The 2021 program, unveiled today, will kick off on November 6 with an opening night party in Victoria Square headlined by Adelaide electronic music duo Electric Fields. It also sees the return of the popular Picnic in the Park ­– complete with DJs and dog show ­– in Pinky Flat on November 28.

Feast general manager Helen Sheldon acknowledges that it has been tricky trying to finalise the line-up amid the challenges caused by COVID-19, with this year’s Pride March being cancelled after the festival program had been printed and few interstate artists able to present shows in 2021.

“I’m really pleased that with everything that has gone on, there are still so many exciting events, and not just arts events but community events, too, because that’s what I think is really important about Feast, that it has that wonderful mixture of true community events –­ including the come and try things, like the golf – and the art events.

“With our opening night party… it’s the first time we’ll hold it at Victoria Square, which is wonderful because it’s such a visible part of the city.”

Libby O’Donovan will present a new solo show at the Space Theatre on November 12 and 13.

The predominantly South Australian line-up of artists who will perform during the 2021 Feast Festival include cabaret singer Libby O’Donovan, who will take audiences on a journey through the highlights of her career with a show called 20 Years, 20 Songs at the Space Theatre.

Comedian and former Feast ambassador Christian Hull will be back with a solo show at the Arkaba Hotel, while perennial favourite Dr Gertrude Glossip (aka Will Sergeant) will present a series of events marking her 25th season hosting queer history walks in the CBD – including a “silver jubilee evening” and the launch of her debut book: Queen of the Walk: Gertrude’s Guide to Gay Adelaide.

“As Gertrude points out, this is Feast’s 25th festival and Gertrude, or Will, has been there from the beginning doing these walks,” Sheldon says. “I think Gertrude and Will are iconic to Adelaide and those queer history walks are truly an institution – they’re brilliant.”

Feast has been more involved in instigating and collaborating on new works this year, Sheldon adds, pointing to a project called Close to the Knives, for which SA-based composer Dan Thorpe is collaborating with local “screamo band” Raccoon City and theatre-makers to create a song cycle based on the writings of American artist and AIDS activist David Wojnarowicz. Supported by the festival, SAMESH and the Art South Australia, it will have a work-in-progress showing and Q&A at the Odeon Theatre in late November.

The festival will also present a Q&A event as a teaser for another project it has been working on with Adelaide Festival, which is under wraps until the AF launches its 2022 program next week.

Other program highlights include Silhouettes: Fashion in the shadow of HIV & AIDS, a talk at the David Roche Foundation in which Skye Bartlett will share stories of famous designers who died from AIDS or HIV-related illnesses; Writing Live, a line-up of writing-based events; a showcase of queer short films at the Capri Theatre, and the annual Comedy Gayla and Comedy Debate (both hosted by comedian Lori Bell). Community events and conversations range from a Queers in STEMM Showcase at SAHMRI to a talk about Queer Performance as Resistance presented by Australian Dance Theatre’s International Centre for Choreography.

“If all goes to plan, Feast is also going to be doing its first ever drag fashion parade in the Rundle Mall in November, which will be a hoot,” Sheldon says.

The 2021 Feast Festival will run from November 6-28, with the full program available online.

 

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