One of our favourite things about the Adelaide Fringe has always been the light show along North Terrace. Transforming our city’s gorgeous historic buildings with light shows that transfixed you, it was a must for balmy evenings between Fringe shows. Now Fringe has levelled up again, with the introduction of ‘Yabarra: Gathering of Light’.
In 2019, Adelaide Fringe will transform the riverbank, illuminating the Torrens riverbank reeds, surrounding grasslands and paths to share stories from a time long ago, bringing to life native animals and Aboriginal storytelling through mesmerising interactive installations of projection, sound and light.
Running across all 31 nights of the 2019 Adelaide Fringe, Yabarra: Gathering Light will journey festival-goers down an immersive cultural corridor adjacent to the University of Adelaide at Karrawirra Parri river bend (University footbridge).
Adelaide Fringe Director and CEO Heather Croall said the free walking adventure would be the Fringe’s signature project to help attract more people to the Adelaide CBD during the festival season.
“This exciting new initiative highlights Adelaide Fringe’s long-standing commitment to acknowledging and respecting the traditional custodians of country, the Kaurna, whose ancestral lands the festival takes place on,” Ms Croall said.
“We respect the Kaurna people’s ongoing spiritual and cultural connection to country, and we want to celebrate this through Yabarra: Gathering of Light.”
Ms Croall said Adelaide Fringe’s digital projections along North Terrace in previous years had been highly successful and had attracted attendees in the hundreds of thousands, and she expects the new project to take its place in the hearts of festival-goers.
“In 2019 we’re taking this to a whole new level at an exciting new location,” she said. “Kangaroos, platypuses and bilbies will share the banks of the Karrawirra Parri (River Torrens), native birds will appear in trees, fish will leap from the river and stories of time will be shared.
“It’s going to be a cultural and visual spectacular – I can’t wait to see it all come to life!”
Adelaide Fringe has engaged Co-Artistic Director of YELLAKA and Senior Kaurna Custodian of Ceremony Karl Telfer as Cultural Creative Producer on the project to collaborate and create cultural content for Yabarra: Gathering of Light.
Mr Telfer said Yabarra: Gathering of Light would draw people into a space to share stories of the spirit of the place. “We have been here from the first sunrise, and light creates life. The river holds great cultural meaning of time and how it comes to life,” he said.
“Karrawirra Parri flowed in relationship to the natural cycles and movements of the seasons, land, sea, sky and country. The interconnectedness of water, wind, plant, fire, bird, star, animal, fish and people all moved within it.
“The riverbank trail will offer interactive points to share the knowledge of the seasons through a changing sensory experience that creates ways of understanding this place – how the stars, clouds, winds, seas, burning off and waters change over the years.”
The Adelaide Fringe Opening Night celebrations will be held along the riverbank and will include Tindo Utpurndee: Sunset Ceremony.
The 2019 Adelaide Fringe will run from February 15 to March 17.