We’ve seen gigs and festivals staged in some pretty weird places in the past, including the inner recesses of caves, active volcanoes, and even prisons. Now, we can add insane asylum to that list thanks to a new event set to hit Adelaide’s Glenside Hospital Z Ward.
As Rip It Up reports, Glenside’s Z Ward will become a makeshift music venue next month when it hosts a program of classical and electronic music as part of the city’s upcoming Festival Of Architecture and Design.
For those not familiar with the storied Adelaide landmark, the Z Ward was home to those classified as South Australia’s criminally insane for almost 90 years. As ABC Radio notes, it was originally dubbed L Ward, but the name was changed because it sounded too similar to ‘Hell Ward’.
After it was closed in 1973, the Z Ward became an Adelaide curiosity, occasionally serving as a venue for various functions, including a series of open days last year and a pop up art exhibition as part of the 2015 SALA Festival program.
Next month, Hidden Sounds from the Z Ward will take advantage of the unique acoustics provided by the ward’s empty cells and hallways, with a mix of classical and electronic sounds curated by Helpmann Award winner and Soundstream Artistic director Gabriella Smart.
According to Rip It Up, Hidden Sounds will feature performances from violinist Niki Vasilakis, cellist Simon Cobcroft and Baritone Anthony Zatorski, and director of the University of Adelaide’s Electronic Music Unit (EMU) Christian Haines.
“I had looked at Adelaide Gaol by the train yards for years as possible venue for concerts but it’s really small, with cramped cells and corridors,” Smart told Rip It Up. “It was built in the early days of Adelaide when there was no money.”
“The Z Ward on the other hand was built when Adelaide had a lot more wealth, and it was also a period when it was this age of enlightenment when they believed prisoners could be rehabilitated through solitary confinement and dwelling on their thoughts.”
“So the building itself is very beautiful and big, the cells and upstairs corridors are very large. At the same time it’s incredibly eery, this is the ward where there was definitely no return, but what an incredible space to fill up with music!”
Hidden Sounds From The Z Ward
Saturday, 10th October 2015
Old Glenside Hospital, Adelaide