15 Jul, 2015

Adelaide to bid to become the next UNESCO City of Music

Adelaide will look to become the next UNESCO City of Music to increase opportunities for the state’s next crop of musicians and boost tourism opportunities for the state.

Arts Minister Jack Snelling said he believed Adelaide would be a serious candidate to become the next UNESCO City of Music and that the state had the backing of Seville, the first ever world city of music.

"In a delegation I led to Spain earlier this month, 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," Mr Snelling said.

"`We have been working behind the scenes on preparing a bid to UNESCO to become a city of music and having the support of Seville will be invaluable help in that bid."

If successful, Adelaide would join Seville, Bologna, Hamamatsu, Glasgow, Gent, Mannheim, Bogota, Brazzaville and Hannover as recognised cities of music which Mr Snelling said would open up many industry and tourism opportunities for South Australia.

"Adelaide has a long and proud history in music and generating world-class musicians, we have terrific and growing music festivals and the international recognition that would come with being an internationally recognised city of music would be invaluable," he said.

"It would provide exchange opportunities for our budding musicians and increase tourism potential from the music sector around the globe."

The bid to become a UNESCO City of Music was endorsed by City of Adelaide last night. Lord Mayor Martin Haese said that live music was central to a thriving, liveable city and contributed to economic development.

“Adelaide is regarded throughout the world as a cultural city, and becoming a UNESCO City of Music would position Adelaide as an exciting and innovative city for musicians, where music is integrated with economic and business development,” Martin said.

“It would allow us to showcase the initiatives stemming from Council’s Live Music Action Plan that are already underway in the city to support live music, share knowledge on a global scale, and cultivate innovation.”

Adelaide Festival Centre Chief Executive Officer and Artistic Director Douglas Gautier said the bid would allow greater collaboration with other cultural cities across the world.

“The Adelaide Festival Centre has been happy to lead this bid, because membership of this UNESCO cultural cities network will bring many benefits to our city and recognise the great centre for music making that Adelaide is,” Mr Gautier said.

While in Spain, Mr Snelling joined the producer of the Adelaide International Guitar Festival Sarah Bleby to meet with officials of the new Government in the City of Cordoba as well as the director of the Cordoba Guitar Festival Mr Juan Carlos Limia in the hope of getting agreement of a Memorandum of Understanding between the two festivals.

"We had fruitful discussions with new Cordoba Mayor Mrs Isabel Ambrosio, as well as those who are responsible for producing the world renowned guitar festival in that city and we are hopeful that in the near future we would be in a position to formalise the relationship between the two festivals," Mr Snelling said.

"While our guitar festival is very young in comparison, there is a lot we can learn and gain from having a formal relationship with Cordoba, to be able to exchange ideas and artists would only strengthen the quality and reputation of our biennial festival.

"We were also able to come to an agreement with the Seville Guitar Festival to increase the exchange opportunities between their festival and ours in Adelaide."

Applications to be a UNESCO City of Music close this month with an announcement on whether Adelaide's bid was successful likely late in 2015.

The next Adelaide International Guitar Festival will be from August 11-14 next year.

UNESCO is the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation.

Media contact: Matthew Hillard – 0407 555 320 (Minister Snelling), Sarah Bleby - 8216 8537 (Adelaide Festival Centre) & Paula Stevens - 0427 910 554 (Lord Mayor Haese)