The South Australian capital joins an elite group of 19 cities praised for their vibrant music scene.
Adelaide has been formally recognised by the United Nations as the latest UNESCO City of Music. Adelaide joins 18 other cities from around the world that have been certified as top musical destinations, and becomes one of 116 cities in UNESCO’s Creative Cities network, including Melbourne City of Literature (2008) and Sydney the Creative City of Film (2010).
The State Government of South Australia announced its intention to run for the internationally esteemed title in July, and its prospective membership was endorsed by the City of Seville, the first city to be granted UNESCO City of Music status. As a member of this elite collection of musical cities, a report of Adelaide’s musical activities is required every four years.
Adelaide’s application was spearheaded by the South Australian Arts Minister Jack Snelling, the Adelaide Festival Centre and the local City Council. “We have a wonderful range of musical culture in Adelaide, ranging from classical music such as the Australian String Quartet and the Adelaide Chamber Singers, right through to our wonderful rock bands who cut their teeth here in Adelaide,” Minister Snelling said. As part of the push to attain UNESCO status, the state has made changes to its liquor laws intended to encourage venues to host more live music performances. “We’ve made a particular investment in that area to make sure that the live music scene thrives,” Minister Snelling added.
The city already hosts a number of popular festivals, such as the Adelaide Guitar Festival, Womadelaide and the Adelaide Festival, that attract thousands of visitors, both local and interstate, annually. It’s hoped the new UNESCO recognition will not only increase the number of music events in the state capital, but also expand on the number of regional tours taking place in South Australia. The listing as a City of Music will also create more chances for international collaborations, such as the upcoming performances at the 2016 Womadelaide in March by Colombian harpist Edmar Castañeda.