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Vivid Sydney Announces Massive 2017 Program

AIR, Shepard Fairey, Laura Marling, lights at Barangaroo.

Summer is officially over. We know that not just because Sydney has gone all dark stormy, but because Vivid Sydney has this morning announced their full 2017 program. Get ready to be ensconced in sparkly lights once again — the festival of light, music and ideas will be back for 23 days from May 26 to June 17.

The first tidbit from this year's program was handed to us a few weeks ago, with the announcement that indie folk-rock US band Fleet Foxes will bring their bright dance-around-the-forest songs to the Sydney Opera House for four exclusive shows on May 26–29 this year. These will be the band's only shows in Australia — and their first here in five years — so tickets will be allocated via a ballot system. Anyone who sat online to get (or miss out on) tickets to the Opera House's Bon Iver show last year will appreciate this method of allocation.

The most overt aspect of the program is the lights, and this year their kaleidoscope is set to extend over to Barangaroo for the first time. A new precinct for 2017, it will extend the reach of the CBD's lights and further light up Darling Harbour with a trail of installations that will wind through the Streets of Barangaroo and along the waterfront. One of the works, A Day in the Light, will be an outdoor theatre of light and sound — getting a seat at one of the area's new restaurants (like 12-Micron or Banksii) will likely be hard to nab. The Sydney Opera House's sails will this year be lit up with imaginary creatures by cinematographer, editor, and graphic designer Ash Bolland. Vivid light hotspots, the Royal Botanic Garden, the MCA, Chatswood, Taronga Zoo and Martin place will all be lit up as well.

Vivid Music just seems to get bigger with every passing year — in 2017, there will be over 250 gigs. Joining Fleet Foxes for the Vivid LIVE component of the program at the Opera House will be legendary French electronic duo AIR (for their second Australian shows ever), the ethereal Laura Marling and our own Nick Murphy (Chet Faker's new moniker, ICYMI). The Avalanches will also make an appearance on the Opera House's Northern Broadwalk to perform their seminal album Since I Left You in its entirety for the first time since 2001. The band will be joined by Briggs, Sampa The Great and DJ Shadow.

The City Recital Hall has a solid program sorted as well, with Dappled Cities, Dianne Reeves and a party by Paul Mac slated. But not all the gigs will be held at formal venues. The Vivid Music program will this year extend to Carriageworks for an exclusive gig from Goldfrapp and the return of Fuzzy Music's huge party Curve Ball, over to Cake Wines for a rooftop party and Oxford Art Factory for the Women in Electronic Music showcase.

Vivid Ideas is, of course, back for the brainiacs among you — and this year it's scored iconic artist Shepard Fairey as its big-ticket speaker. Don't know the name? He's the artist behind Obama's HOPE campaign. As well as an exclusive talk, he'll also create a large-scale public mural somewhere in Sydney's CBD (!!) and exhibit some of his works in an exhibition at Darling Quarter.

There's plenty more where that came from, check the Vivid Sydney website for more details.

Published on March 14, 2017 by Lauren Vadnjal

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