Warm up with the upbeat Umbrella Festival

South Australia’s Umbrella Festival will run from July 16 to August 8, promoting local talent across a regional expansion and diversifying its platform to represent First Nations artists. (Image source: Hayden Lihou)

By Lorenzo Polisena | @LorenzoPolisena

The 2021 Umbrella Festival in South Australia will run from July 16 to August 8, promoting South Australian artists. It is the state’s largest local live open access winter music festival.

Presented by local not-for-profit organisation Music SA, the festival promotes South Australian artists with this year’s program developing further to include a strong regional SA expansion. 

General Manager of Music SA, Ms Kim Roberts, is proud to highlight the wide and talented variety of SA artists involved for the upcoming festival.

“96 per cent of the program, to date, is South Australian artists and 70 per cent of it is original artists as well, which is up from previous years. So that just shows to me the strength and depth of our local music community,” Ms Roberts says.

“More than 1200 artists in the program at the moment, across 38 genres. It is a total of 178 events, but some of those events have more than one performance, so that’s more than 294 performances…in 86 venues.”

The Umbrella Festival showcases these local talents over 24 nights, featuring a diverse program including regional, First Nations and queer-friendly events across SA.

“If people take one thing away from it, I hope that it’s a new artist that they love, that they find something new that they hadn’t heard of before that they can really love and cherish,” Ms Roberts says.

The Festival is open access, which means any local artist wishing to be part of Umbrella can register their live music event, similar to the Fringe. This open access element reaches beyond the city of Adelaide, encompassing regional SA too.

Curated programs are structured in collaboration by various organisations, such as the Music Development Office (MDO) and local councils along with Music SA. These councils include the Cities of Adelaide, Charles Sturt, Marion and Port Adelaide Enfield.

Many events within the current program showcase local artists where ticketing is free, making it a perfect – and affordable – way to spend a wintery day.

(Image source: Daniel Marks)

This year’s regional expansion of the Umbrella Festival reaches the Adelaide Hills, Fleurieu Peninsula, Barossa, Limestone Coast and the Eyre Peninsula.

All regional locations are open access events, further supporting and encouraging regional artists to register their event with Umbrella.

Ms Roberts says the team at Music SA are “really encouraged by the strength and the diversity in the regional applications.”

Umbrella Festival is a time to make sure South Australians can safely see “…lots of live music during what is traditionally a chilly and quiet time.”

“I’m really grateful for the support we receive…to make it happen; because it just shows to me that people really want to get behind these initiatives,” Ms Roberts says.

(Image source: Helen Page)

This year’s program also seeks to further diversify and represent local First Nations artists.

“KINARA, which is the First Nations project we are putting on in collaboration with Illuminate Festival and Tandanya, will be a real multidisciplinary music, art expression of First Nation culture.” Ms Roberts says.

To discover more music by local First Nations artists, Music SA also promotes their creations through a dedicated Spotify playlist of South Australian artists.

“Get out and enjoy lots of exciting live music this winter, I can’t wait!”

More information about the Umbrella Festival and their live, local, winter program can be found at: www.umbrellafestival.com.au

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