Uni of Adelaide to support major arts events in 2020

The University of Adelaide during the festival season in 2019

The University of Adelaide during the festival season in 2019.

The University of Adelaide’s commitment to the arts in South Australia will strengthen in 2020, with the University continuing its partnership with major arts events the Adelaide Festival, Adelaide Fringe and RCC.

“The University of Adelaide, which was the original home of the Adelaide Festival, has been a leader in the arts in South Australia through education, research and performance for more than 130 years,” says Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Rathjen.

“The University has made a strategic decision to boost its role as part of the ‘beating heart of Adelaide’, with creativity and culture among our key industry engagement priorities.

“This direction is aimed at making the University an active participant in the community, ensuring we contribute to the social and cultural fabric of society, and bringing students and graduates into closer contact with industry leaders,” Professor Rathjen says.

Inga Davis, Chief Executive, External Relations, University of Adelaide, says: “In 2020, we will renew our support of the major Festival and Fringe events, which includes the Adelaide Festival, Adelaide Fringe, and RCC, and we will again be proudly hosting the RCC and Adelaide Festival events on campus.

“This will build upon our long history of fostering the arts, in partnership with the leading cultural institutions in the State, and involving our staff, students, and the community.”

The University’s commitment to the arts in South Australia has been further strengthened by the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra (ASO).

This year, the University entered into a partnership with the Adelaide Festival Centre, which saw masterclasses delivered to Bachelor of Music Theatre students during the Adelaide Cabaret Festival, and will result in the Adelaide Festival Centre hosting the Music Theatre program’s end-of-year production.

And the University of Adelaide is the new home of the South Australian Music (SAM) Awards, with the awards to be presented in Bonython Hall in November.

The University has been working with the Adelaide University Union (AUU) and Student Representative Council (SRC) to ensure a closer working relationship with students in the lead up to and during 2020’s arts festivals. The presidents of both groups are already active participants in the University’s Beating Heart of Adelaide committee, which has oversight of all major events being planned for the University’s campuses.

“As a student organisation we see these initiatives as a fantastic opportunity to complement and grow the already exciting student experience at the University of Adelaide. It will open new pathways for our students, clubs and societies to partner and learn from world-leading festival and arts industry practitioners.”Oscar Ong, Adelaide University Union President
“The success of our partnership with the University on the Beating Heart of Adelaide Committee is reflected in the broad range of arts organisations that complement the diverse interests of students. This is a positive development for students that will strengthen our lively campus culture and provide exciting opportunities by engaging with the broader community.”Ali Amin, Student Representative Council President

Adelaide Festival

The University of Adelaide is pleased to announce its continued partnership with the Adelaide Festival in its 60th year, following great success with this year’s Out of Chaos and Writer’s Week. The University’s Scott Theatre will again be used as a venue for the Adelaide Festival 2020.

The University partnership with the Adelaide Festival provides Creative Arts students with internships, helping to connect them with one of Australia’s most renowned events and providing them with an immersive, behind-the-scenes experience of the arts world.

Adelaide Festival Executive Director Rob Brookman AM says: “In order to take their own place on the world stage, it’s important for local students to have first-hand experience of what it takes to create and successfully run a world-class arts event. The quality of the student interns from the University of Adelaide this year was outstanding, and we are excited about the opportunities the Adelaide Festival 2020 will offer, as students engage with and learn from some of the very best productions in the world.”

This month, the University of Adelaide has awarded honorary degrees to the Adelaide Festival’s Artistic Directors, Neil Armfield AO and Rachel Healy, and to Executive Director Rob Brookman AM, in recognition of their dedication and service to the arts.

Adelaide Fringe

In 2020 – also the 60th year of the Adelaide Fringe – the University’s historic Bonython Hall will become a premier venue for Adelaide Fringe performances.

Adelaide Fringe Director and CEO Heather Croall says: “We welcome our ongoing partnership with the University of Adelaide for 2020, continuing our long-running association with an institution that is a pillar of the arts in South Australia. Earlier this year, the University came alive as a vibrant cultural hub during the summer festival season with a truly brilliant program of Fringe performances. The University is such an active supporter of arts and culture in Adelaide and I can’t wait to see more exciting editions of Fringe shows across the campus in 2020 and beyond.”

RCC 2020

For the first time this year, the University of Adelaide was the host venue for RCC. The fully curated arts event will return to the University as RCC 2020. Internships and casual employment opportunities will again be offered to the University’s students, providing them with valuable first-hand experience of working in the arts.

Ms Davis says: “There is no doubt that RCC was a success in what we hoped it would achieve: drawing an estimated 220,000 people to the University’s beautiful North Terrace campus over the 31 days of the event, among them many who had never set foot on our campus.

“Our iconic University grounds were transformed with a broad spectrum of artistic and cultural endeavour. Thousands of our students, staff and alumni joined many thousands of visitors to experience performances that thrilled and entertained us, made us laugh, made us think, that challenged our perceptions of the world, and challenged our perceptions of how the University interacts with the community.”

The University undertook a review of this year’s event, consulting a wide range of stakeholders including students, staff, alumni and external visitors. Feedback was received from more than 2200 people.

“The enthusiastic response to RCC at the University of Adelaide reinforced our decision to activate and invigorate the campus through events. Our first year with RCC enabled us to learn much that will help to ensure next year’s event will be even better – more exciting and engaging, but also more inclusive,” Ms Davis says.

“This will be possible with the assistance of our students and staff, and with the strong, positive support we have received from members of the broader community.

“We are pleased to again host RCC at the University of Adelaide in 2020,” she says.

RCC 2020 Artistic Director David Sefton says: “RCC’s new home at the University of Adelaide gave us access to new and unique performance spaces that artists and patrons responded to with excitement. We saw a significant jump in attendances to our events, and we were proud of the curated mix of performances, with many of our shows winning critical acclaim and awards. RCC will continue to evolve for 2020, and we look forward to working closely with the University to deliver an equally groundbreaking program for next year.”

“The enthusiastic response to RCC at the University of Adelaide reinforced our decision to activate and invigorate the campus through events.Inga Davis, Chief Executive, External Relations, University of Adelaide

Adelaide Symphony Orchestra (ASO)

The Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and University of Adelaide have signed an agreement to collaborate on an annual music program that aims to enrich the experience of students, staff and members of the community alike.

Joint concerts will be among the highlights of the new partnership, with internships, masterclasses and professional mentoring also being offered for students and staff.

ASO Managing Director Vincent Ciccarello says: “While the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and the University’s Elder Conservatorium of Music have been friends and collaborators for many years, this new agreement will deepen our relationship. Not only will University students and staff benefit from working directly with ASO artists, we will commit to a joint program of performances aimed at bringing the people of South Australia into the very heart of this unique musical connection between the Elder Conservatorium and the ASO.”


Partnership between the Adelaide Festival and the University of Adelaide.

RCC at the University of Adelaide in 2019.

Tagged in Beating Heart of Adelaide, festival, festivals, event, events, Adelaide Fringe, Adelaide Festival, RCC 2019, RCC 2020, RCC Fringe, Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, arts, music