If successful the South Australian capital will be come the tenth city, worldwide, to be bestowed the honour.
Historically the cultural capitals of Australia have widely been considered to be Sydney, with its internationally iconic opera house, and Melbourne with its glut of world-class performance venues. However another Australian city is now making a challenge to the capitals of Victoria and New South Wales as the nation’s leading seat of musical excellence. With a rich history of high-quality music and musicians, Adelaide is seeking global recognition for its musical pedigree with a bid to be named a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) City of Music.
If successful, Adelaide will be the 10th major city worldwide to be granted the title, joining an international network of 69 so called “Creative Cities” across multiple artistic disciplines spanning 32 countries.
The South Australian State Government are hoping for a boom in tourism, greater federal investment in the arts, and a greater influx of interstate and international orchestras and ensembles if the city is awarded the title. Adelaide has also received glowing messages of support and advice for its campaign from Seville, the first city to be named a City of Music by UNESCO.
Home to the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and the State Opera of South Australia, Adelaide has impressive classical credentials, but it also boasts a substantial number of contemporary music outfits. In addition to events such as the Adelaide Guitar Festival and WOMADelaide, the city has also birthed a number of Australian bands, pop and rock musicians, and ensembles, the likes of which, include; The Mark of Cain, Hilltop Hoods, Cold Chisel, Eric Bogle, Sia Fuller, Guy Sebastian, the Adelaide Art Orchestra, and the Zephyr Quartet.
In an interview with trade publication ArtsHub, South Australian Arts Minister, Jack Snelling, shared his belief that Adelaide is a serious candidate for UNESCO’s next City of Music title.
“Adelaide has a long and proud history in music and generating world-class musicians, we have terrific and growing music festivals and the international recognition that would come with being an internationally recognised city of music would be invaluable,” he said.
Adelaide Festival Centre’s Chief Executive Officer and Artistic Director, Douglas Gautier, said that if the outcome were successful there would be significant benefits for the city.
“[A successful bid] will provide opportunities for all sorts of musicians and composers and people associated with music of all kinds in this city in terms of international collaboration, profiling, international collection opportunities,” Gautier said.
“It will provide the city with a much greater profile and international connection. This is a global cultural initiative led by probably the most powerful trans-national cultural organization on the planet.”
Formed in 2004, The UNESCO Creative Cities Network aims to establish and promote cooperation with cities that have identified creativity as a strategic factor for sustainable urban development. The global network covers seven creative fields: Crafts and Folk Art, Design, Film, Gastronomy, Literature, Music, and Media Arts.
The outcome of Adelaide’s bid will be known by late October, and if successful will be Australia’s third city to join the ranks of UNESCO’s Creative Cities, joining Melbourne City of Literature (2008) and Sydney the Creative City of Film (2010).