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Sampa the Great Has Been Announced as Vivid Live's First Act

The Zambian-born musician will be performing songs from her acclaimed album 'The Return' as part of her new live show.
By Ben Hansen
May 13, 2021
By Ben Hansen
May 13, 2021

With Vivid 2021 under three months away, this year's lineup has begun to trickle through. The annual festival of lights, set to take place a little later than usual this year, has already announced its first three art installations, and now, Sampa the Great has been named the first act of the festival's 2021 live music program.

As part of the program, the Zambian-born musician will take to the Joan Sutherland Theatre at the Sydney Opera House on Sunday, August 8 for the world premier of her new stageshow, An Afro Future. Sampa was set to premier the new show with special guests including Genesis Owusu and Barkaa as part of Live at the Bowl in Melbourne, Summer in the Domain in Sydney and Womadelaide, however was forced to cancel the shows due to border restrictions.

While no special guests have been announced for the Vivid edition of An Afro Future, attendees can expect to be treated to songs from Sampa's critically-acclaimed debut album The Return. Released in 2019, the album received universal praise on release, winning Best Hip Hop Release and Best Independent Release at the 2020 ARIA Awards, and being named the eighth best Australian debut album of all time by Double J.

Lucian Coman

Sampa's 2021 appearance will mark her return to the festival after supporting Hiatus Kaiyote in 2016 and performing as part of The Avalanches' Since I Left You Block Party back in 2017. In previous years, Vivid's live music lineup has included the likes of The Cure, Solange, Ice Cube, Bon Iver and The Pixies, however with Australia's international borders still tightly shut, music fans can expect a more Australian-focused lineup in 2021.

According to the Sydney Opera House, the remainder of the Vivid live lineup will be released "soon", with Sydney Opera House Head of Contemporary Music and Vivid LIVE Curator, Ben Marshall, stating, "Sampa The Great is coming back – it's time to breathe and dance again and I cannot wait to share the rest of this year's Vivid LIVE program with you."

Vivid Live will take place at the Sydney Opera House between Friday, August 6 and Saturday, August 28. Tickets for Sampa the Great's An Afro Future are on sale from 9am, Friday, May 14.

Published on May 13, 2021 by Ben Hansen

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