Perth Festival begins tonight with a week of indigenous programming and the unveiling of a new venue, City of Lights at Perth Concert Hall.
The City of Lights, opened at the official launch last night, is home to the new outdoor venue Chevron Lighthouse, which will feature Briggs from AB Original with special guests Birdz and Miiesha, Spinifex Gum featuring Marilya, the Cat Empire’s Felix Riebl, and Ngaiire and Emma Donovan on the opening weekend.
The indigenous programming features a tribute to indigenous musician Gurrumul and his Elcho Island culture led by Yolŋu dancers, songmen and the West Australian Symphony Orchestra Buŋgul, which is opening at Perth Concert Hall tonight.
This weekend will also feature the dance Bennelong, the musical Bran Nue Dae and a Noongar-language adaption of Hecate performed at venues around Perth.
Exhibitions from Kimberley artist John Prince Siddon, Cheeky Dogs illustrator Dion Beasley and Noongar artist Sandra Hill open this weekend, as well as VR experiences from Lynette Wallworth’s Awavena and Laurie Anderson’s and Hsin-Chien Huang’s Chalkroom.
The 2020 program includes 12 new commissions from local artists working with international guests and over 250 free and ticketed events.
One of the largest free events of the festival will be Highway to Hell, a 10km long tribute to Perth-raised AC/DC member Bon Scott along Canning Highway on March 1.
Mr Grandage said the 2020 festival was a campfire for telling stories and inviting belonging.
“As our community grapples with all the challenges of the modern world, rarely has it been more important for us to come together and celebrate our common humanity,” he said.
In 2019, 454,986 people attended the festival and bought 147,355 tickets to spend $5.4 million at the box office.