You may not remember it, but there was a time when June in Sydney was the worst month of the year. We like to call this era “BV”: Before Vivid. It got dark early, there were random cold snaps and absolutely nothing interesting happened. Decent bands pretty much didn’t tour here until Splendour got them off their butts at the end of July and nobody went out late during the week.
Vivid Music changed all that. Suddenly there were more gigs than you could poke a stick at, and they were seriously good. But the line-up is starting to look a little different now. Vivid Music has taken on its own life and spread across Sydney like a virus of awesome. But too much awesome can be daunting. Here are the Vivid shows you might have missed, but you definitely shouldn’t.
Who: Touch Sensitive, Elizabeth Rose and Annie Bass (DJ)
Where: Centrepoint Tower (seriously)
When: Friday June 2
Slap bass, good times and disco 76 storeys above sea level, where the lockouts surely cease to have any effect. You are going to get so many good Instagram story posts out of this.
Cake Wines Presents: Pink Noise
Who: BUOY, Jaala (Solo), G.C O’Connor
Where: Cake Wines Cellar Door
When: Friday May 26
Cake Wines has some of the best taste in music around. The cellar door is an awesome venue, BUOY and Jaala are both incredible talents, and it’s free.
Harpoon Harry’s Late Night Express
Who: Legendary Melbourne DJs reminding us how to party
Where: Harpoon Harry’s
When: Every Saturday night during Vivid, starting May 27
The best DJs from Melbourne clubs bring a taste of late-night hedonism to the Emerald City. Week one is Mike Callander, resident selector at Revolver, back to back with Kim from The Presets. Drink some Red Bull before this one.
Painting With Light
Who: Cosmo’s Midnight, MUTO, Ego and more
Where: The Imperial, Erskineville
When: Saturday June 10
Part art project, part live gig, this night will basically let you watch the next wave of electronica acts while simultaneously having your mind blown by an immersive light display, custom created for the show by Underground Arts. If you propose to go on a date here you have already won.
Goodgod Supper Club
Who: Karizma and Ben Fester
Where: The Studio, Sydney Opera House
When: Friday May 26
Since closing its doors in 2015, Sydney has missed Goodgod like its right arm. Luckily, it’s managed to make the bowels of the Opera House its own since then, and even if you have no idea who’s playing, these are the parties to be at for maximum good vibes and positive tunes. But don’t worry – these two DJs will definitely be great.
Soul Of Sydney Vivid Special
Who: Soul Of Sydney with special live guests, The Strides and CumbiaMuffin
Where: Secret location, TBC
When: Sunday May 28
The best funk and soul party-starters in the business, Soul Of Sydney’s events are the stuff of lore. If you love real horns and grooves, you have to get along to this show. It’s strictly good times here. Expect to see a lot of outre dance moves.
Who: Safia, Client Liaison, Tkay Maidza, Confidence Man and more
When: Saturday June 11
Fuzzy has serious pedigree as the best festival practitioner in Sydney. Curveball, the newest addition to its calendar, turns Carriageworks into a mini-Parklife, with superb visuals to boot.
Who: Body Promise, Rebel Yell, Fake, MURR
When: Thursday June 10
One of the best shows ever to grace FBi’s airwaves, Body Promise has since become to go-to label for the most incredible local tunes you’ve likely never heard of. This lineup is stacked with local talent, including various members of the infamous Black Vanilla in new projects.
IGNITE: Symphonic Dance Anthems
Who: DJ Dan Murphy and you know, an orchestra
Where: Angel Place
When: Thursday June 1
Stop living Sandstorm through memes alone and feel it in real life, with a full-on, symphonic reconstruction of the best ’90s dance hits.
Heaps Gay: The Kaleidescope
Who: Alice Ivy, Brendan Maclean, Holy Balm, Levins and The Redfern Convenience Store Guy. For real.
Where: The Factory Theatre, Marackville
When: Saturday June 11
Heaps Gay has pretty much made a name for itself as the best get-down in Sydney, no matter your persuasion. This third collaboration with Vivid promises to be its best yet, with a full venue takeover that includes a set by the guy who owns the Redfern Convenience Store and his favourite customers. There’s a stack of other DJs, but this is definitely going to be one to tell your kids about.