Hendrick’s Gin brings the abandoned circus installation to the Spectrum Now Festival

Hendrick’s Gin has returned to The Sydney Morning Herald Spectrum Now Festival from Thursday 3rd to Sunday 13th March 2016, in The Domain.

This year Hendrick’s Gin will be surprising and delighting festival goers with their aptly named ‘Abandoned Circus’ displays and Hendrick’s & Tonic serves – with a cucumber, of course.

These captivating exhibitions will be brought to life with Hendrick’s performers, who will welcome visitors into the wondrous world of Hendrick’s.

Also as part of the Spectrum Now Festival, Hendricks has partnered with gelato connoisseur, Gelato Messina. The talented team behind this gelato powerhouse have developed, and will be serving, a custom created cucumber sorbet, designed to savour with a wondrous tipple of Hendricks Gin & tonic. Festivalgoers can savour this gin and sorbet delight for FREE during the festival.

Hendrick’s Marketing Manager Jacqueline Nalder says, “The Abandoned Circus is designed to reward the inherent intelligence, inquisitiveness, humour and imagination of our existing and new consumers. Whether visitors are interested in sampling Hendricks, watching quirky performances or indulging in a new Messina flavour, there’s something to delight all of the senses.” 

Hendrick’s is one of the world’s most loved super premium gins. Handcrafted by William Grant & Sons, Hendrick’s Gin is proudly distilled in miniscule batches in the seaside village of Girvan, Scotland, with a unique mix of botanicals before being infused with rose and cucumber. It creates a flavour unlike any other gin in the world.

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Marie’s Crisis Broadway Sing-along comes straight from New York to Sydney’s Parlour Lane Roasters for the Spectrum Now Festival

Sydney CBD does not have a piano bar, nor does it have a sing-along bar. You would not think there would be a demand for such a thing but, on Tuesday 1 March 2016, I found out how popular it could be at the launch of the Marie Crisis Spectrum Now Festival Bar at QT’s Parlour Lane Roasters.

Marie Crisis Cafe is a world-famous piano dive bar located in West Village, New York. It attracts a crowd of mostly local gays and musical theatre enthusiasts, who go to this dimly lit below-ground bar to stand around a piano and sing Broadway musical hits. The bar serves no food, the alcohol is just house wine and two types of beers, and the trip to the bathroom is an ordeal. However, no one seems to mind. Put a dollar in the fishbowl and the pianist will play just about anything and the waiters will sing-along as well.

This piece of New York has been transplanted to Sydney for the Spectrum Now Festival. Sydneysiders can sing-along at the Marie’s Crisis Festival Bar from 1-10 March at Parlour Lane Roasters, QT Sydney from 5pm until late each evening.

Further, on 7 March 2016, there will be a huge outdoor Broadway sing-along, called the Marie’s Crisis Broadway Sing-along, in the Domain. Partnering with Hayes Theatre Co., audiences are invited to sing alongside some of Australia’s best musical theatre talent and the four singers from the Marie Crisis Cafe.

The four singers are Adam Michael Tilford, Jennifer Pace, Kenney M. Green, and Marc Castelli. They have all had extensive singing and acting careers in musicals.

All four singers were here for the pop up last year and have travelled back again this year. Last year they told the manager of the bar that they had such a good time, they would like to return. He told them to rest assured, they would be back. He usually goes home at 9pm. but while the four singers were here he was going home at 2pm. It was that simple. Business was really good. They were paid to perform till 10pm but they continued till 12 midnight and the bar was always full.

In New York the four singers work for mostly tips and they work very hard.

Well, it looks like they will be back again next year, and the year after that, and for many more years to come.

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Spectrum Now Festival launches its 16 day program at Opera Australia

The Sydney Morning Herald Spectrum Now Festival held its launch party at Opera Australia on Thursday 4 February 2016 .

The Sydney Morning Herald Spectrum Now Festival presented by ANZ, one of Sydney’s most diverse cultural events, today announced its 16-day program, with ticket sales now open to more than one hundred unexpected experiences across Sydney. From a playful large-scale wall painting at the Art Gallery of New South Wales and a massive music line-up at The Domain to opera and high tea at a boutique hotel, the Festival is set to spotlight the city’s creative heart and soul through four festival categories of art, music, stage and talks.

Spectrum Now Festival @ The Domain, the festival’s central hub, invites Sydneysiders to spend 11 memorable summer evenings drinking and eating with free entertainment including burlesque dancers, fire breathers, feathered showgirls and free live music alongside a ticketed Big Top venue. Visit sideshow alley for the chance to get inked by award-winning tattoo artist Leslie Rice at an LDF Pop-Up Tattoo Parlour, or get a haircut by Sydney’s favourite retro barber Tony Vacher whilst listening to ragtime bands on the back of a 1960s Dodge truck.

From March 3 to 13, an immense line-up of ticketed music events will fill The Big Top @ The Domain, curated by Paul Piticco and Jessica Ducrou, the promoters of the iconic Splendour in the Grass and Falls Music & Arts Festival. The Big Top, a bespoke undercover construction created for the first time in 2016, will host a selection of all-time favourite artists, from local to international talent. The full line-up of artists performing in the Big Top @ The Domain include: Hot Dub Time Machine; Missy Higgins; The Jesus and Mary Chain (UK); Birds of Tokyo; Calexico (USA); Augie March; RocKwiz Live; Godspeed You! Black Emperor; Seekae; U.S Girls (USA); Alvvays (CAN) and Jonathan Boulet.

Del Kathryn Barton, a Spectrum Now Festival creative ambassadors, widely recognised as one of Australia’s leading figurative painters of her generation, created an exclusive artwork for the 2016 Spectrum Now Festival program cover, titled Cosmic Crime. Commenting on her inspiration for the cover, Del Barton says: “The figurative narratives in my work began in my childhood from a desire to tangibly manifest fantasy beings. For the program cover, I think I was trying to conjure encounters with my fairy and unicorn friends.”

Travelling across the world from Burning Man and Coachella, artist Robert Bose will transform the Sydney skyline with the Australian debut of his Balloon Chain, an eye-catching installation being created in The Domain, featuring a floating helium sculpture made from dozens of latex balloons. Creating a landmark on the horizon throughout the Festival, the sculpture will morph into a striking celebration of Mardi Gras on 5 March when it becomes The Rainbow Chain. The Domain will provide a place for families and parade goers to be entertained on their way to celebrate the parade.

2016 Festival Director Caroline Kemp says: “In 2016 we’re shaking things up with a complete redesign of our beating heart, Spectrum Now Festival @ The Domain. Inspired by European town squares where all corners of the village come together to party and celebrate, my wish is for families,

Western Sydney artist Tom Polo will be at the Art Gallery of New South Wales for Painting Live: Tom Polo, creating a dynamic and playful large-scale wall painting, taking over the Gallery’s entrance court during the Spectrum Now Festival. This spectacular project unfolds entirely onsite, each day, over two weeks. Visitors to the Gallery can watch Polo’s unique creative process, engage with the artist, and see the work transform from beginning to end.

Polo comments: “Taking its cues from daily walks throughout the Art Gallery of New South Wales building, the content for my wall painting will be conceived entirely on site, changing and developing daily during Spectrum Now. It’s on these walks around the galleries that I’m aiming to collect something additional each time: a historical reference, a detail of gallery architecture, a specific colour or shape, the expression of figure in a portrait, a snippet of banal conversation between visitors, an overheard opinion about a work in the galleries, a greeting with a member of staff, an encounter with a curious visitor.”

Two highlights of the 2015 inaugural Festival talks program, Pillow Talk and Cultural Crush, return in 2016. Presented over four heated nights at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, the audience is invited to experience a healthy mix of stimulating and provocative conversations.

Pillow Talk delves into the intimate and personal lives of Australia’s leading creative couples, and on March 6 and 16 at the Art Gallery of NSW will feature: David and Kristin Williamson; David and Lisa Campbell; Rob Carlton and Adrienne Ferreira; Richard Tognetti and Satu Vänskä; Max Cullen and Margarita Georiadis; along with Dan Wyllie and Shannon Murphy.

Cultural Crush invites pre-eminent journalists to cross-examine their dream subject in front of a live audience, kicking off on March 9 with award-winning investigative journalist Kate McClymont putting renowned Australian film director Bruce Beresford under the spotlight, while journalist, columnist and screenwriter Benjamin Law will interview award-winning journalist, author and anchor of the ABC’s 7:30pm program, Leigh Sales. Continuing on March 14 Sydney Morning Herald columnist and ABC Drive show host Richard Glover asks the big questions of Australian actress, playwright and screenwriter, Kate Mulvany, while Annabel Crabb, ABC’s chief online political writer, weekly Fairfax opinion columnist and author of the bestselling book The Wife, nuts it out with Australian writer Frank Moorhouse.

For the second year running, Spectrum Now Festival is presented by ANZ. ANZ has a long history of supporting arts in New South Wales, helping to bring to life a diverse range of programs that promote diversity and encourage creative expression. Catriona Noble, ANZ Managing Director Retail Distribution Australia comments: “Spectrum Now Festival encourages audiences to discover the breadth of talent on offer in Sydney and to engage with new experiences through music, art, theatre and thought-provoking conversations.

To complement this diverse program, we are excited to present the ANZ Blue Stage Series that will feature a lineup of events for undiscovered musicians to share their talent. Sydney-siders can enjoy pop-up performances from these artists at Martin Place, Pitt Street Mall and The Domain throughout the festival period.”

Other program highlights exclusive to Spectrum Now Festival:

– As part of the Talks program, Todd McKenny, Georgie Parker and Emma Palmer will reveal hilarious stories about their teenage years with Confessions of a Teenage Diary at Ensemble Theatre, followed by a Q&A on March 6 & March 8.

– Taking over on 7 March for a huge outdoor Broadway sing-a-long is the free Pop-Up Marie’s Crisis Broadway Sing-along, travelling all the way from its West Village roots in New York City. Partnering with Hayes Theatre Co., audiences are invited to star alongside some of Australia’s best musical theatre talent and sing their hearts out right in The Domain, while the Marie’s Crisis Festival Bar will be set up evenings from 1-10 March at Parlour Lane Roasters, QT Sydney.

– Tattersall’s Club, Hyde Park will play host to a night of conversations with barrister, writer, Archibald study and bon vivant Charles Waterstreet, with Charles Waterstreet Coversations on March 11.

– The National Association for the Visual Arts (NAVA) presents a thought provoking panel conversation, titled ‘The Creative Future is Now!’ on March 4, in Woolloomooloo, focussed the booming creative industry and what this means for individual practitioners.

– Returning from a sold out event in 2015, Ken Done opens the doors to his studio in the Rocks on March 9, inviting guests to enjoy a cocktail and hear stories of his vibrant career.

– Sydney-based Mexican artist El Peque presents El Peque: Arte Urbano, at 107 Projects in Redfern, exploring the nexus of social and magic urban realism with a new body of work using paper, board and canvas.

– Returning after huge success in 2015, Harmony Park in Surry Hills will host Carousel, a curated event on March 12, showcasing the work of Sydney’s innovative creatives from food, fashion, art and music.

– Mindfullness & Music: The Vegas Nerve Experience, invites the audience to groove and de-stress, at the Coogee Diggers Club to live band The Vegas Nerve on March 6 and March 7.

– Pitt Street Uniting Church presents Dead Men Talking, a “war of words” staring Henry Lawson (Max Cullen) and Banjo Patterson (Warren Fahey).

In 2015, the Spectrum Now Festival attracted 100,000 people across over 200 exhibitions, gigs and events, under the direction of actor Richard Roxburgh.

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Deckchair Arts provides a feast to the senses on a Sunday afternoon

It is a lovely Sunday afternoon when you are invited to take a seat by Sydney Harbour and be treated to delicious food, drinks and an incredible array of performing artists. On Sunday 15 March 2015, the well-loved deckchairs from the Writers Festival returned to Walsh Bay outside the event venue Simmer on the Bay for Deckchair Arts.

Deckchair Arts is an amazing arts performance showcase that is part of the Sydney Morning Herald’s Spectrum Now, which is presented by ANZ bank. The event was inspired by last year’s Walsh Bay Arts Table, which invites guests to sit in a deckchair by the water and enjoy an afternoon of entertainment and fine food.

Guests enjoyed performances throughout the afternoon including didgeridoo musician Matthew Doyle, spoken word performer Miles Merrill and special guest percussionist and composer Tony Lewis.

Guests were served an incredible array of food from Simmer on the Bay’s renowned chef. Brigid Kennedy, including prawns, oysters, paella, roast pork, duck pancakes, dumplings, and gelato accompanied by a wide selection of fine wines.

I could not think of a better way to spend a Sunday afternoon!

For more information about other Spectrum Now events go to: spectrumnow.com.au.

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