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The 1982 Adelaide Festival was held from Friday, March 5 to Sunday, March 21, led by Artistic Director Jim Sharman.

Sharman’s festival opened with a parade through the city centre including more than 10,000 people with banners, floats and costumes, followed by a concert in Elder Park with Nuova Compagnia di Canto Popolare and the Grimethorpe Colliery Band on a floating stage.

Festival highlights included Pina Bausch's Wuppertaler Tanztheater, the premiere of Patrick White’s play The Signal Driver, silent movies in Elder Park and ballroom dancing and rollerskating on the Adelaide Festival Centre Plaza.