The folks at the Sydney Fringe Festival have unveiled a fresh swathe of 2017 highlights and you should promptly get around them. Among the standouts is this year's opening weekend extravaganza — an enormous 'masqueerade' that promises to turn the brand new festival hub "into a world of mystery and disguise where reality is suspended and art becomes real life". The bash is the brainchild of the team from Heaps Gay so it's sure to be one hell of a good time, with the warehouse party rocking over two nights on September 2 and 3. This year's mysterious dress theme is transform/disguise and, in the party group's usual fashion, the location will be kept secret.
Meanwhile, Kensington Street in Chippendale will be the site of the official launch party, taking over shops, bars, restaurants and footpaths with music acts curated by Sydney-based songstress Ngaiire. Other highlights include a world first GIF-iti exhibition from UK artist INSA, a voyeuristic stage experience dubbed Silent Theatre, and a massive musical collaboration at Sydney Town Hall between Lah Lah's Big Live Band and the Sydney Youth Orchestra.
SFF has also announced its 2017 festival ambassadors: The Whitlams' lead singer Tim Freedman, Archibald prize-winning artist Ben Quilty, writer and social commentator Benjamin Law, performance artist Betty Grumble and performer, poet and activist Candy Royalle.
We previously had a taste of what this year's Fringe had in store when they dropped their first wave of programming back in May. Standouts in that announcement included Digital Dinner — billed as "an immersive dining experience" featuring food, art, music, installations and digital media — and Cirque Africa, an explosive circus show featuring 38 performers from six African countries, all backed by a live African band. And, somehow, there's still more to come, with the full SFF program unveiled on August 1. Yeah, it's going to be massive.
The full Sydney Fringe Festival program will be unveiled on August 1. For more information visit the Sydney Fringe website.