Fest: Coming to Australia

feature (adelaide) | Read in About 4 minutes
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Published 26 Jan 2018

You’re currently reading the first article published for Fest in Adelaide, soon to appear in our debut Preview edition on 8 February 2018 – jam-packed with juicy festival recommendations and in-depth interviews about the Adelaide Fringe, Adelaide Festival and WOMADelaide. We are beyond excited to share it with you!

Adelaide is a true festival city, and we’ve been bowled over by the vibrant, collaborative energy both inside your amazing venues and out. The art, the food, the people – this magazine will be powered by Adelaide’s unique cultural buzz.

But did you know Fest is an established magazine at the Edinburgh festivals, some 16,000km away in chilly Scotland? That might help explain all that Edinburgh content you can see on this website. We're still beavering away on our Adelaide news – for now why not check out our top picks for comedy, theatre, cabaret, music, and kids shows – plus our Indigenous highlights too.

Edinburgh audiences – like yourselves – can find the size of the mammoth Fringe and Festival programmes overwhelming. Back in 2002, dedicated festival media was thin on the ground in Scotland's capital. It seemed only national newspapers were printing reviews and only the festivals themselves provided show listings. Two students – Dan Lerner and now-Guardian journalist Helen Pidd – saw a gap in the market for a fresh, young editorial voice that could better serve festival audiences, and launched  Fest Magazine  as a university paper.

How do you stand out in the madness of the Edinburgh Fringe? Sam Friedman, the magazine’s publisher for almost a decade, recalls the early motivations: “What we wanted was to provide not only listings information, but also a reputable source of arts criticism. From the off there was a real emphasis on recruiting the best possible writers.”

Our incumbent Edinburgh editor, Evan Beswick, has kept this ethos to the present day. “We aim to be knowledgeable, authoritative and highly critical. We’re committed to the idea that arts journalism is an important critical friend to arts production.”

Fest’s scale and journalistic reputation thus grew steadily over the years, to become the biggest and one of the most trusted free guides to the Edinburgh festivals. And Beswick upholds the continuing importance of discourse around the arts:

“Fest is, if nothing else, committed to being part of a critical conversation about performing arts and the types of cultural relationships they sustain and subvert. We recognise a responsibility in being open to questions of diversity and privilege – both for those with performers’ passes as well as reviewer ones.”

We couldn’t be more thrilled to bring Fest to South Australia, drawing together some of the best local journalistic talent – including our new Adelaide editor Laura Desmond.

“We are lucky here in Adelaide to have the second largest fringe festival in the world and some of the most highly respected music, arts, and culture festivals in Australia,” says Desmond. “This is your chance to challenge your limits together; laugh, cringe, cry, but most of all, grow. My aim and hope for Fest Magazine in its incarnation in Adelaide is to provide a palatable, functional guide to the shows we think are going to blow the socks off audiences this year.

“Adelaide has incredible festival venues, chilled outdoor hangout spots, world-class restaurants and a swathe of beautiful people who work hard to bring the festivals to life year after year. Fest is the perfect platform to show Adelaide off on a world stage – pun most definitely intended. Enjoy the selection of interviews, reviews and recommendations we’ve put together and please – throw yourself into the season! Take chances, make mistakes, and get messy!”


Our Adelaide Preview edition will be distributed throughout Adelaide on 8 February 2018. In the meantime, why not give our networks a follow on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to stay up-to-date with the latest news and reviews?