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From inflatable dogs to opera, festival crowds return

The Adelaide Festival has surpassed box office targets ahead of its closing weekend, bringing in just under $6 million so far.

More than a dozen shows have enjoyed sold-out runs, including Windmill Theatre's surreal Hans and Gret and Christian Spuck's choreographed Messa da Requiem.

The festival's return to a full-strength slate of international programming has seen 83,312 tickets sold with a quarter of those going to interstate visitors.

Among the best-selling were the STC's latest cine-theatre production, Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, and New Zealand singer-songwriter Lorde.

Most of the 2023 content was programmed by long-time artistic directors Rachel Healy and Neil Armfield, and their replacement Ruth Mackenzie said members of the public approach her on the street with their feedback.

"It's really great to get notes of things we can do better, but actually an awful lot of people are just saying this is really fantastic," she told AAP.

The 2023 program will be a tough act to follow for Mackenzie, who has programmed festivals across Europe, and ran the cultural program for the London Olympics.

"The bar is so high I've got to take up pole vaulting," she joked.

Dozens of free events also attracted a crowd of almost 50,000.

More than 10,000 people (not to mention 643 dogs) saw the enchanting illuminated inflatables at the Lost Dogs' Disco in the Adelaide Hills.

Adelaide Writers' Week also drew a crowd of 17,000 for 130 free events over March 4-9, which were also live streamed into libraries, schools, retirement villages and nursing homes.

With WOMADelaide kicking off just as the writers' fest wrapped up, it's little wonder locals call it Mad March.

It all made for a total audience of 239,280 so far, from high art costing hundreds per ticket, to the inflatable dogs that could be viewed (and patted) for free.