Sydney’s Spectrum Now Festival announces its full 2016 lineup of performances.

The Fairfax-run Spectrum Now Festival has announced a bombastic line-up of music and arts-related events that’ll embrace Sydney in the early days of March.

On the artistic side of things, Robert Bose will display his work Balloon Chain for the first time in Australia. The installation has found a home at both the Coachella and Burning Man over the years and will turn into the Rainbow Chain on March 5 to celebrate the Mardi Gras parade. The installation, featuring dozens of latex balloons has been known to stunningly use the sky as its canvas.

Del Kathryn Barton will also make a piece of artwork exclusively for the festival, titled Cosmic Crime for the program cover, while Sydney artist Tom Polo will work on an as-yet untitled piece at the entrance of The Art Gallery of NSW. Polo will create the artwork throughout the duration of Spectrum Now being inspired from walks and happenings in the gallery itself during the two weeks.

For those who like to be stimulated by conversation, two highlights of the inaugural year – the talks programs of Pillow Talk and Cultural Clash – will be back. Pillow Talk will explore the creative (and personal) lives of artistic couples and will feature David and Kristin Williamson, David and Lisa Campbell, Rob Carlton and Adrienne Ferreira, Richard Tognetti and Satu Vänskä, and lastly, Max Cullen and Margarita Georiadis.

The other talks program taking place, Cultural Clash, will take on a media bent, allowing journalists to “cross-examine a dream subject.” On March 9 Kate McClymont will chat with film director Bruce Beresford, while writer Benjamin Law will chat with fellow journalist Leigh Sales. On March 16, conversation expert Richard Glover will speak with actress, playwright and screenwriter Kate Mulvany, while Annabel Crabb will get into the mind of writer Frank Moorhouse.

Providing laughs on 7-9 March will be The Workaholics. The trio behind the Comedy Central hit will also perform at the Domain hub their pretty crude style of comedy based around three guys who work and play hard. Other stage events include the most ridiculous art class ever seen with the Kidzone’s Arts & Craft After Dark. Despite being in the Kidzone, this class is surely for adults as comedians Tim Ross and artists Sam Cranstoun direct the public to get crafty.

There are so many more talks and events happening throughout the festival as well including a Broadway sing-a-long on March 7, the opening of the Ken Done studios to the public at The Rocks on March 9 and a curated showcasing the best in food, fashion, art and music of Sydney in the second Carousel event on March 12.

As well as the artistic stuff, kicking off on March 1, the cultural gala will also host free and ticketed live music events at its central hub, The Domain. And it’s a pretty huge lineup of international and local artists.

Curated by Splendour In The Grass and Fall Festival overseers Paul Piticco and Jessica Ducrou, the music program will feature performances by Missy HigginsHot Dub Time MachineThe Jesus & Mary ChainGodspeed You! Black Emperor, Birds Of TokyoCalexicoAugie MarchSeekaeU.S. Girls, AlvvaysJonathan BouletRockwiz Live and more.

You can explore these events and much more at The festival runs in Sydney from March 1 – 16 2016.


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