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This 17-day program of experimental music, art and film is coming to the Art Gallery of NSW, headlined by Solange, Mount Eerie and Sampa the Great.
By Sarah Ward and Ben Hansen
September 21, 2023
By Sarah Ward and Ben Hansen
September 21, 2023

Whether it celebrates music, performances or film, every arts festival is a gift. When it's brand new and combines all three, it's like Christmas. And, when it also boasts Solange's return to Australia, it's the adult equivalent of scoring the pony. The event ticking all of those boxes? Volume, the new fest that's taking over the Art Gallery of New South Wales this spring.

Running from Friday, September 22–Sunday, October 8, Volume heroes the cutting edge and the contemporary in all of its chosen artforms — and, given that it's calling itself a festival of sound and vision, that's where it'll be focusing. Solange has the headline slot, but the Grammy–winning R&B singer-songwriter has ample company, including Sampa The Great, Mount Eerie and Sonya Holowell.

Also taking to the stage: everyone from Black Belt Eagle Scout, crys cole, Datu Arellano, Fuji|||||||||||ta and Hamed Sadeghi to Jeff Parker, Joe Rainey, Kim Moyes, Lonnie Holley and Maissa Alameddine. Via Dean Hurley, KMRU, Lea Bertucci, Loraine James, Megan Alice Clune, R Rebeiro and salllvage, Volume will also host the world premieres of seven new music recordings, all commissioned by AGNSW.

Solange, Ibrahem Hasan

All up, the fest will showcase 27 local and international musicians, with the venue's music and community curator Jonathan Wilson putting together the impressive roster of talent behind the microphone. That program includes an experiential live music performance series called Play the Room, plus local and international composers creating and playing new scores courtesy of the fest's Playback sessions.

And, thanks to the gallery's new North Building, the setting is as stunning as the lineup. The Tank, which is an eerie former-WWII oil tank-turned-art space, will host shows — and give its acoustics a workout — as will the 13-metre-high atrium and sculpture gallery spaces.

There's also a free two-night music program titled North and South; two new art commissions transforming The Tank with moving image, light and sound; and a series of workshops including a free puppet-making program. Head to the festival's website to explore the full program of free and paid events.

Aerial view of the Art Gallery of New South Wales' new SANAA-designed building, 2022, photo © Iwan Baan

Top image: The Tank space in the Art Gallery of New South Wales' new SANAA-designed building, 2022, photo © Art Gallery of New South Wales, Jenni Carter,

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