Adelaide Guitar Festival will showcase a stellar line-up of South Australian musicians for its annual On The Road regional tour, including a brand new event in Lobethal next month.

The festival is presenting Hidden Hindmarsh and Strum & Stroll as part of the free community program, which sees some of the country’s finest musicians visit towns across regional South Australia to present an exciting curated series of live performances and workshops.

Held in partnership with the City of Charles Sturt, Hidden Hindmarsh will return for a second year on February 14, bringing live music to local cafes, theatres, restaurants and pubs. Classical duo Slava and Sharon Grigoryan will team up with saxophonist Adam Page for a special performance at The Gov, while Dusty Lee Stephensen and Taasha Coates will appear together at the Lady Daly Hotel.

The talented line-up also features fellow local artists Kelly Menhennett, Chris Finnen, Kaurna Cronin, Tom Kneebone, Aidan ‘Jazzy’ Jones, Mike Bevan and Alain Valodze. Venues include Plant 4 Bowden, Holden Street Theatres, New Local Eatery, Couch Potato, Joiners Arms hotel and Pony and Cole.

The following week, Adelaide Guitar Festival will head for the hills when it presents the inaugural Strum & Stroll in Lobethal on February 20.

A program of talented guitarists including Katie Aspel, Aloysius Leeson, Cal Williams Jr and Nancy Bates will perform live music across various main street venues, while blues group Lazy Eye and the Opal Guitar Quartet will appear at Lobethal’s Bierhaus and Lutheran Church respectively.

An evening concert at cultural centre Fabrik Arts + Heritage, located in the former Onkaparinga Woollen Mill, will feature songwriter Naomi Keyte along with folk acts Golonka and Runebilly Rattle.

A collaboration between the Guitar Festival and Adelaide Hills Council, Strum & Stroll is part of the council’s Festival of the Hills – a series of free, family-friendly events coinciding with the first weekend of Adelaide Fringe. It is also supported by the Federal Government’s Country SA PHN.

Adelaide Guitar Festival Artistic Director Slava Grigoryan said he was thrilled to celebrate local musicians while also supporting South Australian venues.

“We’ve been presenting events like these for many years, but now is certainly a time when businesses and artists need our support more than ever before. They are an important opportunity for musicians to connect with venues and showcase their talent to a wider audience.

“We were particularly keen to visit Lobethal and support local community members after the challenging year they’ve had with the December 2019 bushfires and then COVID-19 only a few months later. We look forward to presenting the fantastic line-up of South Australian guitarists we’ve put together for them, and we hope to see plenty of visitors come up to show their support and enjoy a great day of live music.”

Adelaide Hills Mayor Jan-Claire Wisdom said her council’s partnership with Adelaide Guitar Festival would celebrate the local community’s resilience and showcase all that Hills towns like Lobethal have to offer: “Small businesses along the main street will benefit from patronage throughout the day, and the family-focussed evening concert on Mill Square will be a fun way to finish the event. We really hope our local community and everyone who loves the Hills will get involved.”

The Department for Innovation and Skills through the Music Development Office and the South Australian Tourism Commission through Events South Australia are the major sponsors of Adelaide Guitar Festival On The Road.

Minister for Innovation and Skills David Pisoni said Adelaide Guitar Festival was a fantastic component of South Australia’s world-class arts festival calendar: “The Marshall Government is proud to financially support the Adelaide Guitar Festival On The Road and increase the opportunity for local audiences to enjoy some of Australia’s finest musical talent.”

With Adelaide Guitar Festival now held annually instead of every two years, Adelaide Festival Centre is gearing up to host ticketed shows at its venues from July 4-25. Further Adelaide Guitar Festival On The Road events will be announced as part of the full program launch.

From today, registrations are open for Adelaide Guitar Festival’s Winter School, including a Classical course from July 5-9 and a Blues & Roots course from July 12-16.

Also applications are open for the 2021 Adelaide International Classical Guitar Competition. First prize is $10,000 along with a handcrafted guitar by South Australian Master Luthier Jim Redgate, valued at $23,000, and an invitation to perform at next year’s Adelaide Guitar Festival.

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