By Jonathan Porter
June means winter in South Australia so you probably think people rug up, grumble and fire up the radiator an extra notch?
Well, you could not be more wrong. Winter is when South Australians find new and awesome ways to keep warm – whether it’s by taking in an iconic sporting match, hitting one of nearly 150 cabaret performances or by grabbing a glass of red in front of a huge bonfire at McLaren Vale.
And there is a public holiday in the state on June 12, so visitors can enjoy an extra long weekend to savour South Australia’s delights in a holiday atmosphere.
Sea and Vines Festival (9 – 12 June)
The good people of McLaren Vale are taking full advantage of the long weekend with their 25th annual Sea and Vines Festival, where they will be trampling out their finest vintages while serving South Australia’s best cuisine.
Festival-goers can enjoy the 53 events across 25 venues – Saturday, Sunday and Monday of the June long weekend, says organiser Lucy Gosling.
“From 10-course high-end degustations, French-themed long lunches and shiraz master classes to American barbecue and porchetta parties.
“We are lucky here to enjoy a relationship with food and wine combined with a beach lifestyle. It is truly an iconic event and synonymous with McLaren Vale.”
The fun lasts long into the night, fuelled by hearty reds, great cuisine, a lit by giant bonfires.
The event takes place across three vineyards, with mini buses on hand to take you between events.
In honour of the legendary d’Arry Osborn’s 90th birthday, head chef Peter Reschke will lead diners on a multi-course journey back in time to the food from d’Arry’s boyhood and d’Arenberg’s 1912 inception.
Each intricately designed course will be deftly paired with some of the best wines from the award-winning d’Arenberg range, from current vintages to rare museum stock.
As a special treat, d’Arry himself will be present to meet guests upon arrival and share a glass of cheer and a story or two.
Adelaide Cabaret Festival (9 – 24 June)
For those who like their winter warmers with a side of culture, Adelaide Festival Centre is serving up an eclectic program featuring 430 artists in 147 cabaret acts over 16 days and nights.
Whether you’d prefer a meditation on a marriage proposal set against the backdrop of an impending apocalypse with To the Moon and Back – or a new take on Roald Dahl in Dahlesque – artistic directors Ali McGregor and Eddie Perfect have something for you at this year’s Adelaide Cabaret Festival.
The past favourite Variety Performance Gala returns as will 2016’s hugely successful Family Gala, giving younger theatregoers their first experience of greasepaint. It’s a great excuse to deck out and frock up the whole family, with 2017 also heralding the 40th birthday of Something on Saturday.
One of the nation’s national treasures, singer-songwriter Paul Kelly, teams up with Irish-French chanteuse Camille O’Sullivan to celebrate W. B. Yeats combined with newly composed songs in their show Ancient Rain.
“Our final night gala this year has the theme Love and Revolution which is a sentiment that runs throughout this year’s program,” says McGregor.
“I don’t think any other genre has the ability to emotionally connect like cabaret. This year we have people creating quiet revolutions in dance and theatre, loud revolutions with burlesque and tomfoolery and dissonant revolutions with unique musical collaborations.”
Perfect says cabaret has a rich and strong tradition as one of the first art forms to react to the world around us.
“The 2017 program represents unique and varied artists doing just that: speaking to power, questioning tradition, upholding tolerance, love and respect, and uniting us together as an audience, a city or just one single room, to laugh at naked emperors and to feel embraced, accepted and alive,” he says.
“In 2017 we invite our brave and open-minded audience to join us to turn the tables from fear to love, division to unity, anger to joy, and all with wit, skill, wonder and passion.”
The Adelaide Cabaret Festival has assembled 58 artists from as far afield as the United States, Ireland, United Kingdom, Japan and New Zealand, together with 372 Australian artists including 234 from South Australia.
The 2017 festival showcases 17 world premieres, five Australian premieres, 25 Adelaide premieres as well as 17 Adelaide exclusives, 20 shows with international artists and five totally original shows commissioned or co-commissioned by Adelaide Cabaret Festival.
Socceroos v Saudi Arabia soccer match (Thurs 8 June)
As soccer fans know, this is the crucial final stage of our beloved sporting team’s FIFA World Cup qualification. The Socceroos will take on Saudi Arabia in their second-last FIFA World Cup qualifier at Adelaide Oval on Thursday 8 June.
The Socceroos have the upper hand over Saudi Arabia after beating the Gulf state every time on home turf.
But the Socceroos are a single point behind Saudi Arabia who are now on top of the Group B table.
The Socceroos are determined to continue their at-home victory run in Adelaide.
The local team, led by captain Mile Jedinak and stars Tom Rogic and Tim Cahill, will be heartened to lift their eyes to the stands and see them filled with a sea of green and gold – so why not make a night of it with your family and friends?
Tickets start from just $10 for kids and $69 for families.
Winter sport bonanza at Adelaide Oval
Other major sporting fixtures at Adelaide Oval in June include the Roosters v Melbourne NRL game (Saturday June 24), as well as two big AFL games, Crows v St Kilda (Friday 9 June) and Crows v Hawks (Thursday June 22).
Matilda the Musical (performances right through June)
Not as you might imagine the story of a sheep-stealing itinerant worker who throws himself into a large pond, this performance is from Roald Dahl’s classic children’s book of the same name. Matilda follows Matilda Wormwood, a smart little girl who takes refuge in the make-believe world of books.
This multi-award winning musical from the Royal Shakespeare Company follows Matilda as she is discarded and belittled by her foolish parents including her dad who refers to her as a boy and criticises her for reading instead of watching the television like most of her fellow undead.
Matilda The Musical is the story of how this girl dares alter her own fate.
Winner of over 80 major international awards, including 16 for Best Musical, Matilda continues to delight audiences in London, Australia and on tour around the USA.
Virgin Australia flies to Adelaide from all major Australian cities. Most major hire car companies are located at Adelaide Airport.