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Sugar Mountain returns to Southbank

12 Nov 2015

Sugar Mountain returns to Southbank Image

Following on from its hugely successful return to Melbourne’s arts and music scene in 2015, the Sugar Mountain festival will grace audiences with its presence once again on January 23, 2016.

After experiencing its new home at the Victorian College of the Arts (VCA) in Southbank for the first time this year, the festival’s founder and director Brett Louis said organisers felt that they’d tapped into something unique.

“We were extremely excited with the way it was received not only by the public and everyone who attended but also the key stakeholders in the area,” he said.

“I think opening people’s ears and eyes up to something that has a strong focus on music and visual art together and finding those natural meeting points was a really strong result and we feel that we have found a real niche in the market place there.”

And while last year’s headline act in US rap legend Nas was always going to be a near impossible act to top, organisers have done an amazing job in assembling an exciting line-up of artists for 2016.

ARIA-award winning internationally acclaimed local artist Courtney Barnett, British electronic powerhouse Hot Chip and iconic Australian instrumental trio Dirty Three will spearhead this year’s line-up.

These big names will be complemented by a wide-ranging line up of local and international artists including grunge garage giants Royal Headache and Viet Cong, RnB hip hoppers Kelela and Leif, as well as boogie and house stars Dam-Funk and Julio Bashmore.

After exploding off the blocks with an incredible line up last year, Brett said it was important to sustain the momentum by providing a heap of variety.

“I think last year Nas playing Illmatic in full was a pretty epic thing to kick off 2015 and this year we sort of really wanted to push towards a diverse sort of three-way headline act,” he said.

“At this time of the year we’ve been talking about how Sugar Mountain is going to evolve since the last festival and now everyone gets to see how we intend on doing that.”

Having outgrown its previous home at the Forum Theatre, the Victorian College of the Arts provided a scintillating platform for its comeback this year in delivering a unique experience for punters.

The inspired mixture of outdoor and indoor spaces connected by the college’s maze-like landscape of hidden pathways catered perfectly to the festival’s renowned emphasis on the visual arts.

As well as exhibiting a huge array of amazing local and international visual artists, this year’s festival will also feature an exciting experimental on-site restaurant Sensory.

Expanding to incorporate the Melbourne Recital Centre as part of this year’s event, Brett said the festival’s location kept dishing up surprises.

“It’s not a traditional green fields type of site where you have to go and put everything in place. You’re working within the natural surrounds and it creates a bit of a rabbit-warren where people have to find their way through,” he said.

“We’re going to be utilising Melbourne Recital Centre this year and we’re really excited to be able to use the Elisabeth Murdoch Hall as a new media and visual arts stage.”

“It’s a bit of an expansion from last year and just being able to use Dodds St and everything that comes with the different angles and the rooms of VCA is really fun to play with.”

For more information and to book tickets www.sugarmountainfestival.com

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