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By Shannon Connellan
May 19, 2015
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By Shannon Connellan
May 19, 2015
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THE TEN BEST GIGS TO SEE AT VIVID SYDNEY 2015

Don't attend Vivid through your smartphone; get amongst the tunes.

When the Vivid LIVE and Vivid Music (different things, it confuses us all) lineup was announced a good few weeks back, squeals were heard and hashtagged citywide. Since then there’s been time for the dust to settle and tickets to be snapped up, but you’re still sitting on your hands. Vivid kicks off on May 22 y'all, time to turn those circled program guides into reality.

With kitsch '80s Japanese pop, brash Sydney garage punk, shoe-shufflin' soul and heartfelt indie folk on the bill, you can choose your own Vivid adventure through sound with our top picks. So grab a pre-drink at Vivid's Opera House pop-up bar, the Deep Purple Pool Hall, before Sufjan. Lock down your favourite Studio party. Take in some Italo beats and noms before Grace Jones. Or roll the dice on a Freda's party (highly recommended). Just don't watch it all happen on Instagram.

By the Concrete Playground team.

Image: Prudence Upton.

  • 10
    Soul of Sydney - Vivid

    If you haven’t made it along to a Soul of Sydney gathering yet, you’re still to discover where the city’s best parties are at. Creating a one-off festival instalment especially for Vivid, the music and dance devotees are throwing a bash to outdo all bashes. Headlining the whole hootenanny, The Public Opinion Afro Orchestra — a 19-piece funk, soul and afro-beat band from Melbourne. This isn’t going to be a quiet cheese-and-wine shindig, that’s for sure.

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  • 9
    Personal Best Records Vivid Showcase

    Amongst all the big-name acts hitting stages for Vivid 2015, a few talented up-and-comers are beginning to make waves. To celebrate the launch of new Sydney-based label Personal Best Records, five industry newbies will be hitting up the Oxford Art Factory this June. Proving independent music is still very much alive and kicking, this showcase offers a first live glimpse at Personal Best’s fresh crop of talent.

    READ MORE BUY TICKETS
  • 8
    TV on the Radio

    Vivid will score not one, but two, closing nights this year, with art-rock legends TV on the Radio smashing out two concerts in a row in the Sydney Opera House Concert Hall. Since forming in Brooklyn 14 years ago, the four-piece has created six albums. These shows will cover the entire songbook, from Staring at the Sun (2004) to Seeds (2014).

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  • 7
    The Preatures

    For any Aussie pop-rock band, nabbing a gig in the nation’s most sacred temple of opera — the Joan Sutherland Theatre – is an achievement of Goliath-ic proportions. Cloud Control pulled it off in 2013. And now The Preatures are warming up for their Sydney Opera House debut as part of Vivid LIVE.

    READ MORE BUY TICKETS
  • 6
    Red Bull Music Academy Vivid 2015 Studio Parties

    One of our favourite, favourite parts of Vivid is making our way to the annual Studio parties taking over the depths of Sydney Opera House. This year, the space has been taken over by the expert party purveyors at Red Bull Music Academy for a five-day explosion of the best dance and electronic acts around. That’s right, FIVE back-to-back underground parties this year — and one is free.

    READ MORE BUY TICKETS
  • 5
    Heaps Gay - Vivid

    Heaps Gay are taking their undisputed party-throwing finesse and taking it to the next level — an all-day festival Marrickville’s Factory Theatre especially for Vivid. Having earned a reputation for their hectic, monthly, all-inclusive LGBT dance parties at the Gladstone Hotel (now they’re at Erskineville’s Imperial Hotel) raising money for ACON, Heaps Gay is partnering with FBi Radio and Vivid to put on a special edition, all-day jamboree.

    READ MORE BUY TICKETS
  • 4
    Sufjan Stevens

    Actual human soft-mist-hanging-over-pines Sufjan Stevens is returning to the Opera House for a four-night series of shows as part of Vivid LIVE, following the release of his seventh studio album Carrie & Lowell earlier this year. Take this friendly reminder to pack tissues for ‘Fourth of July’.

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  • 3
    Vivid at Freda's

    Chippendale’s late-night warehouse hangout Freda’s have worked with Vivid Music curator Stephen Ferris to craft a predictably eclectic lineup of shenanigans for Vivid. Kicking off with a technicolour explosion of lights and sound, good times are pretty much guaranteed with opening party Vibe Positive. Then it’s headfirst into everything from ’80s Japanese pop tributes to ‘voodoo bongo jams’.

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  • 2

    Newtown’s independent legends Repressed Records have handpicked a must-see array of Aussie bands you should already be following. Just for Vivid, the crew have curated one incredible night at the Sydney Opera House — headlined by the long-absent gods of Sydney garage, Royal Headache.

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  • 1
    Modulations - Vivid Sydney

    The legendary Grace Jones marks the top of the bill for Vivid’s six-day Modulations festival-within-a-festival. After a hugely successful weekend pairing music, food and ideas at Carriageworks last year, Modulations returns with an expanded program set across two weekends — including a brand new pop-up called Italo Dining and Disco Club, living jazz legend saxophonist Pharoah Sanders and more.

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