Ahhhh, The Grace. This beloved hotel in the West End is an oasis of live music, great beer, fun crowds and no pretension.
The Grace Emily Hotel has been active in the Adelaide Fringe for 10 years roughly, with steady growth in shows and audience. The last 5 years have grown in particular, with 2016 hosting a whopping 9 different shows!
You never forget your sense of wonder when you first enter the Grace. One will immediately notice an eclectic collection of objects adorning the walls and nearly every surface of the front bar, as curated by the owners with a few selected items of donation added into the mix. There’s the kitsch, curios, various iconography – even a shrine to Burt Newton at the entrance – a Willsy features prominently!
The Grace Emily Hotel has a long history as a watering hole, with the building always used as a pub, and generally a “working man’s pub” at that, at what was originally considered the seedier end of town. It was first known as The Launceston for 4 years, then it briefly became The Whaler’s Return for 2 years before reverting to its original title The Launceston. It remained as such until 1998, when it became The Grace Emily Hotel.
As for its rumoured ‘colourful’ past, current co-owner George says there have “always been dodgy staff” but it was never documented as a whore house. However, “any pub back in the day had rooms upstairs…” and there were known to be strippers at The Launceston in earlier days.
Live music started when the pub became The Grace Emily Hotel in 1998. Some of the earliest bands to ‘grace’ the stage included Mick Thomas and Dave Graney.
Other well known acts to play at ‘The Grace’ include internationals (Ben Folds, Jeff Martin, Justin Townes Earle, The Handsome Family), and high profile nationals like Paul Kelly, all of Cold Chisel at one point or another, recent stars on rise Marlon Williams, Spencer P Jones and Tim Rogers – who has been known to take up brief residency upstairs when on tour.
The Grace Emily hosts music in a range of genres – Acoustic / Folk, Alt Country, Blues / Roots, Country, Jazz, Pop, Rock, World and Others negotiable. Live music spots are available 7 days a week, with long–running residency ‘Billy Bobs BBQ Jam’ on Monday nights a crowd pleaser, featuring a legendary house band, plus open mic and BBQ.
As a live music venue, it’s more than a pub, it’s a community, and a frequent haunt of musicians and music industry identities alike, many of whom have long histories with – and are fiercely loyal to – the establishment.
You haven’t “lived” live music in Adelaide if you haven’t been to the Grace Emily Hotel. Trust us, you’ll love it.
The Grace Emily Hotel 2016 Fringe Program (remaining shows):
Adelaide The Songs
Sun 28 Feb, Sat 5 March, Sun 6 March @ 6:15pm
Grace: The Songs of Jeff Buckley
Sat 5 March (sold out)
Sun 6 March @ 8:30pm
Thur 25 Feb, Weds 2 Mar, Thurs 3 Mar @ 8:00 pm
Sat 27 Feb @ 5:00 PM
App alert! All FRUSIC shows at this venue can be found on the Little Birdy app, where you can connect with friends, see who’s there and find show times. The venue is also on the FRUSIC Adelaide Music Walking Trail, with exclusive video interviews, history & more. For details, see How to Frusic >
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