Mad March – the best and liveliest time to visit Adelaide

With a diverse landscape offering everything from pristine beaches to spectacular mountains, the finest wine regions, to a buzzing city, it’s no wonder that Lonely Planet has named South Australia its fifth best region in 2017!

Photo by Aggie Dalzotto, Vizia Photography

Something truly magical happens in March, when tourism spikes and festivals, motorsport, horse racing, and the arts converge upon Adelaide all at once.

According to the Minister for Tourism, Leon Bingell, it’s an exciting time with “world-class music, comedy, arts and one of the most exciting sporting events in Australia, the Clipsal 500 Adelaide.”

This year, $35 million was invested in the state’s budget to attract more visitors from beyond South Australia’s borders, and the message appears to be getting through.

Adelaide Fringe ticket sales smashed records with 655,541 tickets sold this year. According to Jack Snelling, Minister for Arts, The Fringe and The Adelaide Festival of the Arts bring millions of dollars into South Australia.

This year, the Clipsal 500, Adelaide’s motorsport event however, saw a dip in attendance with four-day attendance the lowest since 2004. Previous years saw the event hosting 2 concerts but this year a scheduling clash with the Adelaide Festival meant the Clipsal only hosted on concert.

“A lot of that attendance drop-off seems to be local people who said they would go to the free Neil Finn concert at the Adelaide Festival when they otherwise might have gone to a concert at the 500,” Mr Bigell said.

That being said, the event still saw a quarter of a million attendees over just four days and, according to Mr Bingell, that is a lot to be proud of.

Local residents might suggest that hosting multiple major events in one month is putting all your eggs in one basket. Perhaps it’s festival fatigue, the hot weather, or just the inconvenience of restricted traffic conditions and road closures, but some Adelaide locals prefer to steer clear of the city during Mad March.

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Tourism related expenditure in South Australia has reached a record $6.3 billion, with the highest numbers still flocking to Adelaide with 2.5 million visits.

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