Australia’s newest major winter event, Illuminate Adelaide ended on Sunday, boasting more than 1.2 million attendances across the curated program that celebrates art, light, technology, and music.
Now in its second year, and after an interrupted inaugural event in 2021, the event was embraced by local, national and international audiences. They were dazzled by the month-long program that presented works by over 400 local, interstate, and international artists.
Illuminate Adelaide programmed 29 ticketed events across the season and an impressive 260,000 individual tickets were sold through the Illuminate Adelaide and partner box offices.
Over 40,000 people flocked to the Australian premiere, and Adelaide exclusive, major exhibition Wisdom of AI Light by Istanbul-based visionaries at Ouchhh Studio, an AI driven multisensory experience that put the ‘art’ in artificial intelligence.
The runaway hit of Illuminate Adelaide’s inaugural program, Light Cycles by Canadian multimedia studio, Moment Factory, returned to the Botanic Gardens attracting over 123,000 people. Light Creatures once again invited audiences back to Adelaide Zoo after dark with over 52,000 people attending. Both return seasons were extended in 2022 to keep up with unwavering demand.
Illuminate Adelaide introduced a new zone, Base Camp in Victoria Square. It included Electric Playground, a wonderland of interactive experiences for all, Neon Village, and an ice-skating rink as well as a plethora of food and beverage offerings.
Illuminate Adelaide Co-Founders and Creative Directors Rachael Azzopardi and Lee Cumberlidge said: “The number of people who descended on the city for Illuminate Adelaide has been incredible.
“We are overwhelmed and delighted to have shared this event with so many locals and interstate guests.
“Working with the State Government through the South Australian Tourism Commission, our amazing cultural institutions as well as the hundreds of businesses in the CBD, has been fantastic, a truly successful collaboration.”
Illuminate Adelaide’s music program offered multiple genres of music, including classical, experimental and electronic.
The world’s greatest virtual band, Gorillaz headlined the program, playing a sold-out show to over 8,000 fans and music enthusiasts at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre.
International series, KLASSIK underground also made its Australian debut, transforming the Dom Polski Centre into an immersive concert experience for three breathtaking evenings.
The sold-out Unsound Adelaide program was an international celebration of cutting-edge experimental and electronic music with lighting design, over two nights, and Live at the Lab showcased four weekends of curated local and international performances.
Free outdoor program, City Lights lit up the East, North and West precincts of the CBD each night across two weeks and three weekends at attracted more than 714,000 attendances. Large crowds embraced the cold and were delighted by over 40 installations, events and projections from artists presenting both interactive and mesmerising works.
Rachael Azzopardi and Lee Cumberlidge said: “We urged everyone to throw on a coat and a beanie and celebrate Illuminate Adelaide and we are so delighted that we reached so many people across the program.”
Visitors spilled out into nearby restaurants and bars, with CBD businesses reporting winter trade was the strongest they have ever experienced in winter.
Oliver Brown, Co-Founder/CEO of Big Easy Group said: "Sleepy winters are a thing of the past. Illuminate Adelaide has shown that people are keen to get out in winter. We have multiple venues in the East End and over the past 7 years we have never seen so much activity and trade for a winter's month."
Michael Andrewartha, Director of East End Cellars said: “Illuminate Adelaide is a tremendous event for Adelaide City. The CBD was an exciting and safe place for young people and families to enjoy the event. The demographic was diverse and ranged between 4 years old and 95 years old. It was amazing to see.”
Deputy Premier, Minister Susan Close said: “South Australia has a reputation for putting on world-class arts and cultural events, and this year’s Illuminate Adelaide has further cemented our state’s standing.
“The number of visitors who descended on the city for Illuminate Adelaide has been incredible, helping reinvigorate the CBD and provide an economic boost to hotels, restaurants, cafes and bars across the city.
“Australia’s newest major winter event, Illuminate Adelaide lit up the city’s streets, laneways and architecture in celebration of the union between future technology and the creative industries.
“This year’s Illuminate Adelaide event ticked all the boxes and it’s wonderful to see such strong appetite for our state’s new annual wintertime festival.”
Rachael Azzopardi and Lee Cumberlidge said: “Illuminate Adelaide is also committed to programming and presenting a series of satellite events that explore art, light and technology in our regions.”
There is currently a satellite event in Mount Gambier called Digital Garden in Cave Garden Thugi and then Victor Harbor will be home to Harbor Lights from August 26.
Illuminate Adelaide will return, bigger and brighter in 2023.