South Australia's annual celebration of live music, Music SA's Umbrella Festival returns in 2021 (16 July to 8 August) with 294 performances across 38 music genres in 85 venues.
Once again set to take over both traditional venues for live music as well as other spaces not usually activated for entertainment purposes, Umbrella Festival will take place throughout Adelaide's CBD and surrounding suburbs as well as venturing into regional areas like Eyre Peninsula, the Barossa, the Adelaide Hills and the Fleurieu Peninsula for the first time.
A mix of open-access and curated events, Music SA has strived to make this year's Umbrella Festival as inclusive as possible, with just under 50 per cent of the 2021 programme free to attend, with 60-plus of the events wheelchair accessible.
Alongside curating more queer-geared events and venues plus an impressive First Nations representation (that includes Archie Roach headline Adelaide Festival Centre), more than half of all Umbrella 2021 events are suitable for all-ages audiences.
"Music SA is so delighted that Umbrella Festival is returning in 2021, enlivening the whole state," Music SA General Manager Kim Roberts says.
"We can't wait for audiences to experience 24 days packed full of diverse and exciting music to warm your winter, predominantly featuring our talented South Australian original contemporary artists. It's genuinely difficult to pick a highlight this year."
Umbrella Festival will kick off with its traditional opening night party at Rymill Park (Mullawirraburka) headlined by Larrakia and Tulampunga Pakana artists MARLON X RULLA (who recently supported Midnight Oil at WOMADelaide).
Indie pop-rock feels will be overflowing when Mum Friends, Seabass Ricky Albeck, Ukulele Death Squad and others take to the stage as part of the free Adelaide Arcade Unplugged activation in Rundle Mall (four sessions).
Female and non-binary performers will be celebrated by not-for-profit DIY contemporary music festival Half Strange. While The Bait Fridge Parade will be mash of chaotic, raw music mixed with colour and costumes.
Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institute will host and produce a one-night-only activation along Karrawirra Parri (River Torrens) celebrating the full moon; expect live music with immersive sound, light and imaginative experiences created by Pintupi artists.
DRUMBRELLA will be a family-friendly showcase of Adelaide drummers at Woodville Town Hall, Skate Daze is a celebration of punk and skating festivals, while local artists will raise awareness for black deaths in custody with a performance called Solidarity Behind Bars.
Froth & Fury Fest will set Pirate Life Brewery alight with a beer-fuelled tsunami of heavy music of headliners including Kitchen Witch. The Official Closing Party will also be staged at Pirate Life featuring SA's Afro-beat heroes The Shaolin Afronauts, plus a huge line-up of local talent throughout the day.
Other highlights of the 2021 programme include Art Attack, a paint and sip style party featuring George Glass; Frequency Response is an immersive and multi-sensory audiovisual experience especially designed for deaf or hard of hearing and enjoyed by all; 2019 Umbrella installation CONTACT that combines audio, visual and structural elements to explore a culture of domestic violence; and Woolly Mammoth, Uncle Mum's frosty winter festival highlighting the best and warmest of local and interstate talent.
"Umbrella Festival provides the perfect opportunity for the public to see some of the best local artists South Australia has to offer," Premier Steven Marshall says, "and I encourage everyone to get out and see just how strong our music and creative scene is."
Adds Lord Mayor Sandy Verschoor: "Umbrella Festival is a fantastic opportunity to discover some great South Australian music and enjoy our city's wonderful musicians and live music venues.
"As a UNESCO City of Music, Adelaide is world-renowned for its vibrant music culture and its support for the music industry. I encourage everyone to get out there this winter and head to a gig.
"From orchestras and choirs to folk, hip hop, metal, pop and everything in between – enjoy all our city has to offer."
2021 Umbrella Festival takes place 16 July to 8 August. Check out 2021 programme.