Update on Winterfest, Wonderwalls and what’s next for the Port

This year the Port will be transformed into a festive playground, kicking off with a bold and adventurous Fringe season, and including everything from street parties, ghost tours and risqué rope art to Celtic storytelling, floating burlesque and old-fashioned boot scootin’.

While not all events from last year’s packed calendar will be returning, we will be welcoming many of our favourites back in 2020 and heralding the arrival of some new and truly wonderful experiences for the whole family.

The latest on Winterfest

Since 2019, Renewal SA has been in negotiations with a consortium of private businesses to secure the ongoing operation of Winterfest and support its successful transition to community ownership.

However, a private operator for Winterfest has not been secured and as such Winterfest will not be continuing.

As a popular and family-friendly mid-year event, Winterfest in Port Adelaide has been a successful demonstration project over the course of two years (2017 and 2018).

It was introduced and operated by Renewal SA to showcase the kind of annual event that could be successfully hosted in the heart of the Port to enhance community participation and support the economic and cultural life of Port Adelaide.

Importantly, Winterfest demonstrated for the community the potential of the Hart’s Mill precinct to host large-scale events that could accommodate up to 80,000 people over a two-week period and utilise all that the precinct has to offer, including the Flour Shed, the Packing Shed, Market Plaza, Mundy Street and the Hart’s Mill lawns.

Demonstration events such as Winterfest are always undertaken with a view to encouraging ongoing private investment, a necessary factor in generating the long-term vitality and prosperity of the communities in which Renewal SA is actively involved, and which enables such events to be self-sustaining.

This demonstration approach has been successful in attracting such events as St Jerome’s Laneway Festival, the Wonderwalls Festival and SALA After Dark, which came to the Port as Renewal SA-sponsored events and have since gone on to become thriving, independent activities in their own right.

There is now an opportunity for other experienced event operators who wish to leverage the unique Hart’s Mill precinct for events similar in scope and scale to Winterfest to express their interest and submit proposals for consideration.

Welcome back Wonderwalls

The Wonderwalls Festival kicks off again on 6 March 2020 and will showcase some of the world’s best street artists, including Pichiavo, Vesod, Jasmine Crisp and Demsky. An opening party will take place at Black Diamond Square with live art and entertainment and walking tours within the Port CBD over the weekend will allow visitors a rare glimpse of the artists in action. This is a special time of year when the Port is re-imagined as an outdoor art gallery and everyone of all ages has the chance to get lost in a world of larger-than-life, world-class murals.

Read more about Wonderwalls Festival 2020.

Fearless, Fabulous and Fringey

Over the summer and autumn months, the Port will be alive with Fringe magic, all set in the Port’s unique waterfront setting.

Events not to be missed include Pirate Life Brewing’s 5th Birthday; The Port Adelaide Ghost Crime Tour; the dulcet tones of award-winning folk singer Kacey Stephenson; and the Port’s free street party on Commercial Road to celebrate the end of Fringe season.

These and other Fringe events, exploring art, film, theatre, circus, comedy and music, are all captured in our Guide to Fringe in the Port 2020.

What’s next for the Port

The Port has an exciting future as one of the last, undeveloped dockland neighbourhoods with a strong community heart and enduring reverence for its unique industrial past.

Renewal SA continues to support a vibrant community life in the Port and the ongoing revival and transformation of its former industrial lands.

Over the past seven years, Renewal SA has brokered approximately $500 million worth of private investment in the Port through the sale and development of 38 hectares of such land in and around the inner harbour.

This includes new residential communities at Dock One, Port Approach and Fletcher’s Slip, as well as a fishing, retail and tourism precinct at Cruickshank’s Corner and a forthcoming maritime heritage precinct at Dock Two.

Over the next seven years, these parcels of prime waterfront land will give rise to a total of 1,150 architecturally-designed homes that reflect the rich shipping heritage of Port Adelaide and support the renewal of the Port as a thriving maritime community.

This achievement goes to heart of one of Renewal SA’s core aims, which is to encourage more people to live, work, invest and spend time in the Port.