Bonython Park circus and events site

Looking west you will see a large tract of flat grassed land adjacent to Port Road, which hosts numerous major events each year and plays an important part in Adelaide’s society and community culture.

This area is best known for its long history of entertainment, with visiting circuses having camped at Bonython Park since 1953.

Bullen’s Circus, which was then described as Australia’s largest, was the first circus to camp on this site that later became part of Bonython Park. It is said that when the circus made its way to the site it caused the biggest traffic jam ever experienced on Port Road, while the police were kept busy when 10,000 people turned up to watch the raising of the big top.

From the mid-1960s the introduction of the jumbo jet ushered in the era of the monster circus and entertainment spectacle. Accompanied by hundreds of tons of equipment, the Park saw visits by Moscow State Circus, Disney on Parade, International Ice Follies, Lloyd Webber productions and the Cirque de Soleil.

More recently this area has hosted music festivals like Soundwave, Stereosonic and We Love Sounds. It was also the former site of the Adelaide Skyshow (a fireworks display which used to be held each year on Australia Day) and for a time home of the Schutzenfest. It has also played host over a recent summer, to Water Wonderland, an inflatable water theme park.

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