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The Adelaide festival and the development of arts in Adelaide


Franklin, A and Lee, B and Rentschler, R, The Adelaide festival and the development of arts in Adelaide, Journal of Urban Affairs pp. 1-26. ISSN 0735-2166 (2021) [Refereed Article]

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© 2021 Urban Affairs Association

DOI: doi:10.1080/07352166.2021.1909422


This paper asks: why, given the Australian city of Adelaide’s early intervention to embed a flagship arts festival, has it failed to develop as an arts city with a more democratized cultural terroir, with greater diversity and inclusion? We argue that part of the answer lies in the continuing influence of its flagship Adelaide Festival, which, from the beginning, was not of, and for, the entire city, nor "art for all," but very much the opposite. It was explicitly orientated to the virtues of high art, packaged for a social elite, and linked to tourism–led urban regeneration. Rather than a celebration of Adelaide’s cultural terroir, it established a marketized form of arts festival built around a core of imported art. Informed by multiple data sources, this case study offers a positive critique at a pivot point in Adelaide’s festival history, suggesting that a consideration of other types of art city offers alternatives for the future.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Sociology
Research Field:Sociology not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Culture and Society
Objective Group:Arts
Objective Field:The creative arts
UTAS Author:Franklin, A (Professor Adrian Franklin)
ID Code:143520
Year Published:2021
Deposited By:Office of the School of Social Sciences
Deposited On:2021-03-23
Last Modified:2022-05-24

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