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SOFT CENTRE: UNFURL

This experimental music festival is taking over Sydney for four days.
By Ben Hansen
November 24, 2022
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By Ben Hansen
November 24, 2022
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A four-day festival diving into the world of experimental music and arts in taking over Sydney between Thursday, November 24–Sunday, November 27. Champions of all things left-of-field SOFT CENTRE will be running this evolving multi-venue festival, popping up at six of Sydney's most beloved and unique venues with a huge program of electronic music, digital art, immersive performance and a whole lot more.

UNFURL will kick off this extended weekender with a gig at Broadway's St. Bambabas' Chruch on the Thursday. If you're wondering how sonically diverse this lineup is, look no further than this opening night show. The event will open UNFURL with headline performances from Indonesian avant-guard soundscape duo Senyawa and new doom metal band Rinuwat. Metal heads may recognise the vocals on Rinuwat's debut album Dua Naga as those of Karina Utomo from the beloved Melbourne outfit High Tension.

Come Friday, UNFURL will move to Pleasures Playhouse, the pop-up arts and entertainment venue that's taken over an abandoned Chinatown cinema. Round out your work week with a trip to Haymarket where you'll be treated to an audio-visual variety show headlined by a seeing set from US electronic musician and performance artist FITNESSS. This global boundary-pusher will be joined by SOLSA, Stev Zar, Kiki, Devine, WeiZen, and Horse Macgyver fresh off their selection as Album of the Week at FBi Radio for their record End Effector.

The festivities aren't limited to late-night parties. On Saturday morning, SOFT CENTRE will be arriving at Greenhouse Studios, a converted church and artist co-op in Petersham. This daylight event will be split into two sections, a DJing workshop by Jon Smeathers centred around the creative possibilities of YouTube, and an artist panel featuring the likes of Rami Abadir, Rully Shabara and E Fishpool.

On Saturday night, the rave is calling you, with a dance party going down at a secret Sydney location. Abadir will be backing up from the morning session with a DJ set under their ABADIR moniker alongside Anuraag, E3P, and Kombumerri artist salllvage who will be exploring Indigenous futurism through a drum and bass set titled GECKO ENERGY.

Closing out the festival is an openair concert at the Royal Botanic Garden's The Calyx. Here you'll be able to dance the weekend away to sets from the likes of ABADIR, VOLT HYM and E Fishpool surrounded by the largest green wall in the southern hemisphere.

Drinks across the weekend will be on hand thanks to Sydney legends Poor Toms, Atomic Brewing Co, Doom Juice, Saintly Hard Seltzers and Noot non-alcoholic cocktails.

Tickets for each event can be purchased individually, with passes ranging from free to $55, or you can purchase access to the entire festival for $160.

Pleasures Playhouse

Top image: The Calyx

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