Fans of Mt Barker’s long-running jazz festival were taken by surprise as the new-look event unfolded over the weekend.
Gone were the usual mix of street performers, casually enjoyed by diners or passersby, and a handful of headline performances at select venues.
In their place were major international and Australian acts, intimate performances at quirky venues, a colorfully noisy street parade and a smorgasbord of jazz styles.
This year’s inaugural Hoot! Adelaide Hills Jazz Festival certainly delivered on its aim to take the popular celebration of music to the next level.
With new organisers at the helm and a shift from May to June, high-calibre acts – the kind people would travel interstate to see – were lured to the Hills. With events at over 30 venues the program delivered something for everyone, from die-hard jazz fans to families looking for a fun day out.
The response, with most shows sold out and free venues packed, demonstrates that there is room to grow this event even further. It is exactly the sort of festival the Hills needs to draw in visitors during the traditionally quieter winter months.
Restaurants, pubs, cellar doors and cafes benefit with full dining rooms and bars.
Now those benefits are extending to surrounding towns, after venues in Hahndorf, Littlehampton and Nairne also hosted events.
And there is the potential to include other towns across the Hills, especially if a recent grant application for funding from the State Government is successful.
TV turn off
Television has become such a huge part of our lives that we take it for granted.
When the analogue signal is switched over to digital in the Adelaide metropolitan area at the end of next year there will be many people who suddenly find themselves without that service.
Many Cudlee Creek residents will be among that group and they are wondering why they are being sacrificed when there is a re-transmission tower in good condition in the neighborhood that can be upgraded for minimum cost.
The reality is that even though they live only 20 minutes from the city they are a small minority with no political clout.
TXA, the joint venture company that runs the towers, doesn’t want to spend the money on upgrading to digital and it appears the Adelaide Hills Council doesn’t want to put up any money either.
The end result is that Cudlee Creek will have to make do with an expensive satellite service and put up with TV content from Sydney and Brisbane.