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October 22, 2020

The College Green is turning the University of Adelaide’s Cloisters into ‘Adelaide’s biggest beer garden’

From November through to New Year’s Eve, College Green is bringing live music, deejays, films, food and booze to the University of Adelaide’s Cloisters and lawns.

  • Words: Johnny von Einem
  • Pictures: Supplied

The Adelaide UniBar has successfully extended its licence to now include the University of Adelaide’s Cloisters and nearby lawns, extending the UniBar’s reach to the border of Victoria Drive.

Having briefly closed operations during the coronavirus shutdown, the UniBar reopened in August and traded through several iterations of COVID-19 restrictions.


College Green
University of Adelaide Cloisters and lawn
Victoria Drive, Adelaide 5000
3 November—27 December
More info


Currently, the UniBar operates at a capacity of 178 people, which has been difficult, says UniBar co-founder Gareth Lewis, in particular “the lack of standing has been a bit of an issue, with the type of music we present.”

It has been important to the UniBar team, though, that they continue to provide a platform for local artists to perform.

“Even the last three months, when we’ve been putting gigs on on Saturday nights, it’s been overwhelmingly well received by the bands,” Gareth says.

“Part of our ethos is to support live, original music, so giving them the ability to play on a big stage with some pretty schmick production is a really good opportunity for them.”

Opportunities for local artists to perform through the UniBar are about to expand, as the venue launches “the biggest beer garden in Adelaide,” The College Green – an open-air venue set to host eight weeks of live music, film screenings and deejay nights.

The activation will be set up within the UniBar’s newly extended licence boundaries, and adds an extra 412 people to the venue’s overall capacity. (Though this is still reduced from around 1,500 with no restrictions.)

College Green will launch on Tuesday, 3 November, when it hosts the sold-out South Australian Music Awards, with a packed roster of musicians and performers scheduled to appear right through until New Year’s Eve.

Every Wednesday night will see classic cult films screened after an acoustic set by a local musician. On 4 November, Kyle Charles Hall will perform ahead of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off; Hey Harriett will perform before Jurassic Park; and Ricky Albeck warm up the crowd for a screening of Joker.

Thursdays are reserved for free-entry local bands, kicking off with AP D’Antonio and The Man Himself on 5 November, and Siberian Tiger and Bart’s Nightmare the following week.

Deejays are given the lawns on Friday nights, with free entry before 8pm. The first spinners off the rank are Driller and Track Team on 6 November.

Saturday nights are reserved for ticketed events, with a range of experiences on offer, from Oasis and David Bowie tribute nights, on 7 and 14 November; Australia’s most recent Eurovision Song Contest representative, Montaigne, on 21 November; a set from Late Nite Tuff Guy, on 5 December; and The College Green activation will culminate with a drag extravaganza from Vonni and Kween Kong, on 27 December.

For the full rundown of College Green events, keep an eye on the Facebook page.


“Especially with the ticketed shows, we wanted to really come from all angles, and offer something for everyone,” Gareth says.

“We wanted to get as many people through the door, as many different walks of life through the door, to see the space and see what the university has done with the redevelopment there as well.”

Gareth is particularly excited to have Montaigne locked in for a gig. The artist was supposed to appear at the UniBar’s U’Ball event in the week of the coronavirus shutdown.

“We just kept in touch with her agents, and [booked the show] as soon as we could put a date together that made a little bit of financial sense,” he says.

“She’s got to come from New South Wales as well, so it was still touch and go as to whether she could do that up until recently.”

There will also be food and beverage activations as part of The College Green, with Pirate Life setting up a bar and slinging College Green x Pirate Life South Coast Pale collab cans. Pimm’s and Moet will each have a bar, and there’ll be a cheese bar from the Central Market’s Say Cheese.

There will also be pizza available at the UniBar, as per usual, from Vera Pizza Oztalia, the Pizzateca offshoot.

“It’s just about our industry getting back to work, and everyone was keen to do stuff,” Gareth says of his collaborators.

To keep up to date with all the events scheduled for College Green’s eight weeks on the University of Adelaide campus, see the events page.

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