Fancy lounging on a deckchair in front of the Art Gallery? How about chilling out on the grass at Ebeneezer Place? Or maybe you prefer a hit of table tennis in the East End before a spot of rock climbing in Rundle Mall?
These are just some of the experiments you might have noticed popping up around Adelaide over the summer as part of an initiative called Splash Adelaide.
Sponsored by the Adelaide City Council and State Government, Splash Adelaide promises to bring our “streets and spaces alive in a series of pilot projects”, at least according to its website.
Projects include free public outdoor movie screenings, aqua balls on the River Torrens, and a variety of street food vendors stationed around the city.
A pop-up plaza featuring an open air café in Gawler Place will “remain a programmed, activated plaza for as long as it is successful”.
Adelaide is sometimes criticised for not being as ‘exciting’ as Sydney, not as ‘culturally developed’ as Melbourne, and a place to avoid for young travellers. This is demonstrated on the online travel website TripAdvisor, which lists the top three attractions in Adelaide as Cleland Wildlife Park, the Glenelg tram and North Terrace.
However, if the Council’s project is successful, this image could soon change – Adelaide residents can now use the wide boulevards and green spaces around the city that often go unused, which will hopefully silence critics.
The project may also help to offset Mad March, where the city plays host to a bunch of major events over four weeks, including the world’s second largest Fringe Festival, Clipsal 500, Future Music Festival and Womad.
So why not head to Summer Fridays in the East End or to Leigh Street on Fridays from midday for alfresco dining? And remember to keep your eyes peeled for the next pop-up experiment around town.
It’s not certain what Splash Adelaide will surprise us with next, but one thing is for sure: if you want a good seat, arrive early.
Splash Adelaide runs until March 31.