Adelaide: UNESCO City of Music

From the first public musical performance in the young colony in 1839, to live entertainment in the city’s West End in the early 20th Century, Beatlemania that swept the city in 1964, and the rise of many legendary rock 'n' roll acts in the 1970s and 1980s including South Australia’s own Cold Chisel, Adelaide is well known and regarded for its music history and heritage. In 2015, Adelaide was designated a UNESCO City of Music in recognition of the city's vibrant music culture.

This trail traces Adelaide’s rich and diverse musical heritage and just a few of the many loved live music venues you can find in our city.

Exeter Hotel

Like so many of Adelaide’s heritage hotels, the Exeter has seen a number of makeovers since it opened on this site in 1851. The hotel we see today was rebuilt here in 1888- rumour had it due to competition from the nearby Tavistock Hotel. The…

Rhino Room

A venue with ties to many different segments of South Australia's arts community, Rhino Room is one of a handful of Adelaide venues to successfully relocate following the demolition of its original home. Rhino Room first began operating in 1998, from…

The Crown & Anchor Hotel

The Crown and Anchor Hotel was first licensed in 1853. Along with a number of other hotels, it was completely rebuilt in the 1880s. Further extensions were added to the building in the 1920s. More recently, the balcony of the historic pub was given a…

The Producers Hotel

The Producers is easy to find due to its distinctive timber decoration. It is a now rare example of the Queen Anne style popular at the time of Australian Federation in 1901. However, the site's history and the hotel's name date from Adelaide’s…

Tivoli Hotel

The site of the current Tivoli Hotel has been an entertainment and meeting place since 1846. In its 170 year history, it has hosted music, public meetings, theatrical performances and pub rock icons. The hotel’s development followed the growing need…

Busk or Bust

A century before Izera the keyboard guy, the flute-playing ‘bikie’ or the pipe guy, Adelaide’s street corners and thoroughfares hosted a different generation of memorable musical characters. Half a century ago, the streetscape was populated by…

The Jade Monkey

Like many live music venues in the city, The Jade has a strong association with Adelaide's historic buildings. The Jade Monkey began its trade as a live music venue twelve years ago in a 140-year old building on Twin Street. The building was once the…

St Paul's Creative Centre

St Paul’s Anglican Church was one of several Anglican churches built in the city in the early colonial period. For many years the city’s Anglican community worshipped at Holy Trinity on North Terrace, St Luke’s in Whitmore Square, and St John’s on…

Adelaide Town Hall

The Adelaide Town Hall remains a major city landmark and a popular live music venue for concerts. The foundation stone for the City’s town hall was laid on 4 May 1863 by the Governor of South Australia at the time, Sir Dominick Daly. When it was…

Crown & Sceptre Hotel

Since it first opened in the 1860s, the Crown and Sceptre Hotel has been a much-loved live music venue in the city’s south. The first Crown and Sceptre Hotel opened in 1868 on King William Street in the former showroom of the Hubble Brothers' coach…

La Boheme

For many decades, 36 Grote Street was home of tobacco shop, Charles Tunney & Sons Ltd. Opened in 1910, tobacconist Charles Edward Tunney’s shop was considered a “Grote Street institution”. Three generations of Tunney’s ran the family-owned…

Grace Emily Hotel

The Grace Emily Hotel is one of the West End’s most historic pubs. The Colony of South Australia was only three years old when the hotel, known then as The Launceston, was established. Located in Adelaide's West End, The Launceston was the local for…

The Edinburgh Castle

The Edinburgh Castle Hotel is South Australia’s oldest continuously licensed hotel. Its first owner, George Guthrie, applied for the first publican’s license in May 1837, six months after the Colony of South Australia was established. With little…

Nexus Arts

Nexus Arts began as an artists’ collective known as the Multicultural Arts Workers Committee. The collective brought together artists in South Australia to encourage greater appreciation of the state’s culturally diverse arts. In 1984, the collective…

Fowler's Live

The lion atop Fowler’s Live is a well-known icon of the City of Adelaide and provides a hint to the building’s former use. In 1854, David and James Fowler opened a retail shop in King William Street. The business grew rapidly and by the 1880s,…

Jive

Since it opened in 2003, Jive has been one of the city’s most popular live music venues. Jive has hosted many famous musical acts including The Cat Empire, Missy Higgins, Passenger, Courtney Barnett, The Presets, The Gossip, Eskimo Joe, Xavier Rudd,…

The Bluebee Room

The Bluebee Room opened as a live music and performance venue in the city in early 2012. Since then, the venue has hosted many launches and “first gigs” for artists, including award-winning Adelaide artist, Paige Renee Court. Local indie record label…
Thank you to Arts South Australia and the Government of South Australia for supporting this tour.