Adelaide named a UNESCO City of Music

The Panics photo by Ali Judd CoastAdelaide has turned up its reputation as a vibrant musical mecca, with the South Australian capital officially named a UNESCO City of Music in Paris.

The announcement sees Adelaide join cities from 32 countries in the Creative Cities Network, including Seville, Bogotá, Hamamatsu, Glasgow, and Hannover. Adelaide Festival Centre, the Music Development Office and the Adelaide City Council worked collaboratively on the application, which followed a visit to Spain by Arts Minister Jack Snelling.

“This is a great result and it’s fantastic news for Adelaide,” said Mr Snelling said. “During our visit to Spain we had fruitful discussions with the Secretary General for Culture Ms María del Mar Alfaro for the Andalusia region – of which Seville is the capital – as well as meeting and spending time with the artistic director of the Seville Guitar Festival Mr Francisco Bernier. Having the support of Seville was clearly of invaluable help in our bid.”

Mr Snelling said the announcement is global recognition of Adelaide’s reputation as a city of vibrant music culture.

“We have internationally renowned classical ensembles, strong programs for music in education and a thriving live music scene that is helping to discover the next Cold Chisel or AC/DC,” said Mr Snelling. “Our music and arts industry operate internationally so a global outlook is necessary for future growth in the industry.”

“This is being driven by the Adelaide Festival Centre’s program of Asian engagement, the globally admired WOMADelaide and the international touring of our arts companies and bands. I’d like to thank Sarah Bleby, the Adelaide Festival Centre’s Music Programming Executive for leading the submission,” said Mr Snelling.

Active participation in Creative Cities Network will commence in early 2016, when WOMADelaide hosts Colombian harpist Edmar Castañeda from fellow City of Music Bogotá. In addition, the Adelaide Guitar Festival is developing exchange programs for musicians in partnership with Seville, and reciprocal artist residencies between Australia’s other UNESCO Creative Cites Melbourne (City of Literature) and Sydney (City of Film) will take place throughout 2016 and 2017.

Adelaide Festival Centre CEO and Artistic Director Douglas Gautier said that the UNESCO recognition will help to bring the world of music to Adelaide and also help take Adelaide to the world.

“Adelaide is a great place for making and enjoying music. It has a strong music infrastructure and tradition. This UNESCO recognition will help grow our reputation as one of the world’s significant creative cities,” said Mr Gautier. “Our city is an exciting and innovative community for musicians and music lovers and we look forward to building on that momentum, via our participation and utilisation of international linkages that Adelaide’s inclusion as a UNESCO City of Music, will bring.”

The UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) was created in 2004 to promote cooperation with and among cities that have identified creativity as a strategic factor for sustainable urban development. The 116 cities which make up this network work together towards a common objective: placing creativity and cultural industries at the heart of their development plans at the local level and cooperating actively at the international level.

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Image: The Panics – photo by Ali Judd Coast