This summer, the 2018 Perth Festival invites you to see art in a different light and revel in a feast of captivating experiences to suit every taste and budget.
The Festival welcomes hundreds of thousands of visitors from 9 February to 4 March as more than 700 of the planet’s best and brightest artists and entertainers descend on Perth for one of the world’s most magnificent multi-arts celebrations.
From our free opening event that heralds the rise and fall of the sun along St George’s Terrace to the soul-explosion finale at Elizabeth Quay, the festive spirit will arouse all the senses across 24 glorious summer days and nights.
Celebrating 65 years as Australia’s oldest arts festival, the third annual program announced by Artistic Director Wendy Martin on Thursday night again promises to be an essential Perth summer experience.
Living up to our global reputation for diversity and excellence, the 2018 Festival includes nine Australian exclusives, two world premieres, five Australian season premieres, two commissions and a dizzying array of more than 230 music, theatre, dance, literature, film and visual art events – many of them free.
“For 65 years, Perth Festival has been at the heart of our city,” Wendy Martin says. “In this singular and remote place on the edge of Australia, we welcome the innovative and visionary artists who bring their dreams and their endless capacity to surprise, entertain and provoke us.”
Major highlights include: the dazzling theatrical magic of Robert Lepage’s The Far Side of the Moon, the epic Taiwanese drumming and martial arts spectacle Beyond Time, an exhilarating collision of street art and mystical Sufi music and dance in Syria’s White Spirit, thrilling French circus from Compagnie XY at the Regal Theatre, South Korean visual art star Kimsooja, an extended Writer’s Week program featuring Helen Garner, Kim Scott and Alan Hollinghurst, and a feast of bangers, ballads and brilliant nights at Chevron Gardens with the likes of Dizzee Rascal, Neil and Liam Finn, Mogwai and Perfume Genius .
The joy of ancient and modern rituals, and art’s power to bring people together run through a Festival whose 2018 official scent Damask Rose will pervade venues and influence drinks and dishes in restaurants and bars across the city. The scent is inspired by a tiny bottle of Persian rosewater donated to the Museum of Water to tell a Perth immigrant’s story of arrival and acceptance in a new land.
The 2018 Festival begins with an epic ritual of wonder and delight as the female voices of Siren Song descend from the sky to encompass the city. As the sun sets to open the Festival on 9 February, a Noongar smoking ceremony reaches its climax in St George’s Terrace and the canyon of commerce softens to feminine sounds broadcast from loudspeakers atop city buildings. This seven-minute serenade to the sun by sound artist Byron J Scullin and curatorial duo Supple Fox brings people together every dawn and dusk to see their city anew for the first ten days of the Festival.
“As with the spellbinding spectacle of music and movement that opens the Festival, the 2018 Program is spun with magic moments that present a diversity of perspectives on the world,” Wendy Martin says. “I encourage you to dive in fearlessly.”
Pre-sale tickets are available now for Friends of The Festival.
Tickets are on sale to the general public at www.perthfestival.com.au
BOOKINGS AND FESTIVAL INFO: 08 6488 5555 – perthfestival.com.au
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WA MEDIA: Stephen Bevis
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NATIONAL MEDIA: Miranda Brown
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