Sold Out: The Vigil

Mon 25th January, 2021 – Tue 26th January, 2021
Barangaroo Reserve
Hickson Road, Barangaroo
If Australia Day makes you uncomfortable, Sydney Festival’s director Wesley Enoch has a suggestion. He isn’t staging a political protest or lobbying to change the date, he’s offering The Vigil.

Update (January 22): This event has now sold out, but you can still join the waitlist.

If Sydney Festival artistic director Wesley Enoch were prime minister he would recommend a three-day annual national holiday from January 25 to 27. Each day would have loose rituals; one day would be spent acknowledging our Indigenous Australians, another celebrating the growth of the country we now know as Australia, and the third rejoicing in the multicultural nation we’ve become.

Recognising that’s pie-in-the-sky stuff, in the short term the Sydney Festival director is offering The Vigil.

The Vigil is being held from dusk on January 25, the eve of Australia Day, and isn’t a protest or a political statement, but rather a time for people to sit around a campfire and together reflect on what life was like before January 26, 1788, when life changed irrevocably for Australia’s original inhabitants and their descendants. The vigil will continue throughout the night until dawn on January 26, and over that time there will be music, performance, stories and reflection.

Following a traditional smoking ceremony and Welcome to Country, there will be performances from Bangarra Dance Theatre, Emma Donovan, Kerkar Kerker Omsasker, Buuja Butterfly Dancers, Rayma Johnson and more.

It's a free event but due to Covid it's ticketed. It's also being screened on SBS's NITV.

From 8.30pm.

More information here.