Bingefest is going to be your new favourite pop-culture festival, hands down. Imagine a place where all your favourite cat videos, Harambe memes, #LOLs and Netflix binges come together, and that’s what Sydney Opera House is going to deliver in the lead up to Christmas.
“It’s a 24-hour+++ take over of the Opera House. [A] total celebration of culture in TV, podcasts, the Internet,” says curator Danielle Harvey. “I think of it as an anti holiday or Orphan’s Christmas kind of event.”
The line-up will have fans frothing at the mouth, from your favourite podcasts to the TV shows and video games of your youth. First up, artists Shia LaBeouf, Nastja Säde Rönkkö and Luke Turner will be there. They’re the collective behind “I’m not famous anymore” and #Touchmysoul.
They’ll be creating a mass performance art project at the House, which will be free to participate in, and runs over two nights. “Take my word for it, it’s really cool,” says Harvey, who isn’t letting any more cats out of the bag on that one.
Speaking of cats, there’s going to be a mass screening of cat videos. The Internat Cat Video Festival will take place on the forecourt, in aid of and in partnership with the RSPCA.
Celebrating the original badass female lead in TV shows, the line-up features a binge-watching night celebrating the 20th anniversary of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, exploring how Buffy changed television for the better.
“If I had to chose one TV show that we should be talking about, I would choose Buffy the Vampire Slayer, so that’s what we’re going to do,” says Harvey. “Without Buffy we wouldn’t have the supernatural genre shows we have on TV now, from True Blood to The Walking Dead… We owe a lot to Buffy.”
For fans of the podcast Serial (and who isn’t?), Bingefest is bringing out the executive producer Julie Snyder, who will discuss binge-worthy journalism. More podcast heroes on the line-up include Jad Abumrad from Radiolab, a show that celebrates curiosity, illuminates ideas, and blurs the boundaries between science, philosophy and human experience.
Community’s former writer Dan Harmon will be there and you can watch him put together two podcasts for Harmontown, live. Harmon is also part of an event called the Writers’ Room, which is a live comedy writing session with Australia’s Celia Pacquola and Luke McGregor (both excellent actors and writers known for Utopia, Rosehaven).
It’s Sydney Opera House’s first new festival in five years, but it’s expected to become an annual event. With events like All The TV You Should Have Watched By Now – which will give audiences the chance to get up-to-date recommendations on the best of television by American pop culture experts and obsessives the AV Club – we think it’s going to go off!
Last, but certainly not least, there’s going to be a Harambe Memorial Service. Yes, the Internet famous gorilla will be remembered thanks to Dan Ilic and a panel of local comedians and journalists Mark Di Stefano, James Colley, Rosie Waterland, Theo Saidden and Celeste Barber, who will be celebrating the Internet’s 47th birthday.
Plus, everyone’s favourite dancing queen Amrita Hepi will run two Beyoncé vs Rihanna dance classes in the Sydney Opera House’s backstage rehearsal room. There’ll also be a 24-hour free Street Fighter binge, because (and you're about to feel your age when we tell you) the game is 29 years old this year.
Bingefest runs from Dec 17-18. Tickets for Bingefest go on sale on Friday October 14.