Top ten springtime festivities in Adelaide: Live music, fried chicken, lederhosen, drag queens and more

 Adelaide’s Mad March season is being fast replaced by the state’s spring festivities (Image source: Handpicked Festival)

By Nikita Skuse | @nikita_skuse

The festival state is living up to its name this season, offering up an array of festivals around South Australia (SA) this spring.

Mad March is usually what comes to mind when you think of festivals in SA, but it seems like the September to November period is fast becoming the new event season. 

There’s something for everyone, with events catering for food lovers, party goers, music fanatics and everyone in between.

Here’s a quick list of the top ten festivals around Adelaide you shouldn’t miss this spring:


  1. Cluck Yeah! Fried Chicken Festival: 8—10 November
Every fried chicken lover’s dream come true (Image Source: Glam Adelaide).

Morphettville Racecourse is hosting a fried chicken festival this November and it sounds like it’s going to be a big hit with fans of the Colonel.

Organisers of the event have said it will include “every type of fried chicken you can imagine, brought to you by a variety of South Australian vendors”.

There’ll be plenty to do over the weekend, including a pop-up video game arcade, DJs, wing eating competitions and more.

The festival is also sponsored by Pirate Life Brewing and Riot Wine Co., so you can expect to enjoy a good selection of beverages while you chow down your chicken.

Entry is free on Friday and Sunday, but patrons be subject to entry fees on Saturday due to the Morphetville races.

Details about the vendors are going to be announced shortly, so you can keep up to date on the Cluck Yeah! Fried Chicken Festival Facebook page to find out who’ll be there soon.


  1. Handpicked Festival: 9 November
South Australians from all across the state come to enjoy what Lake Breeze Wines have to offer (Image source: Handpicked Festival).

Handpicked Festival is a music and wine festival hosted by Lake Breeze Wines in Langhorne Creek: about an hour’s drive south-east of Adelaide.

There’s an amazing line up of big-name acts ,including Amy Shark, John Butler, Missy Higgins, Odette, The Teskey Brothers, Winston Surfshirt, Kyle Lionhart and Jess Day.

As well as live music, there’ll be local wines, food trucks and a lane of market stalls selling handmade goods.

If it’s a long drive home and you want to stay the night, there’s a tent city on site to set up camp either in your own tent or in one of Handpicked Festival’s glamping tents.

Tickets are available through the Handpicked Festival website.


  1. OzAsia Festival: 17 October—3 November
The Moon Lantern Parade is one spectacular sight to see (Image source: OzAsia Festival).

OzAsia Festival is a two-week celebration of Adelaide’s Asian culture, showcasing its theatre, dance, music, visual arts, literature, film, food and cultural events.

One of the most popular features of the festival is the Moon Lantern Parade, which is the biggest parade of its kind in Australia. 

The free parade is held at Elder park, and is an afternoon of performances and food, followed by a display of hundreds of lanterns, with a firework show to finish.

Hosted along the riverbank lawns in front of the Adelaide Convention Centre, the Lucky Dumpling Market is another well-liked feature of the festival.

The Market offers a range of Asian food and drinks, as well as workshops and cultural activities on the weekends.

It’s extremely close to the Festival Theatre – where many of the OzAsia performances are held – so it’s a perfect spot to grab some food between shows.

Visit the OzAsia Festival website for a full program of events.


  1. Triple J One Night Stand: 14 September
Triple J’s One Night Stand performer “G Flip” (Image source: Music Feeds).

One Night Stand is a free music festival hosted by Triple J each year in a regional town somewhere around Australia.

This year, South Australia has been lucky enough to receive the gig in Lucindale: a small farming town along the Limestone Coast about a three-and-a-half hour’s drive from Adelaide.

It may seem quite out of the way, but it would be more than worth the drive to see the likes of Hilltop Hoods, Meg Mac, Ocean Alley, G Flip and more perform live and for FREE.

It could be a great time if you’re up for a bit of a road trip this weekend, but if Lucindale is just too far you, you can stream the event from home on ABC iview or the Triple J YouTube channel.

More details about the festival can be found on the Triple J website.


  1. Feast Festival: 9—24 November
Drag queens give it their all at Feast Festival (Image source: Australian Pride Network).

Feast Festival is Adelaide’s annual queer arts and culture festival.

It’s a time for the queer community and allies to come together, and celebrate pride and diversity.

There’s a lot to see and do during the festival, including comedy acts, cabaret, drag shows, theatre, workshops, art displays, parties, sports and even a queer formal.

In addition, there are other attractions on offer, such as tattoo competition, a queer youth zone, DIY queer crafts, a drag fashion parade and DJs from Hit107 and Feast to keep the music pumping.

There is a small entry fee of $10 to get into the Picnic, with under 15s able to get in for free.

The full program of events can be found on the Feast Festival website.


  1. CheeseFest and Ferment: 26—27 October
Cheese and wine: a match made in heaven (Image source: Reader’s Digest).

CheeseFest and Ferment are celebrating cheese and wine, the world’s greatest gift, over two days at Rymill Park next month.

More than 100 stalls will be featured, each offering fresh, local produce.

Patrons will also have the opportunity to participate in cheese and alcohol tastings, workshops from famous chefs and the chance to relax over some good food and beverages.

The festival is ticketed, with prices starting at $25.

For more information or to purchase tickets, head to the CheeseFest and Ferment website.


  1. Oktoberfest: 12 October
Oktoberfest is made for beer and lederhosen lovers alike (Image source: Glam Adelaide).

Don your best lederhosen and stein, and head to Pinky Flat for Adelaide’s annual Oktoberfest in the Gardens.

Oktoberfest is inspired by the traditional Bavarian festivals, celebrating all things German, particularly beer.

But aside from lots of beer, there’ll also be German food stalls, roving performers, a sideshow alley, silent disco and many competitions to enter.

On top of all of that, there will be multiple stages filled with various German entertainers, cover bands and DJs for patrons to enjoy.

Tickets are available through Moshtix for $39.90, but discounts are available for groups of 20 or more.

More information can be found on the Oktoberfest website.


  1. Tarnanthi: Festival of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art: 18 October—27 January
The Tarnanthi Art Fair celebrates and showcases Indigenous art from Indigenous artists across the country (Image source: AGSA).

Tarnanthi is the annual celebration of contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art.

The word tarnanthi comes from the Kaurna people, and means to come forth and appear, and this festival gives Indigenous Australians the chance to do so through their artworks.

An exhibition of these works will feature in the Art Gallery of South Australia throughout the festival period.

The festival will launch on 17 October with a special event on the North Terrace Forecourt, featuring a free performance from rapper and Young Australian of the Year Baker Boy.

The Tarnanthi Art Fair is one of the highlights of the festival, taking place between 18 October and 20 October at the Tandanya National Cultural Institute on Grenfell Street.

It’s a chance for lovers of Aboriginal art to buy pieces of work ethically, with the proceeds going directly to the artists and art centres.

Head to the Art Gallery of South Australia website for more information about all Tarnanthi events.


  1. Vegan Festival: 26—27 October
Just a snapshot of the array of Vegan foods on offer at this year’s Vegan Festival (Image source: Broadsheet).

Adelaide’s Vegan Festival is a celebration and discussion of all things vegan held at Rundle Park over a two-day period.

The Vegan Festival website states the aims of the festival are to promote a vegan lifestyle and vegan products, inform visitors about animal rights, health and environmental sustainability, support and provide advice on becoming vegan, demonstrate the scope of vegan cookery, and promote the best vegan products available.

There will be guest speakers, live music, cooking demonstrations, hands-on workshops and heaps of vegan food on offer.

It costs $15 for a pre-purchased two-day pass to the event or $10 at the gate each day, with under 15s given free entry all weekend.

To purchase tickets or find out more about the event head to the Vegan Festival website.


  1. Listen In Festival: 6 October
Listen In performer Flume getting the crowd pumping (Image source: Hollywood Life).

Listen In festival is a concentrated version of the Listen Out festival that heads around the country.

While Adelaide usually misses out on such big musical events, the festival organisers will be bringing a select group from their line-up to Adelaide so that our little town is not ignored.

And the Listen In line-up does not disappoint.

Featuring acts like Flume, Diplo, Schoolboy Q, Denzel Curry, Riton and Biscits, the line up is more than stellar-worthy.

The festival will take place at Bonython Park on the Sunday Labour Day long weekend, so you’ll hopefully have Monday free to recover.

There are still some fourth release tickets left, which can be purchased on the Listen In website, but get in quick because it’s sure to sell out fast.

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