Pop-up outdoor event space planned for Adelaide Festival

A new pop-up Festival Club is being planned for next year’s Adelaide Festival as a solution to the challenges of hosting an event under Covid-19 restrictions.

Co-artistic director Rachel Healy told InDaily the new space “will be distinctive and it will have its own personality”.

“We’re obviously conscious of the incredible legacy of festival clubs that the Festival has run and so our aim is not to repeat ourselves but to create something that has its own unique character,” she said.

The open-air venue by the River Torrens will have a capacity for up to more than 1400, but is likely to operate with only half this number under current Covid-19 restrictions.

“The health authorities told us very, very early that outdoor activities were preferred,” she told InDaily.

“We put our heads together and thought, ‘Well, if we’re going to create something, we do it in 2021 because we can be responsive to the new world we find ourselves in, but also it can be done in such a way that it can also be a club for us in ’22 and ’23.”

Healy also said the recent Darwin Festival was an inspiration for the team.

“It was such a reminder of how eager people are to reconnect; I think that’s a real primal, human desire, especially after a period of such prolonged isolation,” she told InDaily.

“It was just so obvious in Darwin that there is, particularly in the summer months, a huge desire to come together with our community and to celebrate those last beautiful months of summer and enjoy music and the work of artists from our community.”

The plans are being considered by the Adelaide City Council.