The annual South Australian celebration of the arts, which opens this week, has already sold over $2.3 million worth of tickets.

David Sefton’s final year in charge of the Adelaide Festival of Arts is set to be one of the most lucrative in the annual event’s 56-year history. Over $2.3 million worth of tickets have already sold for the 2016 Festival’s 27 ticketed events.

“Bringing the highest quality and large-scale international works to South Australia is a cornerstone of Adelaide Festival,” said the Festival’s Chief Executive Karen Bryant in an interview with Arts Review. “These exclusive Australian debuts play a significant role in maintaining the festival’s reputation as one of the country’s major destination events and driving the state’s tourism industry.”

One of the world’s most celebrated dance companies, Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch, will give an Australian exclusive performance of Nelken, in which twenty dancers will present the strikingly surreal piece on a stage carpeted in pink carnations. The company gave their debut Australian performance at the Adelaide Festival of Arts in 1982, and Nelken has become the fastest-selling dance show in the Festival’s 55-year history. The James Plays, an epic 11-hour Scottish theatrical trilogy, has also drawn strong ticket sales.

The opening night spectacular of pyrotechnics and audio-visual performance by French Company Groupe F has become the fastest selling show in the festival’s history, with over 10,000 tickets sold in three days. “It’s an exclusive spectacular you can only see in Adelaide, and this is a company that has done opening ceremonies at the Olympics, they have done the Eiffel Tower on Bastille Day,” Bryant said to ABC News.

The Festival was careful in organising ticket pricings, consciously planning around the tough economic conditions currently troubling South Australia. “We’re very aware of ticket pricing and making sure that people don’t feel like they can only afford to go to see one thing,” said Bryant. “We want people to immerse themselves in a festival and see a range of things, and so, affordability for us is important.”

The 2016 Adelaide Festival of Arts runs from 26 February to 14 March. For more information, visit their website.

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