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The Sydney Opera House's Vivid Pop-Up Bar Is an Opulent Post-Punk Homage to The Cure

The late-night Spellbound bar will be a den of moody opulence where you can eat rich snacks, drink beers and listen to Iggy Pop and New Order before or after a Vivid Live gig.
By Libby Curran
May 16, 2019
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The Sydney Opera House's Vivid Pop-Up Bar Is an Opulent Post-Punk Homage to The Cure

The late-night Spellbound bar will be a den of moody opulence where you can eat rich snacks, drink beers and listen to Iggy Pop and New Order before or after a Vivid Live gig.
By Libby Curran
May 16, 2019
  shares

The Sydney Opera House is flicking the light switch to high beam dazzle later this month for this year's Vivid Sydney, with both its program of Vivid Live gigs and the accompanying festivities.

The harbourside icon is going all out for its annual Vivid pop-up bar, this year channelling none other than its program headliners, legendary English alt-rockers The Cure. Brought to life by the minds behind Newtown bar The Midnight Special — also responsible for last year's retro-themed Goldie's Music Hall pop-up — Spellbound will see the Concert Hall's Northern Foyer reimagined as a neon-lit post-punk den of moody decadence.

Expect dark leather couches and long banquet tables decked out with glowing fruit installations, sheet music and skulls, while black felt-topped pool tables entertain late-night Vivid explorers. On the menu, you'll find bites like Sydney rock oysters, broiche sliders stuffed with confit duck rillettes, and both a classic and vegetarian version of the humble croque monsieur.

The croque monsieur.

Beers will come courtesy of Sydney favourites Grifter Brewing Co and Young Henrys, while a lineup of signature cocktails includes the rose-hued Flowers of Romance. The bar will try to minimise plastic waste by offering reuseable plastic cups, which you can buy with a $2 refundable deposit.

It's all enveloped with a moody soundtrack stuffed full of hits from the likes of The Damned, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Iggy Pop and New Order, as spun by local legends including Lucy Cliché, Mitch Tolman and Cristian O'Sullivan (Low Life).

The Cure will play in the Concert Hall over five nights on May 24, 25, 27, 28 and 30. As the large number of unsuccessful ballot entrants will be aware, tickets were snapped up in record time — so a visit to the bar might be the closest thing to seeing them on stage. Otherwise you can watch the live stream on the Opera House's Facebook from 8pm on Thursday, May 30 or check out one of the other gigs happening at the Opera House throughout Vivid, like Sharon van Etten, Underworld, Stella Donnelly and Herbie Hancock.

Spellbound will be open night from May 24 to June 3 in the Concert Hall's Northern Foyer. It will be open to the public from 6pm each night, except for the nights that The Cure is playing. On those nights, the bar will open to ticketholders from 6pm and the general public from 9.45pm. 

Images: Anna Kucera.

Published on May 16, 2019 by Libby Curran

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