Floods of Fire

Floods of Fire, a festival-within-a-festival marked the final weekend of the 2024 Adelaide Festival.

Floods of fire - barr smith

Conceived and directed by international theatre maker Airan Berg, Floods of Fire was commissioned and led by the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and presented in partnership with the Adelaide Festival, the University of Adelaide in celebration of its 150th anniversary, and over 100 South Australian partner organisations.

This special community event was dedicated to showcasing the creativity and stories of South Australians and providing a platform for addressing climate change while celebrating the rich cultural diversity of our community.

Floods of Fire connected South Australia’s diverse cultural narratives of creation to our natural world and extreme weather events and was one of the largest collaborations in the history of South Australia, involving citizens, visitors, artists, scientists, communities, and partner organisations. The weekend consisted of three distinct events: two entirely free events on Saturday, March 16th at the University of Adelaide, and a ticketed event on Sunday, March 17th at the Adelaide Festival Centre.

University of Adelaide Deputy Vice-Chancellor (External Engagement), Professor Jessica Gallagher said: "As we celebrate the University's 150th anniversary, hosting Floods of Fire on our grounds feels incredibly symbolic. The Elder Conservatorium, our heart of music education, is one of the oldest in Australia, having established its roots in South Australia in 1898. Today, its curriculum is a vibrant tapestry that includes Western classical, jazz, sonic art, and an exceptional Indigenous and First Nations music program."

Floods of Fire brings together our staff and students, not just from the Elder Conservatorium but also the University’s Environment Institute, who will find their collective voice at the intersection of art and science, to confront one of the most significant challenges we all face today: climate change.Professor Jessica Gallagher
Floods of Fire - Oysters

Our Voices, Our Dreams was an explosion of music, stories, and art from a diverse array of the community including citizens, cultural leaders, artists, scientists, researchers, activists, and artivists. Audiences were encouraged to roam freely across the 10 North Terrace campus locations, and to immerse themselves in songs, theatre, dance, creative writing, storytelling, workshops, and artistic surprises.The University of Adelaide contributed seven pieces in total showcasing the talents of the Elder Conservatorium students and alumni across diverse range of study areas, whom worked alongside UoA

Later that evening, the Maths Lawns was transformed into a community square where Our Citizens’ Orchestra returned after their debut performance opening the 2023 Adelaide Festival. This intercultural, intergenerational orchestra and chorus featured a myriad of professional musicians, individuals without any prior musical experience, and everyone in between, including those who simply love to sing. The more than 600 participants collaborated with Music Directors Tim Steiner (UK) and Ricardo Baptista (Portugal), as well as members of the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and local musicians, to craft music and songs that resonate with South Australian experiences and reflect our climate reality.

Floods of Fire

Capping off Floods of Fire with Our Celebration in the Festival Theatre, the award-winning electronic music duo Electric Fields and the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra concluded the 2024 Adelaide Festival showcasing collaborations between South Australian composers, musicians, and the ASO, including the world premiere of the Floods of Fire Symphony and a newly commissioned song by Electric Fields specifically for this occasion.


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