Lights, music, visual art and virtual reality will combine when the new Illuminate Adelaidefestival premieres in the second half of July. Inspired by developments in the crossover between art and technology, winter time is an opportunity to “do something big” in the city, say co-founders and creative directors Rachael Azzopardi and Lee Cumberlidge.

North Forest Lightsat Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, created by Moment Factory, who will create Light Cyclesin the Adelaide Botanic Garden. Photograph courtesy of Illuminate Adelaide

Adelaide thinks of itself as the festival city in a festival state, say the pair, and Illuminate’s aim is to add greater accessibility and inclusion to that role: the 17-night event is designed with a “massive” free program taking over the central business district, alongside low-price, ticketed events in various locations.

Music is a key part of the festival, activating some unusual sites, such as the historic Queens Theatre in the west end, which is largely...