Vivid Live 2024. Bigger, better and brighter than ever

One of the biggest highlights on the Sydney live music calendar is the Vivid event and with the 2024 line-up being dropped today, it’s fair to say, they’re well and truly back with an enormous line-up!

From the 24th May to the 15th of June, Sydney will once again light up with events ranging from ideas, to food, to light to – of course – music.

The announcement of the Vivid Live programme is always highlight anticipated and this year is no exception with at least 68 events slated over the three weeks of the festival with gigs at the Sydney Opera House, Carriageworks, Circular Quay and the Rocks, the CBD and Darling Harbour.

A small slice of the Vivid pie includes:

Legendary First Nations rock-reggae band, No Fixed Address, will bring along Stray Blacks for a special night at the Machine Hall Precinct on Clarence Street on the 12th of June. This rare performance will be a “night of story and truth-telling that speaks to the heart”, celebrating the legacy and resilience from two iconic bands.

Yasiin Bey (fka Mos Def), will appear at Carriageworks, for a two-night journey through his back catalogue and artistic influences on the 12th and 13th of June. On night one, he will be paying tribute to the legendary MC MF DOOM, whilst night tow is dedicated to his record, “The Ecstatic”. The event is sure to be a popular one with Bey never performing his tribute show in Australia before.

The concert in the Sydney Opera House will again be hosting some exclusive and very anticipated performances:

On the 24th of May, Arca, mega-producer for acts like Björk, Frank Ocean and FKA Twigs will make her highly anticipated Australian debut in the concert hall. With an amazing and extensive list of performance credits and mind-blowing venues, she will bring her audio-visual extravaganza to Vivid in an exclusive not to be missed show.

To celebrate twenty years of one of the most iconic albums in French pop history, Air will perform their seminal and ground-breaking album, “Moon Safari” in full in the Concert Hall across three performances over two days – the 25th and 26th of May. This will be the first time the duo of Nicolas Godin and Jean-Benoît Dunckel have ever done so and will be a  once-in-a-lifetime occasion.

Following their shock announcement that the label will be folding after 26 years, Elefant Traks are bringing the gang together for a huge farewell finale concert on the 26th of May in the Sydney Opera House concert hall. This ground-breaking line-up of artists that have paved the way for so many in the local scene will perform together for one of the very last times. The Herd, Hermitude, Horrorshow, Urthboy, OKENYO and more will be attendance for what will be a raucous party, tinged with sadness, from start to finish.

In more sad news, Spunk Records are also calling it a day after 25 years and will similarly be bringing a huge show together at the Sydney Opera House. Post-rock Texans, Explosions in the Sky, will play their 2003 masterpiece, “The Earth Is Not A Cold Dead Place” in full in a rarefied performance. They will be joined by New Zealand indie-folk icon, Aldous Harding, another reunion from beloved Queenslanders, The Middle East.

If you’re after more eclectic and smaller performances, the Vivid Sydney Supper Club will be on your list. MO’JU will be presenting a night of music, story and truth-telling in the intimate Mary’s Underground and will be joined by comedian, performer and writer, Zoë Coombs Marr. Every Thursday and Friday night, comedian Rhys Nicholson and singer/host Georgia Mooney, along with the Supper Club House Band, will present a strictly limited season of curated late-night variety shows including music, comedy, storytelling from around the country.

In their first return to our shores since 2009, veteran Tuareg rock band Tinariwen will perform in the Joan Sutherland Theatre on the 1st of June. These Saharan rockets have been a collective since 1979 and will perform their unique brand of assouf sound and classic Americana from one night only.

Throughout the festival, Tumbalong Park in Darling Harbour will host an array of local and international talent:

The newly formed trio, 3%, with Nooky, Dallas Woods and Angus Field, will launch their highly anticipated album “Kill the Dead” on the 14th of June with guests, Jess Mauboy, Tia Gostelow, Marlon Motlop, Stay True God and Denni.

On other nights, you’ll find Mallrat and Tiffi (24 May), Forest Claudette and The Blssm (30 May), WILDFIRE MANWURRK and Battlesnake (6 Jun), Teenage Joans and Lola Scott (13 June) and Budjerah + Jem Cassar-Daley (15 Jun)  to name a few!

At Carriageworks in Eveleigh, you’ll also find newly announced Eurovision entrants, Electric Fields, who will perform their high-energy dance mixed with ancient language and stories on the 1st of June. The astounding voice of Zachariah Fielding combined with music producer and composer Michael Ross is always a moment to remember.

The Machine Hall Precinct, a former substation in the CBD on Clarence Street, will also host  the wonderful Jen Cloher on the 6th of June, Detroit beatmaker, Black Milk, on the 11th of June and prolific San Franciscan group, Deerhoof on the 13th of June.

The full Vivid Live music line-up can be found on the Vivid Sydney website and tickets for many events go on sale on the Tuesday the 12th of March.

Photo credit: Julia Gutman

Mick Radojkovic

I like to consume stuff. Music, comedy, TV, films. Also, nachos and doughnuts. Thank you for your time.