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March 25, 2020

How to stay sane and entertained at home in Adelaide during COVID-19

Being socially distanced doesn't mean being completely isolated from society. There are businesses, arts groups and institutions offering cultural and community connection through the world wide web - from virtual gallery tours, free morning yoga sessions to local livestreamed gigs.


Contemporary human connection has long been fostered online, even before social distancing made it a necessity.

With the Federal and State Government’s enforced closure of non-essential services in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are all now collectively deep-diving into the internet looking for any and all activities that will help ward off cabin fever and help us stay mentally well.


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Some institutions and businesses have been forced to close; however, some have adapted their business models to either stay afloat, or foster their online community pro-bono, making this house arrest season a little easier for us all.

Browse the A-Z list to below keep your brain active while supporting the Adelaide community through myriad online offerings, such as live music streams and concerts, virtual galleries, and guided workouts.



Stelarc’s StickMan / miniStickMan, 2019, IOTA Institute, Halifax, Nova Scotia. Picture: Steven Alyian


Although the Art Gallery of South Australia closed to the public to limit the spread of COVID-19, they launched virtual tours of their 2020 Adelaide Biennial celebration of contemporary art. (FYI they launched this a while ago but we were a wee bit late to the party). Titled Monster Theatres, with the “monster” representing the absurd, the collection includes work from 23 cutting-edge artists, with the aim to force audiences to examine relationships, says curator Leigh Robb, with “each other, the environment and technology.”

“They (monsters) force us to question our empathy towards difference across race, gender, sexuality and spirituality.”

The collection includes a marked increase in live art, including a bee bed and robotics project, but also the work of Adelaide locals, like Abdul Abulluah. Although the virtual tours don’t stack up to experiencing the collection IRL, you can see an AGSA Teaser with an introduction as well as gaining insight (albeit brief) into other artists practices here.

Alas, for those wanting to sink their teeth into some longer content, there’s a 40-minute keynote speech by performance artist Stelarc, who’s mainstay is prosthetics and robotics.



Nostalgic for Mad March? Audiences can now experience a sliver of the frenzied season once again, with the launch of Adelaide FringeVIEW. Instead of viewing acts in the 5000, you can now cop an eyeful from the kitchen and choose from among 60 events.

“We think that FringeVIEW is totally in tune with our manifesto, which is all about inspiring artists to be brave and audiences to take risks, and we’re always pushing boundaries and believe in collaboration,” Adelaide Fringe director Heather Croall told CityMag last month.

“We hope that the spirit of Fringe lives on in Adelaide FringeVIEW.”

Whether you have a penchant for circus, comedy, music, dance, food or lifestyle, the platform’s got you covered. Australian actor, singer and performer Hugh Sheridan is on the bill, as well as Adelaide Fringe favourite Tash York and comedian Greg Fleet. Shows like Orpheus and Escape from Trash Mountain are also billed.

Hit the link for more information.


Picture: Phillip Larking


The Adelaide Sustainability Centre on Franklin Street is no longer holding environmental workshops or events but has established a virtual community on Facebook to continue promoting a green message. On Tuesday, 7 April, the environmental conservation organisation will host a free virtual screening of the 2015 permaculture documentary Inhabit by director Costa Boutsikaris, which will be pre-empted with an online conversation via Zoom.

Pour yourself a natty wine and settle in.



“I thought it would be cool to kind allow other people to see what’s happening in other people’s worlds and then kind of mash it all together,” tattoo artist Jaya Suartika says of the project ‘A World In Isolation’. Designed to document the totally unique time we find ourselves in, and provide a creative outlet to stave off boredom-induced psychosis among fellow creatives like him, Jaya wants those at home with analogue film cameras to get creative.

The owner of XO’Lavant contemporary tattoo studio has asked individuals to shoot a roll of 35mm film and swap it with someone on the other side of the world to superimpose contrasting narratives. But don’t worry: Jaya will organise the pen-pal system. All you need to do is register online. (People without film cameras can get involved too; all you need is a digital camera).

He would however like you to write a little bit of a story alongside the roll, and this could be about where you were when you were first realised the world was changing, or what you see outside your window while in isolation. Visit the website for more information.

Also! Your photo may be included in a published book someday. Make the most of your surroundings.


“When I asked young people what they wanted, they told me they wanted spaces and places where they could hang out, exchange ideas, have a say, and have fun. Hub is designed to be that space,” Commissioner for Children and Young People Helen Connolly says of the website, which sprung out of the COVID-19 crisis.

Sign up to become a youth representative and join a conversation with other South Australians around diverse pockets of the state, or nominate a “young rights champion of the week” who’s inspiring change (and is 22 or younger).



Remember when our Prime Minister banned ‘barre’ in a press conference despite not knowing what it was? Well, the flexi gods at FORM Pilates and Barre are well informed and want to help you twinkle your toes and strengthen your core, and maybe forget about our current crisis for a little while.

Instead of offering small classes like they usually would from their Glenelg studio, FORM’s co-owners (and sister duo!) Megan and Clancy have recorded Clancy, a former dancer, doing home exercises that combine pilates and ‘barre’ – ballet-infused cardio (Mr Morrison, take note).

They’re available online. Subscribe for $30 a month.



The office of the Commissioner for Children and Young People has launched the Get Around It zine – a yearbook showcasing the abundant talent of South Australia’s young people, and you can order it straight to your door.

Within its pages are stories about individuals such as climate change activist Doha Khan, who’s also running as a candidate to fill a seat in the Adelaide council election, and Lego bricklayer, Connor Brennan, who wants to make kids feel more comfortable about cancer by making replica treatment machines, along with countless others – all of whom are guaranteed to make you feel like an ageing underachiever.

Although Commissioner Helen Connolly says the launch of the zine didn’t go quite according to plan – “We had all these great ideas about having it all over the place and people being able to pick that up, but that hasn’t quite panned out, has it?” she laughs – people wanting to learn more about our South Australia’s ambitious youth can contact the organisation to have copies posted to their home address.



The folks from Groundfloor Radio are known for throwing wild club nights in East End haunts like Sugar and Roxies. In light of the current situation, it’ll be a while before we’re able to see any of the resident deejays perform live in the club.

However, you can pretend you’re out dancing next to someone at <1.5 metres (remember those days?) by listening to all their past mixes and interviews online. Also on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday resident and interstate guests will go live on-air for roughly eight hour slots. The website has also been renovated to include a chat room.

It’s better than Centrelink hold music, that’s for sure.



What’s better than cutting shapes in the club? Cutting shapes while eating Shapes in your house. The folks at club night Housing Boom – Yani Tsapaliaris, Dave Kameniar and Phil Pirone – have decided to livestream a selection of deejay sets every fortnight to keep the fire burning.

The days may differ each two weeks, however keep an eye on their socials for the drop.



Nothing compares to the lived experience of turning off Hindley Street in through the double doors of Imprints Booksellers and breathing in the smell of pulped trees and black ink.

Imprints is our favourite bookstore, not just for the bound tomes on their shelves but for the wise and empathetic advice Jason and Katherine give us when we are at a loss for what to read. 

This time, Jason suggests he’s got two types of customers online. One is ordering Cormac McCarthy’s The Road and leaning into the void, and the other is ordering the third volume of Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall trilogy as a means to escape. Which reader are you?

Free freight within SA for all orders over $50 and Jason says the turnaround on post is close to next day if you order before 2pm.



Love live music but hate obstructed views and spilling alcohol all over yourself and others? Well, the local grassroots podcast Knock Off Sessions, spearheaded by local Adelaide outfit SEABASS, is delivering all the perks of live music without the hassle.

Knock Off Sessions presents a live set every Wednesday at 5:30pm via its YouTube channel. Check their Instagram and Facebook pages for information on upcoming guests.



South Australian culinary icon Maggie Beer will help keep your isolation restlessness at bay with a new free video series called Cooking with Maggie. So far the Barossa chef has already uploaded five cooking demonstrations on her Instagram page and has no indication of slowing down.

The videos will cover complete recipes and tips on sourcing the right material for these meals, but will most importantly be based around the feedback she gets from her followers: meaning, what do they want to see. Content will also dip into finding replacement ingredients if your pantry is low on X, Y or Z.

Keep an eye on her Facebook and Instagram page for what Beer is brewing today.


Andrew Eden’s FLC (Frame Lounge Chair). Picture: Supplied


Adelaide multidisciplinary arts hub The Mill have had to cancel the public viewing of their new Showcase exhibition, however they told InDaily they’re launching a virtual tour of the new gallery on Friday, 27 March instead.

Head to The Mill’s website to learn about what the resident artists are crunching out, which includes anachronistic hats, paintings by a hand-poke tattoo artist legend, ceramic Antipodean sculptures and utilitarian and comfortable furniture (which we could all use rn). Click here for the tour.



The University of South Australia’s future-facing museum MOD. on North Terrace is unfortunately shut for the public (for now), but they’re hosting virtual exhibition Life Interrupted from Thursday, 26 March, for “as long as we” need it. Tune into their livestream online on Thursday from 4pm to figure out how others are coping with no IRL connection.

Read more about MOD.’s Life Interrupted exhibition here.


Picture: Facebook


Historian and Modernist Adelaide tour-guide Stuart Symons is crazy about mid-century architecture and design. Although there is limitations surrounding individuals gathering outdoors in groups of two or more people, you can still get your concrete fix by visiting the Modernist Adelaide website and viewing a range of short, free films about the architectural style.

Titles include Adelaide Advances (1954) by The National Film Board, which explores the construction of South Australia through Colonel Lights original plan, as well as A Taste of Adelaide (1953) by the State Library of South Australia, which follows a young couple exploring “the delights of Australia”.



Tune into play / pause / play to hear Australian musicians played on rotation. There’s no hosts, no forced banter and little to no advertising. Luke Penman is a radio stalwart, so expect top-quality curations to keep you company. Tune in online or download the app for Android or iOS to listen on your mobile.



The gurus at Power Living Yoga have transitioned all sweaty face-to-face studio sessions into online sessions. This means you can touch your toes in comfy sweatpants, without judgement, at home. CityMag has heard people who practice yoga do form tight-knit communities and we love Power Living’s proactive approach to keeping its people connected.

Over at our Caremongering Facebook group (please join!), we were alerted to Power Living Yoga’s FREE 20-minute, livestreamed meditation, happening daily at 7:30am, if you’re game. They’ve also reduced their membership down to $25 a week.

Maintain the mantra “serenity now!” by heading online for more information.


Quiz Meisters has decided that COVID-19 will not stop the good times. That’s right – the trivia company that pre-crisis (remember that?) transformed over 100 venues into roaring, competitive messes, has made the pivot to hosting weekly trivia competitions online.

The livestreamed quiz will allow South Australians at home to compete against interstate rivals, and will incorporate classic question-answer trivia, as well as video-inspired queries.

As their website states, “We’ve been innovating in the weekly trivia space for over 16 years and we’re still the best at it by a long shot, so trust us when we say it’s still trivia, and it’s still good.”

Visit their Facebook page for more information.


Arguably Australia’s most iconic television program has resurfaced and is available for binge-watching on YouTube. That’s right, if you miss the nostalgia-ridden Round the Twist theme song or its star-studded cast of characters wrangling with pigs, mermaids, clown ghosts or tree spirits, you can view the complete 20-minute episodes all for free online.



Country musician Matt Ward has teamed up with Heartland Productions and the Grace Emily Hotel to soundtrack your iso times. A Simple Life is an online live concert platform aiming to support local and national artists.

Broadcasting 7pm Thursday—Sunday, Simple Life aims to “keep the spirit of the Grace Emily alive,” says Matt Ward, and features an indie country-bent bill of artists, but will explore other genres “until live music picks back up again.”

This week’s roster includes Sarah Straschko on Thursday, Ryan Martin John on Friday, James Ellis on Saturday, and Brendan Nawrocki on Sunday. Visit the Grace Emily Hotel’s Facebook page for links. Yeehaw.



Sprout at Home is a new online cooking class platform where people can learn how to whip together quick, easy and healthy recipes in the comfort of their own home.

Sprout’s purpose-built kitchen is the state’s largest (wow!) and has Masterchef runner-up, and returnee, Callum Hann at the helm. Instead of having students physically in the space, the company has pivoted to serving education online.

Their online cooking classes include access to recipes and cooking demonstrations, and range in skill level from kids to head chef. If you really don’t want to leave your home, Sprout can deliver pre-portioned ingredients to your doorstep.

Visit Sprout’s website for more info.



You’ve probably seen Brenton Torrens busk on Adelaide’s West End prior to the COVID-19 shutdown. Or if you didn’t see him, he probably saw you and rapped about it. The busker is committed to a life of hip hop and aims to get there through freestyling bars. In 2018, Brenton told CityMag he used to be very self-conscious of what others thought, but has developed an “F-You attitude.”

“I don’t really care what they think because I’m out here doing what I’m doing and I’m not going to stop for another person.”

Starting from Scratch was commissioned by City Standard – a platform launched by the founders of CityMag, Farrin Foster and Josh Fanning, with creative director Tyrone Ormsby, as a local subscription platform with world-class content. The project has lifted its paywall and you can watch the heartwarming documentary by Jared Nicholson about Brenton here.



Local psych outfit Ghost Thief’s members Timothea Moylan, Josh Trezise and Ed Noble wanted to find a way to continue to exist in the creative industries during the coronavirus. They teamed up with graphic designer Sam Trezise and videographer and co-founder of Repeater, Ben Golotta, to make that happen.

The result: Sunny Side Uploads. Kicking-off Thursday, 8 April, the platform will provide free, high-definition live-streamed gigs hosted at the Flinders Street venue The Jade for audiences to connect to music online. Aidan ‘Jazzy’ Jones is pegged for the first set on Thursday, 9 April, at 8pm, with Timberwolf to follow on Saturday, 11 April at 7pm.

Visit the Facebook for more information. Donations will be accepted through PayPal and Beem It, and will go towards artists and the music crew industry involved in the event.



A dual effort from The Wheatsheaf Hotel and Knock Off Sessions (founded by Annie Siegmann of Seabass) will see the pub livestream gigs from the its tin shed out the back, every Friday at 6pm.

The Wheaty has a history of livestreaming live music via Facebook and YouTube, but the concept has gained increased significance since our collective hunkering down into homes.

Wheaty Live gives artists an opportunity to do what they love doing (play music for an audience), it’ll keep the pub’s sound engineer busy on a Friday, and the plan is for the initiative to also provide a way for the public to support the musicians booked in – either through a voluntary ‘admission’ fee, or pointing punters in the direction of a Bandcamp page where merch can be purchased.

To (almost) complete the full Wheaty experience – you can now grab some Wheaty Brewing Corps beer to go, to ensure the same levels of sipping and nodding along as would otherwise be experienced at the venue.

Follow Knock Off Sessions and The Wheaty for updates on future gigs.



Writers of Adelaide – fear not! If you’re looking to skill up but don’t want to leave the comfort of your couch, our friends at Writers SA have transitioned their entire autumn program to online.

As part of the program – now workshops accessed via Zoom – authors like Benjamin Law and Tony Park will take participants on a literary journey, exploring topics like how to craft a location without leaving the lounge room and “laws of the [writing] game.”

Prices range from $35-$50. Visit Writers SA for the entire workshop lineup.

Writers SA also has a program called Teen Writers Club that’s also wholly online now. This project is aimed at helping high school students make new connections, be inspired and develop their writing.


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