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Umbrella brings live music to unlikely spaces


Live music on trams, a mini hip-hop festival, karaoke with a band, and a metal tribute show at Glenside Hospital’s Z Ward are among highlights of the program announced today for Adelaide’s new Umbrella: Winter City Sounds festival.

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Taking place from July 15 to August 7 this year, Umbrella will feature more than 200 live performances in 60 different venues, with the aim of enlivening the city during a traditionally quiet time of year.

It is partially curated by Music SA, which commissioned 17 emerging music entrepreneurs to create a range of live music experiences.

“Our city of music will be alive with a diverse smorgasbord of sounds, from hip-hop, folk and pop to heavy metal, world music and even karaoke,” Music SA general manager Lisa Bishop says in the program introduction.

Two events that will appeal to hip-hop fans are Root Down, a street-festival event showcasing acts including Sampa The Great, Oisima and Abbey Howlett, and The Warm Up with Golden Era Records (the Hilltop Hoods’ label), which will be hosted by beatboxer Tom Thum and feature a line-up of DJs at the Ed Castle Hotel.

Commuters will be entertained with the Tram Sessions, a concept that originated in Melbourne and will see five performances from artists including young singer-songwriters Jesse Davidson and Ollie English.

Project co-ordinator Sharni Honor says the sessions offer a new platform for musicians and “bring a little life and sunshine and those lovely vibes into a somewhat mundane environment”.

“The beautiful thing about the videos that get filmed and put up on the interwebs is that it spreads it nationwide and even internationally.”

Bringing music to different – and unusual – spaces in the city is a theme of Umbrella, with other events including a series of performances at Adelaide Zoo, an electronic music show under the laneway canopy in Cinema Place in the East End, and a tribute to Scandinavian black metal and drone music, Hypothermia, in the old Z Ward (which previously housed patients classified as “criminally insane”) at Glenside Hospital.

Hot in the City will feature 18 different Adelaide cover bands performing across nine themed nights at the German Club, while So You Think You Can Sing – inspired by the popular Masaoke event at this year’s Fringe – is karaoke with a live band at The Gov, with daytime performances for kids and  evening events for adults.

Festival goers will also have the opportunity to hear new music by SA composers Adam Page, Ross McHenry and Matt Sheens in a four-part concert at the ASO’s Grainger Studio in Hindley Street, and a world music showcase (Globo Music) at the Nexus Arts Centre.

The full program for Umbrella: Winter City Sounds  can be viewed here.

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