Photo by: ACOM


2024 has already taken off and is set to be another huge year for the state’s music community.

Without a doubt, Adelaide is a global city of culture, that continues to produce outstanding talent, passionate, driven, and globally focused. Supported by a diverse range of programs, funding, events, organisations, and institutions it has a committed State Government and local councils with program and funding opportunities to support venues, artists, events, and touring, as well as creative, professional, and pathway development.

Most importantly, it has a population that loves music in all its forms.

An essential part of the cultural and economic fabric of our state, ACOM is committed to helping support our struggling live music venues. Although the state government’s recent reallocation of its See It Live funding program will help live music venues navigate current downturns and changing consumer habits, work will still need to be done to help rebuild and reimage our live music culture.

Adelaide’s UNESCO City of Music designation recognises the state’s historic and ongoing commitment to music culture. On top of being a banner for the state’s music community to rally around, it provides access to a global network of creative and motivated cities committed to embedding creativity and the arts in all development plans – economic, social, and urban.

UNESCO Adelaide City of Music’s (ACOM) focus this past year, has been to capture, celebrate and tell more of our stories, to engage and build awareness about the designation, and to explore and build more connections and opportunities across the UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) and beyond.

In 2024 ACOM will continue to promote the designation and celebrate the people and organisations that make us a true global centre of culture. It will encourage more people to go see live music, promote the role of music plays in enhancing education and health outcomes, to support First Nations communities and artists, and to reduce inequality in society.

To better connect with the state’s broad music community, inform government and sector policy, shape its own resources and strategies, and uncover and tell more of our fantastic stories, ACOM launched an International Mapping Project. Rolled out over the second half of last year, ACOM conducted a survey, held regular music community events, and one-on-one meetings with stakeholders across the state and around the world. The results of this project are currently being compiled and will be shared soon.

To maximise the benefits that flow from being part of UNESCO’s global creative network, ACOM has been strategically building working-level relationships between cities, artists, organisations, institutions, and festivals. This approach connects people and creates space for them to share and learn about each other, to develop ideas and collaborations that will have greater, long-term mutual benefit. Specially ACOM will roll out several opportunities this year that it has been developing in conjunction with other cities within the UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN).

A UCCN and Sister City, Austin in one of the world’s great music cites. ACOM has been facilitating relationships between Adelaide festivals and Austin music organisations, it has been exploring the intersections between Health, Technology, and Music with the Austin Music Health Alliance, and excitingly, it has been developing an exchange initiative with the Texas Office for Music that will see support for SA artists beyond SXSW and Austin City Limits.

Similarly, we have begun a conversation with Glasgow, UK regarding artist exchanges and tour support across UCCN Cities in the Republic of Ireland and throughout the north of the UK.  ACOM is also facilitating relationships and opportunities with Daegu, South Korea (Orchestra, Guitar), Kansas City, USA (Jazz), Hanover, Germany (Choir), Pesaro Italy (Opera), and Norrkoping, Sweden (Music Technology), Primavera Pro, Barcelona (Showcase), the Lincoln Center for Performing Arts, New York (Showcase, Performance), and the International Indigenous Music Summit in Toronto, Canada (Education, Showcase).

In collaboration with other UNESCO Cities of Music and partner organisations, ACOM is exploring the next iteration of our award-winning gender equity initiative, Equaliser, and our First Nations initiative, Give Them the Mic. These programs were collaborations developed between Adelaide, Auckland, New Zealand, Norrkoping, Sweden, and Hanover, Germany. In expanding these programs, ACOM aims to include more cities from the Network, build deeper connections between participants, seek a broader range of experiences and insights, and develop ongoing and sustainable outcomes that participants can own and pursue.

In 2019, Adelaide showed regional leadership and established the first Asia Pacific UNESCO Creative Cities Conference. The conference series was to grow and travel the region, bringing together governments and creatives and defining a new level understanding and collaboration. COVID came along and stopped it in its tracks, and we are currently working to re-establish this important conference series.

With over 370 cities in the UNESCO Creative Cities Network, ACOM is working with the State and Federal Governments, the City of Adelaide, the Adelaide Festival Centre, and music stakeholders to strategically focus our efforts and help fully realise the potential of the Adelaide City of Music and the UNESCO Creative City of Music designation.

To get involved and learn more please follow us on social media, visit our website, or attend one of our regular Monthly Music Meets events.

Learn more about our projects

Read more about some of the projects that have been created with UNESCO Creative Cities Network.