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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 19 to 29 May 2021. The festival ties in with the UNESCO International Arts Education Week, which is 24 to 30 May 2021.

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

Schedule may change in response to COVID-19

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

2021 DreamBIG teaching and learning resource

2021 DreamBIG teacher workshops

As part of the DreamBIG Children’s Festival, the department is offering practical workshops across metropolitan and regional centres.

They’ll cover:

  • Drama – Curiosity box/Space-iosity
  • Media Arts – Chroma key critters: Animation and screen trickery
  • Dance – Dancing our landscape

Download the 2021 DreamBIG Children's Festival Professional Learning Workshops (PDF 285KB) to register and get more information.

2021 DreamBIG statewide projects

One Minute Sculptures: inspired by Erwin Wurm

Students from years R–12 are invited to pose with an everyday object for one minute, while a photo is taken. Submissions received up until 30 April 2021.

Big Screens, Little Artists

Years 3–12 students can submit short digital artworks for display on the new big digital screens inside and outside the Adelaide Festival Centre. The DreamBIG website has details and submission instructions.

Consent forms

Remember, any student materials submitted must be accompanied with the necessary consent form:

2021 DreamBig poster competition winner

South Australian R–12 students were invited to enter a poster competition, competing for a monetary prize. The winning design has been professional incorporated into a range of materials for DreamBIG 2021. Phitchapha Ritnayom, a Year 6 student from Pennington School R–7 and now, Le Fevre Peninsula School, is our 2021 winner! Congratulations Phitchapha!

Festival teaching and learning resources

A teaching and learning resource is produced by the Department for Education to support each DreamBIG Children’s Festival. Each resource is deliberately designed to be used any time of year and not only alongside the festival. 

Using a learning design approach, resources are aligned with the arts section of the Australian Curriculum, 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.

Each resource (and the school’s program) becomes available towards the end of term 3 in the year before the festival year, eg around September or October 2020.

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, email your name, school and contact details to education.DreamBIG [at] sa.gov.au.

DreamBIG Children's Festival

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