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After narrowly avoiding the clutches of COVID-19 last year, Adelaide Fringe Festival is officially moving forward in 2021, officially making it the luckiest festival on earth.

The biggest arts festival in the Southern Hemisphere has been giving audiences a dose of the surreal, spectacular and silliness since its inception in 1960, and this year is no exception.

The beauty of Adelaide Fringe is that any act is able to register to perform – although organisers stress that it has to be legal, which is a conveniently low bar – so you’re bound to go in with no idea what to expect, only to come out shaken to your very core.

Now that the festival’s officially kicked off, we scoured a few of the must-see acts and venues locked in over the festival’s 31-day run, between Feb 19 and March 21.

Important note: For those concerned about the state of the borders, South Australia has committed to The Adelaide Guarantee – if things go pearshaped, you’re promised a moneyback guarantee.

Hello Good Thanks – Better Out Than In, March 18 – 20, 6:30pm

Effie (otherwise known as Mary Coustas) has been a staple of Australian comedy for decades, and she keeps finding inventive ways to impress the masses.

Coustas’ ultra-recognisable persona has snagged a three-day slot at the tail-end of the Fringe Festival in the form of her latest stand-up show, Better Out Than In.

Not much is known about what will go down during the night as of yet, which is perfect – Effie can do no wrong, so everyone will be impatiently waiting for March to come around so they can get a glimpse of the shenanigans.

How To Drink Wine Like A Wanker, Feb 20 – March 21, weekends only

Anna Thomas’ one-woman show How To Drink Wine Like A Wanker has become a cult favourite at Adelaide Fringe since premiering back in 2018.

Formerly a vineyard tour guide, Thomas chronicles her journey from a novice wine enthusiast to a ‘full-blown wanker’ (her words, not ours), and anyone who’s had to fake their way through a wine tour will find her show painfully relatable.

Jimeoin – Turn It Up!Feb 19 – March 21, 8pm

Frankly, Jimeoin could discuss what he had for breakfast in excrutiating detail and I still reckon I’d let out a chuckle – his delivery is phenomenal.

The Irish comedian will be performing his Turn It Up! stand-up set across both months of Fringe, totalling an eyewatering 27 nights.

Despite the number of sets, there’s still a chance tickets will sell out quicksticks, so get in….quicksticks.

The Abandoned Cabin, Feb 22 – March 18, Mondays to Thursdays

What can only be described as a haunted house / escape room hybrid, The Abandoned Cabin gives you and your mates 60 minutes to break out before you, one can assume, get devoured by whatever is stuck in the cabin with you.

If you’re not into jump scares and/or the pressure of having to get out of a seemingly locked room, you might want to skip this – for everyone else, prepare to soil yourselves.

Rouge, Feb 19 – March 21, 7:50pm

After winning the title of Best Circus during Adelaide Fringe Festival’s 2020 run, Rouge is returning to arouse and astound.

The adults-only spectacle is a mix of acrobatics, cabaret and burlesque, so be careful when choosing who you go with as the last thing you want is to be sitting next to your mum all hot under the collar.

Although, if your mum really wants to go, just book tickets to separate nights.

Sophie Koh – Book of Songs, March 6, 3:30pm

Award-winning singer-songwriter Sophie Koh is dropping by the Fringe Festival to perform music from her latest album, Book of Songs.

Koh’s most recent work is a collection of indie-pop songs inspired by ancient Chinese poems and Western classical music, the album narrating part of Koh’s life growing up in Malaysia and Singapore.

Come for the stunning music, stay for the story.

Head here to book tickets while you can and scour the rest of the shows, nights, and events on offer.

Image: Rouge