Adelaide Cabaret Festival ended on a high note last night, as Artistic Director Julia Zemiro officially closed another sensational festival and announced that next year’s festival – the 20th Anniversary – would be an even bigger celebration.

This year, Adelaide Festival Centre’s Adelaide Cabaret Festival featured more than 380 cabaret artists performing over 16 days and nights with 36 sold out shows and more than 41,000 attendances at ticketed and free events.

Adelaide Cabaret Festival Artistic Director Julia Zemiro: “It has been such a joy collaborating with artists, designers, musicians, production crew and administrators in and around Adelaide Festival Centre during my first year as Artistic Director. 

“I have had a blast meeting and engaging with audience members before and after shows and performing with some fantastic cabaret artists. 

“Hearing people respond with such enthusiasm and love for this wonderful festival has made it nothing short of an honour.

“It’s been a blitz of artistic pleasure these last three weeks, where I’ve played MC, AD, artist and audience member - sometimes even all at once.”

2019 Festival highlights include:

  • The popular opening night event – The House is Live – kicked off the festival in superb red carpet style, with a unique blend of contemporary and classic cabaret artists including Meow Meow, Paul Capsis, Reuben Kaye and Queenie van de Zandt alongside upcoming stars Nkechi Anele, Omar Musa and Alma Zygier.
  • A touching tribute to Adelaide Cabaret Festival’s founding father Frank Ford with a dedicated song on opening night and exhibition titled Frank’s Light at Dunstan Playhouse foyer.
  • The first Frank Ford commissioned show, Unsung, featuring local artists Amelia Ryan and Libby O’Donovan struck a chord with history buffs and music lovers alike with sold out performances.
  • Award winning immersive show The Swell Mob proved a favourite among old and new cabaret audiences, performing throughout the entirety of the festival.
  • Headliner and German chanteuse Ute Lemper had audiences in the palm of her hand during her Australian premiere, Rendezvous with Marlene at Thebarton Theatre.
  • The new late-night club – The 11 O’Clock Number - proved a huge hit with patrons dancing the night away in The Famous Spiegeltent.
  • US cabaret stars Megan Mulllally and Stephanie HuntNancy And Beth – and Grammy award winning powerhouse vocalist Ms Lisa Fischer both received multiple standing ovations.
  • Australian cabaret legend Paul Capsis brought down the house with his sold-out rock inspired shows.
  • Adelaide’s favourite son David Campbell commanded the stage with his powerful swing renditions of big band favourites.
  • Free events proved popular, including the new QBE Cabaret Lounge and LGBTI+ Elders Dance Club by All the Queens Men, where more than 90 people danced their way through an afternoon social at The Famous Spiegeltent.

Adelaide Festival Centre CEO & Artistic Director, Douglas Gautier AM: “Adelaide Cabaret Festival’s 2019 program was the most exciting and diverse yet.

“In her first year at the helm, Julia Zemiro has brought such gusto and creativity to this program, which has attracted both loyal and new audience members to Adelaide Festival Centre. 

“We look forward to next year - celebrating 20 years of this much loved festival with more international cabaret superstars and original shows on their way.”

Next year’s Adelaide Cabaret Festival will run from 5-20 June 2020