Adelaide Guitar Festival strikes a chord with audiences

Resonating with audiences across Adelaide and regional South Australia, the Adelaide Guitar Festival attracted more than 18,000 attendances this year. After two jam-packed weeks of events, the 2023 Adelaide Guitar Festival came to a close last weekend, further cementing its place as the southern hemisphere’s most significant guitar festival.

With the last electrifying performances on Sunday 16 July, which included Antoine Boyer and Yeore Kim from France in an Australian exclusive, audiences experienced the emotive power of the guitar with genres on show including jazz, rock, blues & roots, classical, folk, country, flamenco and metal.

Ticketed highlights, packed houses, standing ovations and sell-out shows included the Adelaide premiere of The Milk Carton Kids, The Music of Jeff Beck and Colours of Spain in an Australian premiere all at Her Majesty’s Theatre. Joseph Tawadros with Connor Whyte, and Antoine Boyer and Yeore Kim with Kathleen Halloran at Dunstan Playhouse, and Gwyn Ashton and Chris Finnen, and Paco Lara at Space Theatre.

Adelaide Guitar Festival kicked off at the beginning of July with the much-loved On the Road program which travelled to 35 venues across regional South Australia. 32 artists presented 97 free performances including 11 aged care homes and four schools as part of the Resonance program.

For the metro program which ran from 11 to 16 July, Adelaide Guitar Festival delivered 11 ticketed shows and 13 free events including talk sessions, the blues & roots showcase performance, Adelaide International Guitar Competition and the Yamaha Come and Try sessions. Across the ticketed and free events, Adelaide Guitar Festival welcomed 23 international artists, 46 interstate artists and 77 South Australian artists.

On Sunday 16 July, performers from around the world came together for the coveted Adelaide International Classical Guitar Competition final, battling it out for first prize. In the end, 30-year-old Deion Cho from South Korea won, taking home $10,000, a highly prized Jim Redgate guitar worth $23,000 and a concert engagement at the 2024 Adelaide Guitar Festival. Australians, Nik Divall and Tommaso Girotto took out second and third prize respectively.

The ever-popular Winter School welcomed players to a week-long immersive program learning from some of Australia’s finest guitar players with 90 students and culminating in two performances, one the Blues & Roots free performance and the other in opening for the celebrated Melbourne Guitar Quartet at Dunstan Playhouse as part of Adelaide Guitar Festival Orchestra.

“A huge thanks to our audiences, artists, and wider team for making the 2023 Adelaide Guitar Festival such a great success,” said Adelaide Guitar Festival Artistic Director Slava Grigoryan.

“I would also like to thank the international and Australian participants who travelled to Adelaide for the Adelaide International Classical Guitar Competition, the level of playing was exceptional, and I congratulate this year’s winner, Deion Cho.”

“Whether we see you in Adelaide or On the Road we look forward to welcoming everyone to the Adelaide Guitar Festival again in 2024,” said Mr Grigoryan.

“We thank Slava Grigoryan and the team for delivering an excellent program celebrating the most played instrument in the world – the guitar – across the entire festival,” said Adelaide Festival Centre CEO & Artistic Director Douglas Gautier AM.

“We were delighted to welcome so many skilled artists from Adelaide, Australia and overseas here to the Adelaide Guitar Festival. The feedback from audiences and artists alike has been a great nod to Adelaide’s important role as a UNESCO City of Music,” said Mr Gautier.

The Adelaide Guitar Festival is proudly produced and presented by the Adelaide Festival Centre. For more information, visit: for details.

Image: Slava Grigoryan and Deion Cho – photo by Claudio Raschella