22 Oct 2020

South Australia named Best Event State in the nation

Adelaide Fringe
Adelaide Fringe

South Australia has been voted the nation’s Best Event State in the 2020 Australian Event Awards, an annual national awards program celebrating the best of the Australian events industry.

It is the third time SA has taken home the title, and one of several categories in which SA made a national finalist – including the Santos Tour Down Under which was shortlisted for Australia’s Best Sporting Event and Best Tourism Event.

Premier Steven Marshall said South Australia is renowned for its events and festivals that promote the state as a destination of choice.

“It’s no wonder South Australia has taken the nation’s title of best event state, with so many fantastic events and festivals on our state’s calendar,” said Mr Marshall.

“We invest in events and festivals, from flagship internationally-recognised events like the Santos Tour Down Under to regional and community events held across the state, because they attract visitors and create economic activity, and they are the lifeblood of our communities.

“There’s no doubt it’s been a challenging year for tourism and events, but as one of the safest states in the safest country, we’ve been able to get events back up and running COVID-safe in South Australia, and see our state enjoying the benefits they bring.”

The award was accepted by South Australian Tourism Commission chief executive Rodney Harrex, who acknowledged that 2020 has been no ordinary year for the events industry.

“From the most popular cycling race in the southern hemisphere in the Santos Tour Down Under to the world renowned arts festival in the Adelaide Fringe, South Australia is known for being able to put on a stellar event,” said Mr Harrex.

“In 2019, the South Australian Tourism Commission hosted the leading global aviation conference, the 25th World Routes – its first time in Australia – which attracted thousands of executives of airlines to discuss new air routes and building capacity.

“While this year might look different, it’s been fantastic to see events get back on the calendar in SA from the National Pharmacies Christmas Pageant to the NRL State of Origin, and a whole host of regional and community events held across the state.

“I couldn’t be prouder to accept this award on behalf of South Australian event organisers who’ve had it incredibly tough this year, and the community who’ve got behind these events to help make them what they are.”

Other South Australian event winners and national finalists are listed below.


  • Best Regional Event - Travelling Light 2019 by illuminart Australia

State or territory winners:

  • Best Charity or Cause Related Event - Nature Play Festival 2019, Nature Play SA
  • Best Cultural, Arts or Music Event - Adelaide Fringe 2020

National finalists:

  • Best Tourism Event - Santos Tour Down Under 2020
  • Best Sporting Event - Santos Tour Down Under 2020
  • Best Corporate Event - World Routes 2019
  • Best Exhibition, Trade or Consumer Show - World Routes 2019

For details, go to the Australian Event Awards website