Adelaide Festival Centre, which presents the festival, says tonight’s show The Andalusian Guitar ­– featuring flamenco guitarist Paco Lara and Adelaide ensemble Compañía Alma Flamenca – has nearly sold out.

Also opening this weekend is The Bridge of San Luis Rey, a reimagining of the 1927 Thornton Wilder novel by Adelaide’s Brink Productions, which was co-commissioned by the Guitar Festival and is performed by Paul Capsis alongside guitarists Slava Grigoryan and Manus Noble.

The festival was thrown a curve ball by COVID-19 interstate travel restrictions, which meant the Melbourne Guitar Quartet and 2019 Adelaide International Classical Guitar Competition winner Andrew Blanch were unable to get here for their planned performance tomorrow at the Dunstan Playhouse.

Instead, the scheduled show has been renamed A Classical Celebration and will feature guitar virtuoso Oliver Fartach-Naini, Slava and Sharon Grigoryan, Manus Noble, Mike Bevan and Alain Valodze. It will be opened by the Adelaide Guitar Festival Orchestra, made up of musicians who have taken part in a week-long classical intensive Guitar Winter School at the Festival Centre.

Singer-songwriter Lecia Louise, who was to have played in a double bill with folk duo Hussy Hicks on July 16, has also been grounded by the travel restrictions. It was announced yesterday that she will be replaced by “powerhouse vocalist” Liz Stringer.

“We’re very excited about adding Liz Stringer to our line-up, and we’re confident that we’ll be welcoming back Lecia Louise to our festival in 2022,” said Guitar Festival artistic director Slava Grigoryan.

“Our team is working hard to ensure program continuity for our audiences, so it’s great that this performance can still go ahead with as much of the original format as possible.”

Adelaide Guitar Festival headline event The Stones’ Sticky Fingers, which will see Australian musicians Tim Rogers, Adalita, Phil Jamieson and Tex Perkins perform the Rolling Stones’ iconic album at Her Majesty’s Theatre next week, has completely sold out, and limited tickets are left for Archie Roach’s performance at Her Maj on July 16.

The festival continues until July 25, with other highlights including performances by blues & roots musician Ash Grunwald, supported by local musician Nick Kipridis; cabaret performer Carla Lippis, in a double bill with jazz guitarists Hugh Stuckey and James Muller; and a celebration of the bass guitar – The Lowdown – featuring an all-Adelaide line-up of bassists.

The Adelaide International Classical Guitar Competition, which was to have been held at the Dunstan Playhouse, has been moved to an online format due to the interstate travel restrictions.

Grigoryan says the Guitar Festival – now an annual event ­– will show the guitar’s ability to star in any genre of music “from classical and jazz to rock, blues & roots and flamenco”.

The opening weekend’s free events include “come and try” sessions in the Dunstan Playhouse Station Foyer.

The 2021 Adelaide Guitar Festival continues until July 25.

Make a comment View comment guidelines

Support local arts journalism

InReview is a ground-breaking publication providing local and professional coverage of the arts in South Australia. Your tax-deductible donation will go directly to support this independent, not-for-profit, arts journalism and critique.

Donate Here

This article is supported by the Judith Neilson Institute for Journalism and Ideas.