Adelaide Festival has announced that experienced English festival director Ruth Mackenzie will take over as Artistic Director from mid-2022. Rachel Healy and Neil Armfield’s tenure was due to finish at the end of 2023, but that will be brought forward by several months to allow Healy and Armfield to take up new opportunities.

Incoming Adelaide Festival Artistic Director Ruth Mackenzie.

It’s a somewhat unique situation, possible only because of a backlog of productions destined for Adelaide stages caused by COVID meaning that 80 percent of the major events scheduled for the 2023 festival are either confirmed or well advanced.

McKenzie will complete the work already done by Healy and Armfield on the 2023 festival, and then will program the 2024, 2025 and 2026 events festivals in her own right. An experienced festival director with more than 40 years’ experience, McKenzie is a former director of Holland Festival and Manchester International Festival, and was in charge of the cultural program for the 2012 London Olympics....