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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

A 24-Hour Pop Culture Binge Festival Is Coming to the Sydney Opera House

Featuring Shia LeBeouf, Street Fighter and a cat video festival in the forecourt.
By Lauren Vadnjal
October 07, 2016
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By Lauren Vadnjal
October 07, 2016
  shares

If you've ever felt guilty about staying at home on a Saturday night to play video games, learn Beyoncé dance moves off YouTube or watch six straight hours of Netflix — don't. The Sydney Opera House has just announced that they'll be hosting an epic overnight 24-hour festival dedicated to binging on pop culture in a totally acceptable social setting. Think Buffy marathons, Street Fighter, Shia LeBeouf — and cats.

Bingefest is a brand new festival for the Opera House (their first newbie in five years) and will pull together this year's pop culture phenomenons to discuss, celebrate and — most importantly — enjoy them for what they are when it comes to the Opera House for 24 hours (or so) this December 17 and 18. The biggest announcement is that actor and artist Shia LeBeouf — along with collaborators Nastja Säde Rönkkön and Luke Turner — will be coming along to the fest. Best known for their live performance art like Take Me Anywhere, where they posted their coordinates and waited for the first people to find them and pick them up, the trio will be creating a work especially for Bingefest. No word on what it is yet though.

The program — which will run from about 3pm on Saturday until 6am on Monday morning — includes a whole range of things we consume on the Internet, from TV and video games to podcasts and viral videos. Running overnight on the Saturday will be a Buffy marathon, in which lovers of the kickass femme vampire can relive the best episodes all over again (and all night), as well as a 24-hour Street Fighter session. Those familiar with the cult '80s video game will be able to drop in at any point in the night for a go.

Other highlights include a talk from The AV Club, where four of their editorial staff will take you through all the TV you should have watched by now. Community's Dan Harmon and Luke McGregor and Celia Pacquola (from the soon-to-air ABC show Rosehaven) will write a TV-show from scratch in front of an audience, Serial producer Julie Snyder will discuss binge-worthy journalism and Amrita Hepi will hold two Rihanna and Beyoncé dance clases in the Opera House's ballet rehearsal room (perfect post-Buffy binge). Redfern Convenience Store will even be holding a pop-up snack store.

Also, in what could be the most captivating performance we've seen this year, the Internet Cat Festival will make its Sydney debut. It will be held in partnership with the RSPCA and will be goddamn adorable. The festival will function as a curated reel of videos, played in the Joan Sutherland Theatre Northern Foyer on Sunday, December 18 at 2pm as part of the Bingefest's free program.

Bingefest founder and curator Danielle Harvey says the festival is an opportunity for people to consume pop culture together as a community. As something that's largely consumed personally at home, the live participation of festival makes it a whole different experience. Danielle is a co-curator of other Opera House events like All About Women and the Festival of Dangerous Ideas, but unlike the other festivals that incorporate elements of pop culture, Bingefest will be 100 percent dedicated to featuring it in a more celebratory way.

Bingefest will take place at the Sydney Opera House from the afternoon of Saturday, December 17 until the morning of Monday, December 19. FOr more info and to buy tickets, visit bingefest.sydneyoperahouse.com.

Published on October 07, 2016 by Lauren Vadnjal

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