“Sometimes I wonder if people in Adelaide realise how prestigious [the festival] is to people overseas, and I think that’s partly because the best festivals in the world are in cities like Adelaide.” – Rachel Healy, Adelaide Festival

We all know and love “Mad March,” that uniquely Adelaidean time of year where literally everything happens at once. Fringe, the Adelaide Festival, the Adelaide 500, WOMADelaide; it all happens at the same time in Adelaide, a time we call “Mad March” despite the fact it starts halfway through February.

We all know what Mad March is, but do we know how Mad March came to be? It’s not like Colonel Light decided when planning our fair city that every festival should happen at the same time, after all. To trace the origins of our infamous festival season, Wavelength spoke to the Adelaide Fringe and the Adelaide Festival to bring you A Brief History of Mad March.

Listen below to hear Rachel Healy, artistic director of the Adelaide Festival, explain how hers was the festival where it all began. However, as Adelaide Fringe director Heather Croall told Wavelength, the Adelaide Fringe was born shortly after out of a “spirit of rebellion,” returning the festival to the artists on the “fringe” of society.

Air Date: February 12, 2018
Reporter: David Simmons
Photo: Facebook / Adelaide Festival

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