The two cultural powerhouses have set joint goals for artistic, business and community collaboration over the next three years.

A historic agreement has been brokered between Adelaide and Edinburgh, with the Adelaide Festival signing a Memorandum of Understanding with Edinburgh International Festival earlier this week. The agreement formalises the relationship between the two festivals and sets out joint goals for artistic business and community collaboration over the next three years. The collaborations will include everything from ticketing systems, promotional campaigns and artistic exchanges to sharing staff and other resources.

Describing the agreement as “a watershed” for the two festivals, Rachel Healy, Co-Artistic Director of the Adelaide Festival said: “It is thrilling to contemplate a shared future which involves creative collaborations, commissions and artistic exchange; opportunities to share market insights and new audience and business initiatives; and celebrating the commitment of audiences in both cities to a rich and diverse cultural life.”

The agreements will also see collaboration between the two cities’ Fringe Festivals – the two largest annual arts festivals in the world. “Other than Adelaide, there are very few events with the structure of a formal festival at the centre of it and the Fringe around it,” said Edinburgh International Festival Director Fergus Linehan in a report in The Scotsman, “There are some projects which need development over many years and are not necessarily suitable for individual seasons. It helps generally with the costs of big new productions if you have a number of dates lined up.”

“A bit of this is about developing shows together, but it’s also about looking at the way things are funded in future and they are dealing with the same challenging issues over infrastructure as we are at the moment,” he said.

The South Australian Arts Minister Jack Snelling joined representatives from the Adelaide Festival, Adelaide Fringe and Festivals Adelaide as they signed official agreements with their Edinburgh counterparts. “This is a huge step forward in the relationship between Edinburgh and Adelaide – the world’s leading festival cities,” said Snelling, “The economic benefit for both cities can’t be disputed. This is a historic moment.”