Come Out Children’s Festival 2015 Opening

Get set for the excited voices of 1600 school children to drift across the River Torrens and the Riverbank Precinct tomorrow when Come Out Children’s Festival opens with enthusiasm, song and ceremony.

Come Out Festival

Get set for the excited voices of 1600 school children to drift across the River Torrens and the Riverbank Precinct tomorrow when Come Out Children’s Festival opens with enthusiasm, song and ceremony.

A Bridge Across Time is an incredible opening event that will see thousands of students and teachers forming the Mighty Choir of Small Voices. They will stand on the Adelaide Oval Footbridge singing and celebrating the opening of this nine-day arts extravaganza. The bridge ties in with the festival’s theme of  “Building Bridges”.

The children will sing iconic Australian song Eagle Rock, a song that has a strong connection to Adelaide. It was first performed by Daddy Cool at the Glenelg Blues Festival in 1970 in the band’s first ever public performance. The dream behind this song selection is that in 40 years, these particular students will hear this classic song and it will act as a memory – a bridge back in time to this event and they will tell their grandchildren the story of their historic walk across the bridge for Come Out Children’s Festival.

After the kids sing, they will parade across the bridge led by Cirkidz and the Heathfield Renegades (drummers from Heathfield High School). The group then stop at the end of the bridge to watch the ACH Group ‘Sing for Joy’ choirs, comprising people in their 70s, 80s and beyond, celebrating the contribution that older people make to the arts community of South Australia. They will be on the other side of the bridge singing contemporary songs including Jessie J’s Price Tag, Meghan Trainor’s All About that Bass and Sheppard’s Geronimo. This massive event will evoke a moment in time with all generations engaging in a shared experience, celebrating the excitement and importance of this iconic South Australian Festival, which is now under the custodianship of the Adelaide Festival Centre.

Adelaide Festival Centre CEO and artistic director Douglas Gautier says: “We are delighted to present the Come Out Children’s Festival for the very first time. This Festival, an intrinsic part of growing up in South Australia, will become an important component of Adelaide Festival Centre’s ongoing engagement with children, young people and their families. Our organisation believes in the value of children being involved in the arts from an early age – already we welcome 130,000 young people and their families to the Festival Centre every year.”   

The 2015 Come Out Children’s Festival, from May 22-30, promises to engage, stimulate, challenge, educate and entertain young minds, with an astounding program featuring a total of 550 events, performances, exhibitions, workshops and activities. There will 20 South Australian premieres, one Australian premiere performance and four world premieres.

Following Friday’s opening day, around 10,000 people are expected to descend on the Adelaide Festival Centre and other city venues to take part in the huge Big Family Weekend on Saturday 23 and Sunday 24. There’ll be free activities to suit every child, including the Cardboard Cubby Town Workshops,

reading in the Little Tent of Stories, Collage Workshops, Robot Soccer, Adelaide Festival Centre Backstage Tours and the StarDome – an interactive journey of discovery throughout the solar system! Kids and their parents can also take a free ride on the Popeye and River Torrens paddle boats all weekend between 10am and 3pm or boogie down at the silent disco.  Other venues include the Mercury Cinema, Elder Park, Torrens Parade Ground, Riverbank Precinct, Adelaide City Library, Flinders University City Gallery, The Parks Theatre, State Library of South Australia and Samstag Museum of Art.  

For budding young Picasso’s, there will also be visual art exhibitions. A retrospective of the work of Lynley Dodd, the prolific mastermind behind Hairy Maclary will be on display at the State Library, while the Festival Centre will play host to Drawing on the Heroes Who Shape Us, a portraiture exhibition where young students participated in workshops with established artists to create portraits of their everyday heroes.  

Come Out Children’s Festival creative producer Susannah Sweeney says: Come Out Children’s Festival is a unique arts festival for schools and families that places its audience at the centre of fresh, inventive, imaginative and inspiring experiences.

“It is amongst the largest of its kind in the world and its relationship with DECD (Department for Education and Child Development) is unique and important because it means we can access every school in the state and, in particular, disadvantaged schools. It’s all about arts access and affordability.

“This is the first time the festival has been under the custodianship of the Adelaide Festival Centre. With more than 30,000 bookings made to events thus far, many shows have already sold out and more than 3000 people expected to attend the festival each day, we are confident this is just the beginning of a long and very successful partnership with this iconic South Australian festival.”

The program for Come Out Children’s Festival is divided into two categories – the schools program where children can participate in events and performances through their school, and the general public program.

The schools program includes 100 performances, 18 film screenings, 287 workshops/activities plus five statewide projects that all schools can participate in from the classroom. Four schools have also had an exclusive opportunity to work with artists in their classrooms.  Artists Amy Watson, Gus Clutterbuck, Laura Wills and James Parker have been working in-schools in the lead up to the festival, creating amazing cardboard exhibitions that will be on display around the Adelaide Festival Centre during the Festival.

The general public program includes an extra 30+ performances, 4 extra film screenings and 90 workshops and extra activities.  

More than two million South Australian children have participated in the Come Out Children’s Festival since its inception in 1974 and it is an intrinsic part of growing up in this State.

Highlights this year include Argus by Dead Puppet Society which is a whimsical wonderland making use of nothing but household objects and four pairs of hands.  Kids will also get a chance to go on a circus safari through jungles, oceans and plains when The Circa Carnival comes to town with Carnival of the Animals, an exuberant tale of creatures of land and seas that tumble, leap and spin their way through the animal kingdom.  Look, an Imaginary Theatre production, takes kids on a journey of joy, transformation and imagination as this intimate production unfolds a gentle story of resilience and friendship using exquisite physical storytelling, object theatre and interactivity. For the littlies aged 2 – 5 years old, it’s a gentle theatre experience that entices them into play through fun physical storytelling.

For the big kids 8+ Chalk About , from Edinburgh-based company A Curious Seed, is a playful, funny and sometimes moving look at how young people see themselves and others. This is the only international production in the festival.

The Festival also tackles real-life issues in Tutti Arts and Company @’s  History of Autism by Julian Jaensch and members of Company @, using the medium of theatre to unpack society’s understanding of autism over the last 70 years. South Australia’s Company @ is believed to be the only autism spectrum theatre company in Australia.  

An interactive workshop throughout the Festival is the South Australian premiere of I Think I Can. Cutting-edge Tasmanian Puppet Theatre Company Terrapin use puppetry, live video and active audience participation where students choose a miniature puppet as their alter ego and play out their lives on a large scale model railway in the actual Adelaide Railway Station.

Even babes in arms are catered for with a special performance for bubs aged 4-18 months. Presented by Adelaide Festival Centre in association with the State Library of South Australia, Nursery by Sally Chance Dance, has two dancers and a musician who invite babies’ investigation of the people, objects, movements and sounds around them.

Art and science collide in a challenging debate Arts Versus Science moderated by respected author and TV personality Dr Rob Morrison . He will lead an exceptional panel who will draw on a vast range of education, research and work across the arts and sciences to explore how the two fields differ, but also what space there is for collaboration. Featuring keynote speaker Professor Katie Dawson, Professor Martin Westwell, Professor Tanya Monro and Sam Haren, the creative director of Sandpit.

Kids can get creative with Robot Road Trip, an arts technology experience where students get hands-on experience with the realm of creative robots. This is another SA premiere at the Artspace Gallery.

And there is so much more! An online version of the families program can be viewed here:




Come Out Children’s Festival


22-30 May, 2015


Adelaide Festival Centre and various sites


BASS 131 246 or online at

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