This year marks Slava Grigoryan’s 10th Guitar Festival as artistic director, and his program released today for the September 12-29 event encompasses a wide sweep of artists and genres.

The festival will open with three key shows at Her Majesty’s Theatre, including the previously announced performance by international flamenco guitarist Paco Peña of Requiem for the Earth –­ a large-scale work that will also feature musicians from Spain and Adelaide’s Rising Voices and Young Adelaide Voices.

Slava and brother Leonard Grigoryan will join a line-up of musicians from around the world on the following evening for what the artistic director describes as “a global journey through the eyes of the classical guitar”. Travel Guide: A Global Gathering will open with a performance by the 80-strong Adelaide Guitar Festival Orchestra and Brisbane’s Aurora Guitar Ensemble, and features China’s Xuefei Yang (performing exclusively in Adelaide) and Brazil’s Chrystian Dozza.

And on September 14, guitar fans are promised a “full-blown rock ’n’ roll spectacle” with The Rolling Stones Revue, a celebration of 60 years of the iconic band that will include a performance of their Sticky Fingers album in its entirety.

“It’s hard to not think about The Rolling Stones in a Guitar Festival,” says Grigoryan.

“They’ve influenced everyone in rock ’n’ roll for decades and it’s always a great opportunity to be able to celebrate the music of an iconic band like this… Adalita [from Magic Dirt], Sarah McLeod [The Superjesus], Tex Perkins [The Cruel Sea] and Steve Kilby [The Church] will be fronting an amazing band, and I think for all rock ’n’ roll and Stones’ fans this will be a highlight for the year.”

Glenn Skuthorpe will perform in Blak Country. Photo: supplied

Another highlight of this year’s festival will be Blak Country, which is described as a celebration of the resonance many First Nations people have found in country music’s themes of “connection to Country, heartbreak and solace”. The Dunstan Playhouse concert is being curated by SA-based Barkindji songwoman Nancy Bates and will feature a line-up of First Nations singers including Glenn Skuthorpe, Aunty Penny Bonney and Scott Rathman Jnr.

“She [Bates] came to us with this idea of showcasing First Nations artists who are continuing songlines through the country music genre,” explains executive producer Sarah Bleby, adding that Blak Country will be presented with a full band and include imagery of the Country that inspired the songs.

“It’s a really special idea and it’s a thread of the program that we’re hoping will continue into the future.”

Strong ticket sales for the previously announced closing-weekend show The Princess Bride in Concert have prompted organisers to add a third performance on September 29. The film will be shown on a large screen in the Festival Theatre while Grigoryan and a live orchestra perform Mark Knopfler’s score, with Steven Gates from comedy trio Tripod hosting the evening.

Other 2024 Guitar Festival guests will include ARIA winner Jeff Lang, playing songs from his latest album More Life; guitarist Dusty Lee Stephensen, accompanied by Ross Irwin (The Cat Empire) and a 10-piece band for his new project DUSTYN; and 2023 festival favourites Antoine Boyer and Yeore Kim. The Guitars in Bars program and regional touring event On the Road will also return.

The full Adelaide Guitar Festival program is online now.

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