Barossa Contemporary: Festival for the Curious


Barossa Contemporary announces Inaugural Programme

>> Founding artistic directors Zac Tyler and Ruth Blythman of production company Release Creative

The Barossa will be in full bloom this spring as new major festival Barossa Contemporary: Festival for the Curious will bring the region to life with exclusive music, art, food, and wine experiences in five spectacular locations.

The incoming destination festival sees founding artistic directors Ruth Blythman and Zac Tyler (of production company Release Creative) turn their home region into a curated arts and culture playground for two days and nights on October 8 and October 9.

Arriving as a preview event in October before returning in 2022 with more than 200 performances, Barossa Contemporary features live entertainment, dining experiences and installations with some of South Australia’s most imaginative and celebrated artists, musicians, chefs, and artisans.

Old meets new in Zac and Ruth’s programme that features artists and musicians such as Late Nite Tuff Guy, Carla Lippis, Gospo Collective, Er@ser Description, Temple Magic Orchestra, and the State Opera’s Anthony Hunt and Desiree Frahn.

These artists will headline events in spaces transformed by creative talents such as Studio Botanic’s Nadia Travaglini (Awe Hunters), multidisciplinary artist Dave Court and lighting designer Peter Rubie (Lightwaves), experimental collective The Bait Fridge, and designer Matthew Adey (Transcendence).

“Barossa Contemporary is our way of playing a part in building a prosperous future for our arts community, the Barossa and South Australia.”


“The skills of our South Australian artists are world-class, and we get to unleash them in one of the world’s most celebrated wine regions,” Zac said.

“We’re giving them a chance to express their art in a brand-new setting.

“Our creative concepts have been developed for people and spaces that intrigue and inspire us and we hope audiences will feel that connection as well.”

A headline event in the State Government’s new annual spring event collective, Bloom, Barossa Contemporary founders Zac and Ruth will return to their childhood home with one of the largest investment for the arts in the region’s history.

“Zac and I grew up in a region that developed our passion for the arts,” Ruth said.

“The Barossa filled us with support and the self-belief that we actually could achieve our wildest dreams.

“We believe a creatively rich and diverse society inspires innovation.

“Barossa Contemporary is our way of playing a part in building a prosperous future for our arts community, the Barossa and South Australia.”

Unique events and experiences will be held in some of the Barossa’s most stunning attractions.

Hidden gems will be transformed into immersive pop-up spaces created specifically for the Barossa Contemporary preview program.

Transcendence (Friday and Saturday, 10pm-1am, Beckwith Park, Nuriootpa): Australia’s disco edit king Late Nite Tuff Guy will headline Transcendence on Friday as the disco and house master performs alongside Carla Lippis, and experimental collective The Bait Fridge with lighting and design by Matthew Adey.

Carla and The Bait Fridge will be back for Transcendence on the Saturday for an electronic music wonderland with Temple Magic Orchestra and friends.

Hunter Gather (Saturday, 11.30am & 1.30pm, Seppeltsfield Winery, Seppeltsfield);Join acclaimed Barossa event chef Owen Andrews for a slow roving degustation lunch with matched wines on the grounds of Seppeltsfield Winery.

At Hunter Gather where diners can enjoy charred Barossa delicacies foraged by Owen for this one-off experience.

Iridescence (Saturday, 7pm, Secret Location, Angaston): For one night only, Iridescence will refract your perception of colour and its place in the culinary world with an elevated, high-end pairing of food, wine, and design.

Schubert and Sherbet (Saturday, sessions from 2.30pm to 4.30pm, Chateau Tanunda, Tanunda): Classical music lovers will enjoy the sophisticated play of Schubert and Sherbet, a light-hearted classical music recital perfect for kids and adults young at heart.

Performed by two of South Australia’s most celebrated classical musicians, Anthony Hunt and Desiree Frahn.

They will explore the pages of Schubert’s songbook in an afternoon of piano and voice performance.

You decide which is sweeter: a Schubert melody, or the sugary treats at this delicious musical salon.

Awe Hunters (Saturday, sessions from 11am to 2.30pm, Seppeltsfield Winery, Seppeltsfield); Large-scale floral art installation meets meditative soundscapes at Awe Hunters.

Barossa Contemporary’s inaugural floral artist in residence, Nadia Travaglini (Studio Botanic), ruminates on our relationship with art, nature and sense of place.

Combining an impressive display of floral artistry with sensitive soundscape Awe Hunters creates a space for stillness and contemplation in a world that has been flipped on its head.

Lightwaves (Friday and Saturday, 6pm and 8pm); An immersive live performance of jazz, funk and electronic by Er@ser Description’s and Peter Rubie.

Fireside Songs (Friday 7.30pm, Whistler Wines, Stone Well); Families can warm by the fire on Friday night with the free event Fireside Songs where Charmaine Jones and Gospo Collective will lead a sing-along by the festival’s official opening night bonfire.

Tickets are on sale now at barossacontemporary.com.au

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