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The 1968 Adelaide Festival was held from Thursday, March 7 to Saturday, March 23 and programmed by a committee consisting of Sir Robert Helpmann, John Baily, BLD Coughlan, Wal Cherry, David Galliver and CJ Glover (chair).

While the fifth festival was dogged by controversy it featured some excellent highlights including opera singers Tito Gobbi and Marie Collier, Acker Bilk and his Paramount Jazz Band and Mahler’s monumental Eighth Symphony and the Salzburg Marionette Theatre. Perhaps most memorable was Marlene Dietrich’s incredible performance. Dietrich also made headlines when she slapped a television interviewer three times across the face.