By Lauren Ferrone
Published: Wednesday, February 19, 2020
Supercars roar through the streets, colourful characters roam venues across the state and music blares. Once Mad March arrives, it’s impossible to ignore. We know there’s a lot going on this month, but who exactly is coming in 2020? Here’s a sneak peek.
Thandi Phoenix, WOMADelaide
Sydney singer-songwriter Thandi Phoenix has a soft spot for SA’s long-running outdoor festival WOMADelaide. After all, it was the first concert her mum ever took her to when she was 13.
“I remember there being a parade, and for some reason, I got picked to wear a crazy blue costume and walk ahead of the pack,” Thandi says.
The South African-born artist is returning to the festival in March – this time as one of the headliners. It’s the pop singer’s first time playing at the open-air festival.
WOMAD is a refreshing event. It’s the heart of music where you’re able to connect with people regardless of who you are.
Thandi’s managed to make a few connections of her own over the years. She’s been backing vocalist for American rapper Macklemore and English superstar Jess Glynne, so she’s no stranger to performing with big names at major festivals.
And it doesn’t take much for her to feel at home doing what she loves.
“Chuck me on a stage, give me a crowd and I’m ready to go.”
Thandi does admit she might need to think a little harder about costume choice.
“There’s a photo floating around of me in that crazy blue outfit. I’ll need to find it and step up my game and get some inspiration for WOMAD this year.”
Thandi Phoenix performs at WOMADelaide at Botanic Park on Sunday, 8 March.
RAA member exclusive: Save 14% on selected pre-sale adult passes to WOMADelaide.
Todd Hazelwood, Superloop Adelaide 500
Supercar driver Todd Hazelwood has been sitting trackside as a spectator at the Superloop Adelaide 500 ever since he could walk.
Now the 24-year-old is behind the wheel making his childhood dreams come true. It hasn’t been an easy ride though.
“I didn’t come from a financially well-off family, so the early days were about trying to find sponsorship,” Todd says.
“My mum, dad and I were always trying to think of ways to get my name out there, so I started selling chocolates at school and we’d do sausage sizzles on the weekend.”
There was always one goal in mind – to race the Adelaide 500.
“I got my chance in 2014. From then, I’ve raced every year. It’s the only event I’ve religiously gone to year after year.”
It makes sense that the kid from Adelaide’s north east, who now lives in Melbourne, would clear his diary and head back to where it all began.
“I feel fortunate the event is in our backyard. You can watch the races and then enjoy the nightlife by wandering over to the Fringe to see the most of what Adelaide has to offer.
“It’s an awesome time of year to be home.”
Superloop Adelaide 500 is on from 20–23 February.
RAA member exclusive: Save 10% on general admission tickets to Superloop Adelaide 500.
Peter Goldsworthy, Adelaide Writers’ Week
Medicine and literature may sound like two very different fields, but South Australian author Dr Peter Goldsworthy begs to differ. So much so, he drew inspiration for his latest novel from one of his patients.
“Medicine is all about human stories and high stakes,” he says. “That’s what writing is all about.”
Peter’s latest novel Minotaur follows the life of his patient Daniel – a blind man who rebuilds his Ducati motorcycle by touch. The book will be the focus of Peter’s Adelaide Writers’ Week talks in March.
Now 68, the stalwart first made an appearance at the writers’ week as a budding author at the age of 19.
Each year since, he’s left in awe by the talent gathering in Adelaide. From Vienna to Vancouver, Peter has attended writers’ events around the world, but in his words, “there’s nothing quite like Adelaide’s”.
“It’s free, there are huge crowds and a carnival atmosphere – it’s just wonderful.”
As for what else avid readers can expect from Peter’s talk, adventure springs to mind.
“There’s one part in the book where Daniel gets behind the wheel and goes on escapades around the streets of Adelaide.
“Let’s just say I’m not sure if his bike is insured by RAA,” he laughs.
Hear Peter Goldsworthy during Adelaide Writers’ Week, from 29 February–5 March.
RAA member exclusive: Adelaide Writers’ Week is part of Adelaide Festival. Save on selected shows and events.
Boo Dwyer, Adelaide Fringe
UK comedian Boo Dwyer was inspired to relocate to South Australia for a couple of reasons, one being the Adelaide Fringe.
The fact that her husband lives here is another good reason.
Having dabbled in acting and musical comedy, Boo knew from an early age she wanted to make people laugh.
I’ve been performing since I was 16. I knew I never had hope at a well paying job.
Despite making people from all corners of the globe laugh, Boo insists “there’s no place like Adelaide”.
“I’ve travelled around Australia, done New Zealand comedy festivals and Edinburgh Festival Fringe, but Adelaide’s on a level of its own.”
In fact, she credits the festival state for her big break into the world of stand-up comedy in 2010.
“To think that was more than a decade ago blows my mind,” she says.
And she still has the same adoration for Adelaide as she did back then, largely thanks to the Fringe. “[The festival is] so good, I moved here because of it.”
Boo’s Birmingham wit again graces Adelaide Fringe this March with a bit of cabaret and that cheeky sense of humour.
Catch Boo Dwyer in Auntie Boo’s Variety Diner on various dates in February and March at Stirling and Gluttony at Rymill Park, or look out for her comedic charm in other Fringe shows.
RAA member exclusive: Enter a range of Adelaide Fringe competitions for a chance to win tickets to selected shows.