Going backstage at this year’s Adelaide Guitar Festival 

Subscribe to Mixdown Magazine


Going backstage at this year’s Adelaide Guitar Festival 

Words by Benjamin Lamb

A journey through all the marvellous things you can get up to at Australia’s premier guitar bonanza

The Adelaide Guitar Festival is back. After a few years out of action, one of Australia’s coolest events for all things axe related has returned.

There’s no shortage of interesting shows making their way to the festival, one of the most intriguing being ‘The Backstage Sessions’, a series of performances filmed in the wings of Adelaide’s iconic Festival Theatre.

Read all the latest features, columns and more here.

One of The Backstage Sessions will feature music from the talented Jimmybay, an artist who incorporates rich stories of his journeys effortlessly into his song writing, making for some memorable tracks which has garnered him a great deal of fans across the country. 

“From my show, you can expect stories about travelling around Australia,” Jimmybay notes. “I started off in Darwin, backpacking with my guitar, that then transitioned into travelling around Australia, and then transitioned into what’s happening today, which is pretty exciting to be honest.”

Jimmybay’s music makes him the perfect addition to The Backstage Sessions, a guest spot he was excited to play, with him also highlighting the importance of these sessions as an important facet for shining a light on some great local musicians, many of which spread across a bunch of genres.

The Backstage Sessions are great, they are an amazing showcase and spotlight for local musicians, I was lucky to be part of one myself. The sessions are a showcase for the events that are going to happen at places around South Australia.

“There’s a massive, varied amount of musicians from classical to jazz, blues to country, pretty much every genre, it’s very spread through, and I was just lucky enough to jump on. I’m very excited to be part of it.”

They are the perfect opener to what’s set to be an iconic festival. The performances will be available here and were filmed in the stunning Festival Theatre in Adelaide, a stage that has seen a great deal of world class entertainment in the last few decades.

Each performer of The Backstage Sessions will be filmed among a backdrop of memorabilia of guitar festivals from previous years, shot with a high-definition camera, so it’ll feel like you are actually there with them watching the performance on stage.

There are a number of duos who have filmed a Backstage Session, including Jimmybay, whose performance involves the amazing Aimee Volkofsky, a collaboration that Jimmybay notes, is still very green.

“It’s a bit of a new one, we’ve been experimenting with music for about five years, so we’re trying something new.”

You’ll also be able to catch Jimmybay live throughout the festival, he’ll be hitting the stage alongside multiple Golden Guitar and ARIA award winner Fanny Lumsden for ‘Songs Told of a Land of Gold’, check out more info on that here.

On top of Jimmybay and Aimee’s Backstage Session, you can check out performances from artists like Out of Sinc, Stefan Hauk, and Rob Eyers, among many more!

There’s a lot else going on throughout the Adelaide Guitar Festival, you’ll be able to find something that’s up your alley. Jimmybay gives us his recommendations for the coolest events to check out.  

“Nancy Bates is going to be a great one, Hussy Hicks, Tom West, Jeff Lang are going to be there as well.”

In 2022’s program, there is a significant number of Aussies involved, truly a sign of the last few years and issues with internationals heading down under, but now in a post-covid world, it’s exciting to see that there still is a massive local emphasis, which will hopefully be a focus for years to come. 

“There’s a thirst for that local music that people don’t usually know,” Jimmybay adds. “This festival gives those people a chance to showcase the music, and I think local people are really interested in seeing that. 

“It’s a new thing for a lot of people to discover these local artists that they wouldn’t normally have been able to.”

Even with a massive national emphasis, the Adelaide Guitar Festival fun doesn’t end there, fans will be able to experience some memorable international performers who are making their way down under. 

Star of shows and movies like The Simpsons, Saturday Night Live, and This is Spinal Tap, Harry Shearer will be heading down under for the Adelaide Guitar Festival.

He’ll be a part of a few different events throughout the program, one being a screening of his iconic movie This is Spinal Tap, which will be followed by a Q and A with the star himself, alongside the iconic Russell Hopkinson from You Am I, for what is truly set to be a massive night of rock music. 

It’ll be held at the Mercury CX Theatre, check out some more info and book your tickets here.

The Harry Shearer show keeps going, he’ll be performing in character as his This is Spinal Tap star, Derek Smalls. It’s one of the first times Derek has hit the stage away from the USA, so this is a gig that needs to be seen to be believed.

The show, titled This Time It’s Personal, is a world premiere at Adelaide’s Her Majesty’s Theatre, and will involve Smalls coming up against You Am I’s ‘Majesty of Tap’ in the ultimate rock double bill. For one exclusive night only, book your tickets now!

Check out some more info and book in your visit to the Adelaide Guitar Festival here.