As the Adelaide Fringe prepares to welcome in its diamond anniversary year, 2020’s signature event Yabarra: Dreaming in Light promises to be a key feature of the celebrations

Commissioned as part of the 2019 Adelaide Fringe, immersive First Nations storytelling experience Yabarra: Gathering of Light was a major highlight of the festival, placing emphasis on the commitment to increase Aboriginal participation in the Fringe. The co-production by Yellaka and Illuminart involved large- scale light and sound artworks along the Karrawirra Parri (River Torrens), with audiences invited to experience free audio and visual artworks that shared Kaurna stories. The display attracted thousands of attendees over its 31-night run and went on to win two awards at the prestigious Australian Event Awards, a major achievement for indigenous arts in the country.

‘Yabarra winning these awards is an exceptional achievement for the creative team involved and is a great acknowledgement of Aboriginal participation in the arts,’ Adelaide Fringe CEO and Creative Director Heather Croall says of the win. ‘Aboriginal participation in the arts is strongly encouraged at every level of Fringe, as an artist or in the administration. It is vital to us that there are opportunities available to every Aboriginal Australian.’ With the resounding success of Yabarra: Gathering

of Light and the Adelaide Fringe’s 60th anniversary in mind, this year’s festival will play host to another unique signature project in the form of Yabarra:

Dreaming in Light. This new iteration is being created by South Australia’s award-winning digital creators Monkeystack and will move indoors to Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Centre where an immersive dreamtime experience will be created, telling the story of Tjirbruke, an important creation ancestor of the Kaurna people.

‘At Adelaide Fringe, we see First Nations

participation as vital to the arts,’ Croall says. ‘I’m so proud of our organisation’s signature project for 2020, Yabarra: Dreaming in Light, which speaks to this core value. Thanks to the support of the State Government of South Australia we have also given out $100,000 in grants to support the voices of First Nation artists to present works at the 60th anniversary of Adelaide Fringe.’ Working in collaboration with Kaurna Senior

Custodian, Karl Telfer, Yabarra: Dreaming in Light will engage, immerse and educate audiences through cutting edge light technologies and state-of-the-art illumination. With daily opening hours running from 10am to 10pm, all generations and communities are invited to come together and share in this extraordinary free experience. n Yabarra: Dreaming in Light, Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institute, Fri 14 Feb–Sun 15 Mar. Find out more at

12 THE LIST 1 Feb–31 Mar 2020