Sydney’s Now Now Festival drops an incredible lineup but needs your help to survive


We could rail against narrow minded arts funding that appears to have zero understanding of concepts like community development and building culture (shout out to the Australia Council), or we could celebrate the fact that despite the complete absence of public funding, Sydney’s Now Now Festival have put together another incredible program.

Now in it’s 18th year it is the premiere Australian festival of improvised and experimental music. It features a ridiculous array of some of the most forward thinking Australian artists such as Robin Fox, Gail Priest, Jim Denley, Clayton Thomas, Tony Buck, The Splinter Orchestra, Joyce Hinterding, Clare Cooper and Chris Abrahams. Further highlighting the paucity of vision in Australian funding decisions, they’ve been supported by European organisations to bring out the likes of German trumpeter Birgit Ulhe, Czech electronic artist and trumpeter Petr Vrba, German trombonist Matthias Müller, German drummer Christian Marian, Canadian Pierre-Yves Martel (viola da gamba), and Candaian bassist Éric Normand.

What’s so unique about Now Now is their ability to mix and match to curate unique combinations of musicians in duos, trios and quartets, often meeting on stage for the first time. You never know what you’re going to get. It’s a festival run by artists, for artists and their dedication to this institution is palpable.

It’s on Jan 24th – 28th 2019 at 107 Projects in Redfern.
You can find the full lineup and more here.

This festival is a cacophony of forward thinking spontaneous music. It’s an institution and it needs your support to survive. So buy a ticket, get along, have your mind blown and ensure it continues for years to come.

We’ve covered the festival a few times over the years.
You can check out our reviews from 2006 here, 2007 here, and 2010 here.


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Bob is the features editor of Cyclic Defrost. He is also evil. You should not trust the opinions of evil people.