Edinburgh festivals inspire Adelaide

THEY may be on opposite sides of the world but the festival cities of Edinburgh and Adelaide have always had a lot in common.

Both have a major international festival, a huge unprogrammed Fringe and a number of other cultural events happening simultaneously – in Adelaide they call it “Mad March”.

Next month the South Australian capital will take the association a step closer with the formation of Festivals Adelaide. Consulting director Sandy Verschoor, who is steering the project, said: “It was very much inspired by Festivals Edinburgh. Adelaide is quite small – it is the perfect festival city, in the same way Edinburgh is.”

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Fringe director Kath Mainland and Amy Saunders of Festivals Edinburgh have been in Adelaide this month to help shape the new body, which will represent ten festivals in the city.

Festivals Edinburgh, formed in 2007, represents 12 festivals in the Scottish capital, advising on development and encouraging collaboration. The Adelaide model will work along similar lines.

Like Festivals Edinburgh, the new body will commission and carry out research into the economic and cultural impact of the festivals. Each of the festivals will maintain its own brand and identity but will be able to share resources and strategic information.

The new body will also look into new ways Edinburgh and Adelaide can work together.

Verschoor said: “There has always been a lot of synergy. One of the things we have talked about is setting up an internship programme between Edinburgh and Adelaide.”