Current Issue #488

Putting Down New Musical Roots in the Old Royal Adelaide Hospital

Putting Down New Musical Roots in the Old Royal Adelaide Hospital

The upcoming one-day live music festival Root Down is set to be the first major event to take place in the old Royal Adelaide Hospital (oRAH) complex.

Taking place in the laneway between the Margaret Graham Building and Allied Health Building, Root Down is broadening its view of the musical world this year. Acts from genres including neo-soul, alt-indie rock and disco will take the stage alongside the hip-hop crews the festival focussed on last year.

“We’re delving into the most experimental and innovating live music SA and Australia has to offer,” Root Down’s creative director Steve Pitkin tells The Adelaide Review. “We’re holding it in a magical little space once populated by staff and patients of the Royal Adelaide Hospital, now a perfect party zone for a celebration of live music and culture.”

The oRAH laneway to host Root Down

As well as the lineup of more than a dozen acts, including Luke Million, Timberwolf and Willow Beats, Root Down will be supplemented by a swathe of creative offerings. With the music and arts group Melt Frank presenting the festival, attendees can expect a range of markets, performance art and visual arts on display.

“Melt Frank started as an art exhibition project so we always try to keep the visual arts involved with every festival, including Live Screen-printing and Art demonstrations,” says Pitkin. “We have also started to incorporate various other performance art into the mix, and with Root Down’s early hip-hop vibes, break’n is a must, hitting the dance floor around 5:30pm courtesy of Melski Mel and her crew Cutlass Creative.”

Food is a must at a music festival, and Root Down aims to support local food and drink providers on the menu for punters to enjoy.

“Here at Melt Frank and Root Down Festival we feel very passionate about local harvest and supporting SA’s top produce,” says Pitkin. “Food trucks include a Mexican explosion with La Cantina, gourmet snags with Papas Hotdogs and some late-night dinner treats with Sooki La La Street Food. Beer and wine is on top of our feature list with our major supporting partners, Mismatch Brewing, Hills Cider Company and the ground-breaking wine company Unico Zelo sporting some famous drops of Fiano, Rose and Fizz.”

Asked what opportunities and challenges the oRAH site presents for a festival such as Root Down, Pitkin is optimistic, and hopes to see more activation of the space in future.

“The old RAH site has an incredible amount of potential for the future of arts and activity in the City of Adelaide,” he says. “Boasting an unusually blank canvas I can see the arts becoming a huge influence in this space. Running an event here has been a treat and I’m looking forward to seeing more festivals and events jump in and bring it to life.”

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