIGfest @DreamBIGfest or facebook.com/DreamBIGChildrensFestival

DreamBIG Children’s Festival is produced and presented by Adelaide Festival Centre and is proudly supported by the Government of South Australia through Arts SA and the Department for Education and Child Development.

Special thanks to festival partners City of Adelaide, Adelaide Metro, Bakers Delight, Emali ELC, The Advertiser Foundation, Crayola, James & Diana Ramsey Foundation, Wilson Parking, RAA, Golden North, Bank SA and Macquarie.

Thanks also to regional touring partners Country Arts SA, and program partners Australian Government/Australia Council, Playing Australia and Adelaide Symphony Orchestra. Media partners ABC Radio Adelaide, Channel Seven and The Advertiser.

Media can access images and biographies for all artists via the Media Zone: dreambigfestival.com.au/media/  

Username: dreambig and Password: media2016

Genevieve Meegan 08 8216 8515/ 0414 558 078 genevieve.meegan@adelaidefestivalcentre.com.au
Sophie Gardner 08 8216 8796 / 0402 593 672 sophie.gardner@adelaidefestivalcentre.com.au
Clare Axford 08 8216 8507 / 0414 794 400 clare.axford@adelaidefestivalcentre.com.au