Music SA is deeply saddened by the devastation of COVID-19 and by the major impact it is having on the South Australian live music industry.

Music SA understands and respects measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and supports any public health initiative.

The health and safety of music fans, artists and workers is the first priority of Music SA, who for the fifth year running, are the presenters of the Umbrella Festival. Umbrella Festival is a major, multi-week, open-access live music celebration of gigs across music venues in SA.

With safety in mind, Music SA has made the following accommodations for Umbrella Festival with contingency plans in place, should they be required.

With the best information at hand that recovery will likely commence in six months, we have made the following changes to the 2020 Umbrella Festival:

  • The Umbrella Festival (previously set to open on 17th July) will be rescheduled to Friday 18 September – Sunday 4 October 2020, with the launch date and release of the Printed Program to be Wednesday 22 July, published by our partner Scenestr.

The closing date for Printed Program registrations will be Wednesday 1 July and Music SA is waiving the registration fee of $25 to allow the festival to be more accessible after the inevitable loss of income due to event cancellations and venue closures amidst the COVID-19 lockdowns.

Tickets will go on sale via Umbrella Festival website on Wednesday 22 July.

Umbrella Festival is funded by the Marshall Government, the City of Adelaide and the AHA (SA Branch).

Minister for Innovation and Skills David Pisoni said: “This is an unprecedented situation and the reality is all sectors of our economy will be impacted. The Marshall Government is doing everything in its power to sustain jobs and we know that our thriving live music industry will need support to come through this challenging time. As a major sponsor and supporter of the festival, we’re providing a funding boost this year, through an additional $200,000 investment to expand Umbrella Festival to key regional centres. By moving Umbrella Festival to later in the year, we’re confident that it presents an opportunity for venues and the local live music industry to bounce back from what is a difficult period due to the impacts of the coronavirus.”

Music SA CEO Lisa Bishop said: “By the time Umbrella Festival comes around in spring, we envisage that people who have been forcibly separated from live music will be yearning to get together. We believe audiences will come back with added appreciation and desire for the sense of community and connectedness that Umbrella Festival and live music provide. We want to help in the financial recovery of musicians and venues, so we are waiving the registration fee so more people can get involved.”

Ian Horne, CEO of the AHA (SA Branch) said: “Live music is an integral part of SA’s hotel industry and the Umbrella Festival has grown from strength to strength over the past years. While it is disappointing to have to defer this festival I really encourage people to get out and support fantastic live music in our great venues so that when this crisis passes, as it will, we will already have preserved a vibrant live music and hotel industry.”


Umbrella Festival is a venue-based live music festival without major festival hubs or catering to mass gatherings, so it offers a perfect opportunity for the industry and audiences to enjoy gigs in small venues.

Lord Mayor of Adelaide, Sandy Verschoor said: “During these unprecedented circumstances, I fully support Music SA’s decision to reschedule the Umbrella Festival. When the festival does go ahead later in the year, I strongly encourage people to get out and support local venues and live music which are being hit hard by current events by heading along to the wonderful array of music acts that Umbrella brings to the city and regions. In the meantime I recommend everyone continues to support their favourite local artists by buying their music and merchandise online.”

Umbrella Festival’s objectives are and always will be to:

  • provide work for musicians
  • deliver commercial outcomes for venues
  • build audiences for local musicians

In 2020, the Marshall Government provided a grant to allow the Umbrella Festival to expand regionally and this gives an opportunity for local communities to recover from the devastation of the bushfires, COVID-19 and the decimation to their tourism businesses.

However, if cancellation of the Umbrella Festival is required, an announcement will be made and all involved will be advised by no later than 1st July. No refunds will be required because registrations are free of charge and no tickets will be sold prior to July 22.

We understand this is a difficult time for artists, and we are committed to providing support during this time and into the recovery phase. Staff at Music SA are compiling a range of solutions and ideas for musicians and workers on our social media channels and website.