Digital Garden makes a comeback

LIGHTING UP: Illuminate Adelaide co-founders and creative directors Lee Cumberlidge and Rachael Azzopardi will be taking the festival back down to the Cave Gardens this year for a revamped and fresh 'Digital Garden' experience. Picture: Supplied

Tyler Redway

ILLUMINATE Adelaide will be making its return to Mount Gambier with the Digital Garden experience, along with a completely new program.

Co-founders and creative directors Rachael Azzopardi and Lee Cumberlidge said that it would hopefully be similar or better in 2022 compared to last year’s reported attendance of 10,000 people, due to the Victorian borders being reopened for this year.

“We were overwhelmed by that response and that so many people came out in winter and embraced the cold while enjoying it,” Mr Cumberlidge said.

“The Victorian border was completely closed the last time we were in Mount Gambier which meant those communities in far Western Victoria who were planning to come for it couldn’t.

“This year we’re hoping to see that cross border visitation into Mount Gambier for this program.”

Mr Cumberlidge said there would be two new main interactive pieces from the UK as the focus of this year’s Illuminate Adelaide event.

The two bigger installations in the garden will be ‘The Pool’ by Jen Lewin from the UK and Squidsoup from the UK as well with ‘Submergence’,” he said.

“‘The Pool’ is a piece with incredible illuminated touchpads that you can run and jump on which change colour and swirl different patterns.

“‘Submergence’ is a piece with hanging pixelated LED lights which change different colours as you wander through them.”

Ms Azzopardi said they were hoping to expand and grow the Digital Garden now that people started to recognise it, while adding that it would be great to make it an annual event.

“We’re working with the South Australian Tourism Commission (SATC) and this is really an initiative led by them,” Ms Azzopardi said.

“We’re really waiting for the SATC about what regions they want to extend into so at this stage, we’re working towards making this the biggest and the best event we can this year.”

Mr Cumberlidge added that considering the team had already built a good relationship with the Mount Gambier City Council, it would be a straightforward process to set the event in motion.

“We don’t have any of the threats of Covid lockdowns or border closures that we did last year so I think it’s going to be good,” he said.

Illuminate Adelaide’s ‘Digital Garden’ will be held at the Cave Gardens in Mount Gambier from August 5-21 nightly from 6pm to 10pm.