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Vivid music and ideas highlight reel 2017

Vivid Sydney is so much more than a light show.

By Vivid Sydney
Published: May 18 2017

Vivid Sydney doesn't just light up the streets and shores of Sydney, it also brings a host of amazing talent to perform and speak as part of the Vivid music and ideas platform. 2017 highlights include folk rock band Fleet Foxes, folk darling Laura Marling, CEO and founder of Buzzfeed, Jonah Peretti and Academy Award-winning director Oliver Stone. 


Music: Fleet Foxes

Fleet Foxes, Vivid Sydney, New South Wales

When: 26 – 29 May

Five years since their last, life-affirming shows, American band Fleet Foxes have chosen Vivid LIVE for their keenly anticipated return to the stage.

Their four performances at the Opera House will be among the first the band will perform following their hiatus, and will include new material from their forthcoming third album Crack up.

The six-piece rose to prominence at the forefront of a new wave of folk rock in 2008. After their debut album Fleet Foxes received unanimous praise thanks to the band’s extraordinary synthesis of styles, from Appalachian folk to AM country to classic rock, they then broadened their palette for a darker, equally assured Grammy-nominated follow-up Helplessness Blues.

With the new release, Fleet Foxes are set to reclaim hearts worldwide – but those of Vivid LIVE audiences first.


Music: Nick Murphy fka Chet Faker Presents Missing Link

Nick Murphy, Vivid Sydney, New South Wales

When: 1 – 3 June

Nick Murphy recently evolved his Chet Faker alias into a wide screen version under his own name for an exciting new chapter of music, mixing past and present influences of heavy beats and soulful jams. 

In 2015, Chet Faker brought heart and soul to the Opera House forecourt over two thrilling sold out performances creating an experience for 12,000 people that was charming, refined, and oozed personality.

Creatively reborn Murphy is now set to premiere new songs alongside his existing catalogue in this ambitious, brand new ‘in-the-round’ show, created exclusively for Vivid LIVE.

Music: Laura Marling

Laura Marling, Vivid Sydney, New South Wales

When: 12 June

It takes a special kind of talent to arrive as a fully formed artist at 18 years of age. Even more impressive is maintaining the ambition and quality of your Mercury Prize-nominated debut, album after album. Such is life for Laura Marling, still just 27, for whom the magnetic restlessness trend now continues with Semper Femina, her sixth collection of flawless modern folk-pop.

Marling found her own, preternaturally assured voice on 2008 debut Alas, I Cannot Swim. On the back of the follow-up, I Speak Because I Can, she won the BRIT award for best British female. Her fourth album, Once I Was an Eagle, scored her a second Mercury Prize nomination.

For all this and more she is today considered one of the all-time great English singer-songwriters, making her sharp-visioned, career-spanning set at this year’s Vivid LIVE essential viewing.

Talk: Oliver Stone

Oliver Stone and Margaret Pomeranz, Vivid Sydney 2017, Sydney, New South Wales

When: 28 May

Academy Award-winning director Oliver Stone has written and directed more than 20 full-length feature films, earning him a well-respected place in cinematic history. He is lauded for some of the most influential films of the last four decades, including Scarface, Midnight Express, Platoon, Wall Street, Natural Born Killers, JFK, Nixon, and The Doors.

Stone is a master at tackling controversial subjects. His films are grand in scale and his hard-hitting style takes a realistic and truthful look at the world, which often polarises audiences. Stone’s recent hit films include the follow-up tale of greed, corruption and power, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps and the 2016 biographical political thriller, Snowden.

At Vivid Ideas, Oliver Stone will share his philosophy on telling difficult stories, navigating controversy and resistance, and how his take on the interplay between writer, storyteller and director has cemented his position among the legends of Hollywood.

Joining Stone on stage will be Foxtel presenter and movie critic on Foxtel Arts’ Stage & Screen Margaret Pomeranz AM.


Talk: Jonah Peretti

Jonah Peretti, Vivid Sydney 2017, Sydney, New South Wales

When: 28 May

BuzzFeed founder Jonah Peretti disrupts traditional notions of media to focus on how audiences seek, share and engage with content. It’s why he’s been called the ‘web’s king of viral content’.

In his Vivid Ideas Game-Changer talk, Peretti will discuss the growth of BuzzFeed from a small, experimental lab creating and tracking viral content to its position as a global news and entertainment cross-platform network read by millions. He’ll reveal insights gained regarding the intersection of technology and creativity, the importance of the human element in framing content and his vision for the evolution of the media and creative endeavour in the social age.

In this future-forward media outlet, respected news content sits side-by-side with cat memes, and the business model moves away from banner ads to native advertising and collaborative brand content creation. BuzzFeed is the bellringer of a media future that focuses on audiences not only consuming content, but on how they share it as well. Its highly engaged audience consumes BuzzFeed content across more than 30 platforms that is relevant and connected to their lives, easily shareable, and globally accessible. In this model people become a key part of the distribution network, with ramifications for rethinking media consumption.

An Australian first and Vivid Sydney exclusive.


Talk: Shepard Fairey

Shepard Fairey, Vivid Sydney 2017, Sydney, New South Wales

When: 17 June

Iconic American artist Shepard Fairey blurs the boundaries of art and design. His unique style is instantly recognised in exhibitions and on walls around the world. His body of work includes the OBEY GIANT art project, the Barack Obama HOPE campaign, and this year’s ubiquitous ‘We The People’ initiative.

For the first time in 14 years, Shepard returns to Australia to headline the Game-Changer Talks Series. Shepard will be sharing his do-it-yourself approach and how he managed to turn his creativity into an authentic voice about street culture.
Beyond his guerrilla street art presence, Shepard Fairey has completed over 70 large-scale public murals around the world and his works are held in the permanent collections of MoMA, the Victoria & Albert Museum, the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery, the Boston Institute of Contemporary Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and many others.

This event is presented in collaboration with T-world and aMBUSH Gallery, and is exclusive to Vivid Sydney 2017.