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November 28, 2014

How to… culture crawl

One of the major advantages of a small city is the ability to see several awesome things in one night. Here we provide you with a bevy of options to curate a cultural crawl through the streets of Adelaide.

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  • Words: Johnny von Einem

People who say there’s nothing to do in Adelaide outside of festival season are wrong. The everyday cultural fruits of the city are only available to those who go picking, and that’s what we’ve done on your behalf.

For some, there is no better way to spend a night than in a beer garden with a band. Here are some of the better options for an evening of live music.

Exeter Hotel
246 Rundle Street, Adelaide

With a cosy indoor beer garden, Coopers on tap and an intimate (read as ‘within arm’s distance of the guitarist’) band room, the Exeter is an excellent beginning or end to your travels.

There’s a mix of local and interstate bands and DJs playing late most nights of the week, usually with no cover charge, so it’s a low-risk venture to take a gamble on an act you haven’t heard before. Or just mingle on the tables out front, your choice.

The Grace Emily
232 Waymouth Street, Adelaide

The Grace is another magnet for Adelaide’s best musicians, and also programs a selection of the finest from interstate and abroad, all in an environment shaped by the mix of rockabilly, Americana and occasional Australiana (think pictures of Ann ‘Willsy’ Wills in her prime) adorning the walls.

Live music plays six nights a week, and it (again) is usually free. Every Monday night Billy Bob’s BBQ Jam opens the stage to amateur artists and provides a sausage sizzle in the beer garden. And if you’re after something different, every third Tuesday of the month the Grace hosts improvisational theatre company On the Fly.

The Gov
59 Port Road, Hindmarsh

As many nights as you may have spent in the venue, you’ve not lived the full Gov experience until you’ve spent a night in the front bar.

The offerings range from Harmonica lessons with Stompy on Mondays, ukulele nights on Tuesdays (gold coin donation if you want to join in), and extend as far as string band Appalachian fiddle sessions on Fridays. Something for everyone.

Ancient World
116A Hindley Street, Adelaide, entrance not immediately apparent (try around the back!)

A relative newcomer thanks to a combination of recent small bar legislation and the efforts of Renew Adelaide, Ancient World brings acts from Adelaide and interstate into a small and decidedly discreet location.

The venue offers no fixed schedule and their stage has featured bands, electronic acts and AV nights. It’s worth keeping an eye on their Facebook page.

Draw Your Swords
12 Eliza Street, Adelaide

Held fortnightly at Hello, Yes, Draw your Swords is an open mic night of poetry and spoken word. More events along the same lines will be held at the garage café so keep an ear out.

Before the bars and bands, get your cultural fix at one of these more visual venues.

The Art Gallery of South Australia
North Terrace, Adelaide

On the first Friday of every month the Art Gallery will be keeping its doors open til 9pm, so you can start your weekend with a new perspective. There are guided tours, live music, and food and wine available from the restaurant. Entry is free, except for special exhibitions, in which case ticket prices vary.

Stop! In the Name of Art!
Rundle Mall, Adelaide

Opening Friday, November 28 and running for three weeks, Stop! In the Name of Art! is a free open-air gallery and experimental look at the aesthetic appeal of art when it appears without any contextual information.

Passers-by can view artworks, choose their favourite and provide an explanation why. The anonymous feedback will be collated and published on Tumblr, and at the end of the project the artists will be revealed, and we’ll find out which is more important: aesthetics or prestige.

The Old Suzuki Showroom
222 Waymouth Street, Adelaide

Yes, you read that correctly. The Renew Adelaide team have worked their magic on a disused warehouse in the city to create a venue for “experiential art events”.

First up, the Typemaster Exhibition will be drawing in word nerds from around the city on December 5 and 6, showcasing the work of 24 emerging typeface designers from around the world. Opening night is $10 entry but you can see the exhibition the following day for free between 11am and 4pm.

On December 10-12, The Human Arts Movement will transform the space into a walk-through Wonderland performance three times each night, allowing you a short trip down the rabbit hole for only $20.

And on December 13, local instrumentalists Sparkspitter will utilise the building for a light and sound show to celebrate the launch of their new album, Techne. The folks at Veggie Velo supply food, and drinks come via Mismatch Brewing. Tickets are $10 on the door.

Further information can be found on the Renew Adelaide website.

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