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2016 Festival of Ideas to honour Phillip Adams


The revived Adelaide Festival of Ideas will be dedicated to writer, broadcaster and self-described “controversialist” Phillip Adams, who will also be the focus of the opening night special event in October.

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In making the announcement today, festival founder Greg Mackie told InDaily Adams had hosted and interviewed many guests over the past 16 years, as well as being a “very valued adviser” for the program.

“Phillip was one of the people whose wise counsel I sought when establishing the Adelaide Festival of Ideas in 1998 – he’s been a godfather to the festival since its inception.”

Adams, voted one of Australia’s 100 Living Treasures in a National Trust poll, has presented Radio National’s Late Night Live since 1991, is the author of numerous books, and pens regular – often polarising – newspaper and magazine columns.

He wrote a column in The Australian last year, after the 2015 FOI was cancelled following the loss of its state government funding, lauding Adelaide as a leader in the “building of festivals” and describing the Festival of Ideas as his favourite.

Today, he said he was honoured by this year’s dedication, which will be delivered by former politician, writer and lawyer Barry Jones.

“A festival of ideals, as well as ideas, the Adelaide Festival of Ideas has had a major impact on the political, social, environmental and cultural debates of this country,” Adams said.

As well as appearing in conversation with previously announced Festival of Ideas guest Erin Brockovich, he will be the focus of the opening night event, What a Magician Taught Me about Politics, in Bonython Hall on October 21.

Asked to expand on what the event would involve, Mackie said: “The intrigue is best left as intrigue for now – I would encourage people to come along.

“It’s one of the few opportunities Phillip has to speak his mind at a point in his career when he has given platform to so many people’s ideas, beliefs and ideals, and we are thrilled that we are able in this small symbolic way to acknowledge his own contribution.”

The full program for the 2016 Festival of Ideas, for which InDaily is media partner, will be announced mid-September. It will run from October 21-23 as part of the State Government’s Open State event.

Tickets for both the Erin Brockovich and opening night Festival of Ideas events are available now.

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