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Metal tree-like art installations on lush green lawn surrounded by benches and a new paved area in the Festival Plaza precinct.

Festival Plaza’s reimagined public realm has officially opened to the public, giving families and festival-goers a visionary new space to spend time in as they converge on different parts of the city for Adelaide’s biggest entertainment month.

Construction hoarding that previously masked significant features of the new public realm has now come down, revealing a 20-metre long interactive water feature and six 11-metre wide arbours.

Bougainvillea and ornamental grape vines have been planted at the base of each of the immense, architecturally-designed arbours to create a stunning shade canopy over time.

The transformed plaza, has been rebuilt on one of Adelaide’s oldest plaza grounds but is now significantly redesigned and ready to delight. It also boasts refurbished artworks from the original Hajek Plaza, new establishing trees, expansive lawns for picnicking and 8,600m2 of paved, event-ready space.

It is expected to become a hotspot for day and evening entertainment, with an initial six-week program of curated activities planned at the plaza from 11 March 2022 onwards.

Metal tree-like art installations on lush green lawn surrounded by benches and a new paved area in the Festival Plaza precinct.

Known as Festival Plaza Presents, the activation program will not only uplift the new public realm and bring the people back to the heart of the Adelaide Riverbank, but will also showcase the potential of the plaza as Adelaide’s newest event and entertainment space.

From pop-up cafes, bars and food trucks to live local bands and night-time light shows, the plaza is also set to become a place for children’s water play, street theatre, interactive art experiences, markets and roving performers.

Moving forward Festival Plaza will play host to future major events in the South Australian cultural calendar and provide the ideal meet-up place for friends before seeing a show or a game, as well as being a relaxing setting for a long lunch on the weekend and a hub of family-friendly fun during the day and throughout the school holidays.

The completion of the largest section of public realm coincides with the re-opening of the refurbished Adelaide Festival Theatre, heralding a new chapter for our city and re-establishing the plaza as Adelaide’s holy ground of the arts.

Metal tree-like art installations on lush green lawn surrounded by benches and a new paved area in the Festival Plaza precinct.

The public realm upgrade has been co-delivered by Renewal SA in partnership with the Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Department for Infrastructure and Transport, Adelaide Festival Centre, SkyCity Adelaide and Walker Corporation. This collaboration has helped provide a seamless outdoor experience for visitors while fulfilling the over-arching architectural vision for the Festival Plaza site.

Further stages of the Festival Plaza public realm upgrade will be completed over time and once fully realised, unlock an additional 7,900m2 of renewed open, walkable space and feature ten additional arbours.

All members of the community are invited to find out what is happening over Festival Plaza’s exciting launch weekend on 11 March 2022 (and beyond) by accessing the full program here and following Adelaide Riverbank on Facebook and Instagram (#adlriverbank).

Public bench space on a newly paved area with lush green lawns behind the seats during the day.

About the Festival Plaza redevelopment

The Festival Plaza redevelopment as a whole is scheduled for full completion in 2026.

It includes the five-level Festival Car Park, SkyCity Adelaide’s casino expansion, Adelaide’s Railway Station’s dramatic new northern entrance and the newly-opened Festival Plaza public realm. Future stages will incorporate a completely redesigned Station Road, a three-storey retail complex and a 29-storey, 5 Star Green Star office building known as Festival Tower, construction of which has already commenced.

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