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DreamBIG Children's Festival – when, where, activities and resources

The DreamBIG Children's Festival is an iconic arts festival for children and young people held every 2 years in South Australia.

The festival was originally known as Come Out Children's Festival, and started in 1974. Since then it's become an important part of South Australia's preschool and school calendar.

The festival includes:

  • a poster competition, where the winning entry is used in festival materials
  • an opening event involving around 2,000 children
  • performances
  • workshops
  • statewide projects
  • activities
  • film
  • exhibitions
  • storytelling experiences
  • teacher professional learning opportunities.

The festival has:

  • a schools program, where students take part in events and performances through their school
  • a general public program for families.

When and where

The next festival will be held 17 to 27 May 2023. The festival ties in with the UNESCO International Arts Education Week, which is 22 to 28 May 2023.

Events will be held all around the state, including at the Adelaide Festival Centre, Elder Park and throughout Adelaide. 

Download the 2023 DreamBIG schools program

Book online using the school booking form.

School booking enquires can be directed to:

Heather McGinn, Schools and Festivals Ticketing Coordinator, by email dreambig.ticketing [at] adelaidefestivalcentre.com.au or phone 8216 8603. 

In view of the COVID-19 pandemic, the program and schedule may be altered in response to the advice of the Chief Medical Officer.

DreamBIG teaching and learning resource

A teaching and learning resource and companion document is produced by the Department for Education to support each DreamBIG Children’s Festival.

Using a learning design approach, resources are aligned with the arts section of the Australian Curriculum (version 9), the general capabilities including literacy and numeracy, and the artistic program of the festival. They contain many learning experiences, all based on each festival’s theme.

The 2023 resources feature:

  • information about the 2023 DreamBIG theme Our World, statewide projects, professional learning, Arts education, Arts curriculum and Department for Education programs and resources 
  • ideas for developing learning in, through and about the Arts  
  • 10 learning sequences across Dance, Drama, Media Arts, Music and Visual Arts
  • additional materials, resources and equipment lists for the 10 learning sequences 
  • a playlist with music matched to learning sequences and activities.

2023 DreamBIG resource

Previous DreamBig resources

DreamBIG statewide projects

As part of each festival, a range of statewide activities will be on offer.

For notification of the statewide program register your details (name, school and contact details) to education.DreamBIG [at] sa.gov.au.

In 2023 the range of statewide projects can be found in the schools program via the ‘regional’ icon and in the teaching and learning resource on pages 44-47.

Livestream the following events:

  • online teacher briefing – program and resource launch (Thursday 27 October, 2022) 
  • opening event (17 May, 2023) 
  • professional learning panel: Creative Minds, Creative Worlds, Young people engaging, experiencing and creating in Our World (Thursday 25 May, 2023). 

DreamBIG teacher workshops

As part of the DreamBIG Children’s Festival, the department offers a range of practical workshops across metropolitan and regional centres in the few months prior to each festival. 

For notification of the workshop program, register your details (name, school and contact details) to education.DreamBIG [at] sa.gov.au

2023 DreamBIG poster competition 

Entries are closed for 2023 festival poster competition.

Reception to year 12 students were invited to enter the 2023 DreamBIG poster competition to depict the theme Our World. The winning design, chosen by a panel of judges, has been incorporated into the range of publicity materials for 2023 DreamBIG Children’s Festival.

Congratulations to Leia Gaffney, a year 3 student from Bridgewater Primary School who created the 2023 winning entry ‘Candy Land’!

Leia created her eye-catching, colourful design through discussion, planning and sketching of ideas. Explaining how her artwork portrays the theme of Our World, Leia wrote: ‘My dream is peace and freedom in the world. My colours represent peace and freedom. My patterns red and orange represents harmony. Working together in harmony and peace.’

Consent forms

Any student materials submitted must be accompanied with the necessary consent form:

Become an arts ambassador

Arts ambassadors are educators in schools and preschools in South Australia who are interested in or are teaching the arts.

They receive email news with up-to-date information about DreamBIG, teacher professional learning, events, and the arts section of the Australian Curriculum.

Registration is free.

To register or to update your contact details, email your name, school, year level(s) you teach and your role education.DreamBIG [at] sa.gov.au.

DreamBIG Children's Festival

Phone: 8463 5994
Emaileducation.DreamBIG [at] sa.gov.au