Break out your brolly

Umbrella Festival is back in 2021 for its fifth instalment, with a live music program of more than 170 events across South Australia this winter, alongside a handful of events in Mount Gambier.

Presented by Music SA, the Umbrella Festival runs from July 16 to August 8 and brings live music to metropolitan and regional South Australia, with events in Mount Gambier, Whyalla, Port Augusta, Port Pirie, Port Lincoln, Mount Barker and the Barossa Valley for the first time.

Events in Mount Gambier kick-off tomorrow and include a combination of open-access and curated performances, with gigs from local and state acts in contemporary music. With the coronavirus pandemic separating people and live performances in 2020, the return of the Umbrella Festival in 2021 sees 294 individual performances across 38 different contemporary genres at 85 venues.

Among the acts to perform will be locals Tamara Seeley and Marie Holmes at Jens Hotel on July 24, with their Fringe show ‘My 90s Mixtape’ returning after three-year hiatus. Speaking to The SE Voice, Ms Holmes said local musicians Scott Maxwell, James Owen, and Laura Small would perform as part of her event, with Jase Scheidel to hit the decks as DJ after the show. “Since COVID-19, gigs have been pretty scarce, so getting back into it is exciting,” she said. “We’re really looking forward to it.”

My 90s Mixtape will see musicians perform medleys based on Australian 90s tracks from the likes of Spiderbait and Silverchair, alongside a quiz element. Preceding the event will be a 90s music set by Mount Gambier City Councillor Ben Hood. Local Curator Monica Hart is among the local arts community asking people to “fight the urge to hibernate” and see the local catalogue of Umbrella Festival events.

“We are excited to transform Mount Gambier into a musical melting pot throughout this cold winter period and support venues during a typically slow time,” Ms Hart said. “South Australia has a rich tradition of showcasing the arts and Umbrella Festival is testament to what we can do for musicians, audiences, visitors and venues when we collectively get behind live music.

“It might be freezing outside, but if you’re a fan of live music the next few weeks should warm your heart.” Ms Hart said the variety of local and touring artists performing in Mount Gambier this winter was something not to be missed. “Umbrella is truly an exciting range of musical offerings, with something for everyone ranging from acoustic, funk, cabaret, soul, jazz and hip hop, to rock and family-friendly entertainment,” she said.

Mount Gambier’s Echo Farm, Jens Hotel, Metro Bakery, The Bellum and The Limestone Coast Pantry will be among the venues hosting both local and touring acts throughout the festival. For program details, visit the Umbrella website ( or visit the Main Corner Complex for a printed program.

- Buying, renting or selling? Don't go past -