Around ten thousand people turned out today to explore the corridors, stages, dressing rooms, workshops and rehearsal rooms, and new Walk of Fame at Adelaide Festival Centre’s 2018 Open Day.
Last held in 2004, organisers attribute today’s success to keen public interest in South Australia’s creative hub and its recently redeveloped Festival Theatre and northern promenade, restaurants, and Adelaide’s new Walk of Fame. The day’s full program included the ever-popular Silver Jubilee Organ, backstage dressing rooms Star Alley, family workshops, technical demonstrations, live broadcasts, and opportunities to get on the main stage. Adelaide Festival Centre’s great home companies brought the day to life with performances of opera, ballet, theatre, and music.
Adelaide Festival Centre CEO & Artistic Director, Douglas Gautier AM, says, ‘’Thank you to everyone who came today to discover what goes on behind the scenes. Adelaide Festival Centre belongs to the people of South Australia and today marks the return of this important building to the public.
“Open Day 2018 celebrates the first stage of Adelaide Festival Centre’s redevelopment. There’s still plenty to do, but it’s a good moment to acknowledge the efforts of the hundreds of people who have been involved in our redevelopment and the hundreds of thousands of patrons who support us.
“Thanks also to our dedicated staff who made sure the day ran smoothly and shared their expertise and passion to showcase a side of the Festival Centre that the public does not normally see. As always Adelaide Festival Centre is where great performers and audiences come together.’’
A Kaurna Smoking Ceremony led by Jamie Goldsmith & Taikurtinna opened proceedings at 10am with traditional dancers on a sand circle in Elder Park. The dancers led a ceremonial procession to the Festival Theatre entrance for a Welcome to Country by Uncle Lewis O’Brien, and addresses by Premier and Minister for the Arts Jay Weatherill, Douglas Gautier, and Adelaide Festival Centre Trust Chair Michael Abbott AO QC.
A self-guided trail led patrons through the Festival Theatre, Dunstan Playhouse and Space Theatre, exploring the backstage and technical areas, workshops and rehearsal areas, and also offered the opportunity to stand on the stages which have been graced by thousands of stars since 1973. Roving performers kept crowds entertained and a highlight for young visitors was the chance to meet Dorothy, Scarecrow, Tin Man and Cowardly Lion from the upcoming production of The Wizard of Oz (1 – 29 April), and characters from Windmill Theatre Company’s Grug and the Rainbow (10 – 22 April).