Our “sister festival” in Australia attracts 30,000 attendess and we couldn’t be prouder.

Our “sister festival” in Australia attracts 30,000 attendess and we couldn’t be prouder.

The first annual Adelaide International Guitar Festival, inspired and assisted by the New York Guitar Festival, concluded on Sunday, December 2nd with an homage to Jimi Hendrix with over 4,000 people packed into Elder Park. With a line-up of many of the worlds most distinctive guitarists, it was a fitting end to an extraordinary musical feast.

photo: adelaide1.jpg

For the past ten days (Nov 23 - Dec 2), more than seventy artists have inspired, entertained, amused and educated guitar-lovers from across the globe. There have been finger-pickers and shredders, slide maestri and virtuosi from all genres, who have offered an extraordinary experience for concert goers of all tastes.

photo: adelaide2.jpg photo: adelaide3.jpg

David Spelman, the New York Guitar Festival’s Artistic Director and AIGF Artistic Advisor, said, “We couldn’t be prouder of our sister festival’s roaring success. For ten days Adelaide became The City of Guitars and it was a great honor to work side by side with our Australian friends to make this ambitious vision a reality. The upcoming New York Guitar Festival will be right-side up and wintry and mostly crocodile free, but just as happening.”

As expected, Adelaide audiences embraced the event in the thousands – from dad and kids in “Metallica” t-shirts to the glitterati in tuxes. The atmosphere at the Festival Centre was electrified by impromptu performances—in the café and surrounds, after concerts when musicians played for one another. Few showgoers passed on the opportunity to mingle with some of the world’s greats in the Wah Bar.

Having hosted more than 30,000 attendees at a festival with some of the best music out there, event producer Christine Schloithe is “absolutely delighted with the glowing responses from both audiences and artists to this new music festival. Our artists, without exception, have expressed their wish to come back in future years and audiences are already saying how much they will be looking forward to 2008.”

photo: adelaide5.jpg photo: adelaide14.jpg

Adelaide’s Guinness Book of World Records attempt at the largest guitar band in the world kicked off events, with more than 2,000 people in Elder Park participating in a rambling version of Smoke on the Water, on a balmy Friday evening. Adelaide now holds the Australian record and will try again for the world record in 2008.

Concerts by Slava Grigoryan, Kaki King, Jeff Lang and Caliente were sold out. The co-production between the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and the Adelaide Festival Centre “Rhapsodie Espagnole”(featuring the Grammy Award-winning Assad Duo) was a great success with the Festival Theatre itself close to capacity each night. Artist master classes, forums, and workshops were all well attended.

photo: adelaide4.jpg

Artist in residence, Jeff Lang said, “It has been great being here for the duration of the event. Catching up with friends, and making new friends is what it’s all about. The best part was playing with, and learning from new people which only makes me a better player. It has been an inspiring and thoroughly professional event to be a part of”.

photo: adelaide6.jpg

Musical highlights included Juan Martin’s fiery, standout performance on opening night. Vernon Reid’s set in the “On The Verge” program had hundreds rushing to the stage to get closer to the action. The Pigram Brothers, joined by Richard Clapton during “Rips & Riffs” was a shining moment, with some audience members (and even hard-bitten staff) moved to tears. Dave Hole’s version of Purple Haze was a music tour de force at the conclusion of “Slideshow – Masters of the Slide Guitar,” when he masterfully filled in on short notice for Cindy Cashdollar whose flights were delayed due to aircraft problems.

The many exhibitions were very well received. Danny Clinch’s series of candid shots captures guitarists—from Bob Dylan, Tom Waits, Tom Petty, and Johnny Cash, to the ten-year-old Portuguese fado player standing on a chair in his mother’s kitchen. Ian Stehlig’s guitar collection drew gasps from viewers and Vernon Reid’s “Artifical Afrika”, which included an artist talk & performance, was exhilarating and informative.

The festival’s other artist in residence, Jefferson Airplane/Hot Tuna member Jorma Kaukonen couldn’t congratulate the organizers more. “I have never been involved with such an impressive and well-organized event. The caliber of artists and behind-the-scenes staff has been a joy to be involved with.”

Jazz great Martin Taylor, who flew in from London and was only in Adelaide for a day, said, “I didn’t want to miss it. I’ve played at many festivals and I can’t believe the quality of artists you have assembled here. The professional management of this (event) puts many others around the world to shame.”

Planning for the 2008 event is well underway. Adelaide Festival Centre CEO and Artistic Director, Douglas Gautier, said, “This first AIGF line up has included some of the world's very best guitarists. It has been an impressive foundation on which to build the Festival’s reputation for future years. Not only that we now hold the national record for biggest guitar band and are confident of grabbing the world record at the next Festival.”

AIGF WEBSITE: www.adelaideguitarfestival.com.au


OK, we admit it. We like it when people write about us. Here’s some of what they had to say about the Adelaide International Guitar Festival:

“Never before have we had a festival like this….the Guitar Festival was a roaring success and an unqualified winner. Whoever thought of it has seized on a brilliant idea and pulled it off remarkably well in its first year. The key was linking it up with the New York Guitar Festival and creating a southern sister to that event.

“The richness of the line-up and the thoughtful way in which the musicians have been themed into different events is yet another example of the seriousness with which South Australia approaches its self-proclaimed remit as the festival state.

“The Renowned New York Guitar Festival has spread its wings to Adelaide”
- The Melbourne Age

“A genuinely international event… curated by David Spelman, the man behind the world-renowned New York Guitar Festival”

“The first Adelaide International Guitar Festival will open with the sounds of Spain and close with an all-star tribute to Jimi Hendrix…. The State Government is contributing $2 million over four years to stage the event, which has been developed in conjunction with the New York Guitar Festival. “

“The inaugural Adelaide International Guitar Festival kicked off last weekend and
opened in fine style… featuring some of the best musicians from around the world.”


photo: adelaide7.jpg photo: adelaide8.jpg   

photo: adelaide9.jpg photo: adelaide10.jpg

photo: adelaide11.jpg photo: adelaide12.jpg

photo: adelaide13.jpg 

Bookmark and Share