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Iconic Adelaide ride to transform into a speed-dating wheel

Adelaide Fringe

For many South Australians, the Ferris wheel brings back childhood memories of springtime rides at the show, but those recollections will be turned upside-down when the ride morphs into an 18+ speed-dating venue for Fringe.

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“If we could create, say, in the hundreds of connections, that would be a job well done,” says radio presenter turned match-maker Cale Porter, explaining what he hopes to achieve from hosting The Love Shack event.

“If people are successful in finding love on the Ferris wheel, it will turn out to be a classic story and there’s a lot of comments on social media already having a joke and saying, ‘Well, there’s a story to tell the grandkids’.”

The Love Shack is a two-night dating party/love festival with singles’ hypnosis, blind dates, crowd participant stage shows, licensed bars, food trucks and the pièce de résistance: speed dating on the Ferris wheel.

“The focus is on people who are single, people who are looking for love, looking to find ‘the one’ in someone to go throughout life with,” Porter says.

“We’re also targeting couples who are in relationships, those who are looking for that date-night experience and those who are looking for something different at this year’s Fringe.”

Porter, a weekend radio presenter at Nova in Adelaide, had little knowledge of the dating industry before organising the debut Fringe event.

“About three or four years ago now, Nova actually jumped on board with sponsoring the Ferris wheel at the [Royal Adelaide] Show.

“I stepped back and thought, well surely there’s something else we can use the Ferris wheel for; there’s got to be another event or scene we can create purely around the Ferris wheel.

“My initial thought was to do something around Valentine’s Day, then it went to speed dating and from there it went to a Fringe event.”

In a world where online matchmaking apps are dominating the dating scene, Porter says one-on-one connection has an important role to play in sparking lasting relationships.

“[The event] is all about putting down the phones, putting down the screens, getting away from the internet and social media, and getting back to that real connection that was big once upon a time.

“It’s about creating those live situations in a live environment, with real people from Adelaide.”

The Love Shack will run on February 23 and 24 at the Adelaide Showgrounds as part of the Adelaide Fringe. See more InDaily Fringe stories here.

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