Kings Cross might have been suffering an identity crisis of late, following the blows to the night-time economy dealt by the lock-out laws, but Vivid Sydney 2017 is promising to remind us of the suburb’s rich musical and cultural history.
“For the first time, Kings Cross will be an exciting precinct that includes all Vivid Sydney pillars of light, music and ideas, called Vivid KX. It’s a wonderful mix of genres, theatre, performance, story-telling and light art, and it celebrates exactly what makes Kings Cross so special – diversity, creativity, equality and community,” said Ignatius Jones, creative director of Vivid Sydney 2017.
The program includes live music, cabaret, performance art, immersive theatre, cult films and talks.
Spearheading the talks component is ‘Kings Bloody Cross: Oz Rock’, taking place at World Bar on 11 June. Hosted by James Valentine and featuring Richard Clapton and Kirk Pengilly, this will explore the role of Australia’s rock songwriters and musicians in influencing the country’s culture and identity. Up for discussion are Paul Kelly, who, in 1984, wrote From St Kilda to Kings Cross on Don Walker’s piano, while staying in Walker’s apartment in Kings Cross; and Richard Clapton’s “Girl on the Avenue”, “Deep Water” and “Capricorn Dancer”.
Headlining the musical arm of the program is ‘Welcome to Kings Cross’, to be held at Kings Cross Hotel on 27 May. It will be an evening of dance music facilitated by dozens of DJs and live performers, and covering a variety of periods, genres and movements. In addition, there’s ‘Murder on the Dancefloor’ at Crane Bar on 16 June murder-mystery tour combining cocktails, food and the house music of DJ Kate Monroe; and ‘Basement Parties’ at Kings Cross Hotel, a series of gatherings featuring bands, DJs and dancers.