What were the 1980s without Norwegian heartthrobs A-ha? Apart from having one of the easiest to pun band names, the European synth-pop trio are responsible for one of the most ambitious vocal crescendos with the enduring hit ‘Take on Me’ (don’t pretend like you haven’t tried and failed to sing along). A-ha are returning to Australia for the first time in more than 30 years this summer. The band has one Sydney show locked into the calendar – they'll be taking the ICC to another shimmering, poptastic level on February 26, 2020 (happy hump day indeed). They’ll also be performing at winery festival A Day on the Green at Bimbadgen in the Hunter Valley on the 29th if you miss out on city tix. The band have announced they will be playing their popular breakthrough album Hunting High and Low in full on their Australian tour, alongside other favourite songs. For those whose A-ha discography is a little dusty, yes, that does mean you’ll be hearing ‘Take on Me’ and ‘The Sun Always Shines on T.V.’. Joining A-ha will be Rick Astley, who Gen X know as a hit-maker and Gen Y know as the inspiration behind one of the best internet pranks of the noughties. Astley had the last laugh, however, with the popularity of Rick-rolling introducing the musician to a new audience. And to wrap up the 1980s time warp, the A Day on the Green show will also include Pseudo Echo (as well as Sydney band I Know Leopard, whose band members were barely out of nappies during most of the ‘80s). Visit the websit
The Twilight at Taronga concert series has been bringing a little bit of summer sunset music festival sparkle to Sydney for 25 years. The annual gig experience ticks off a hefty amount of Sydney in summer ideals – harbour views at dusk, alfresco live music, and a zoo-fringed lawn to sprawl out on with shared treats and mates. Add in the ’90s-Aussie-rock-legends meets Triple-J-gold of the diverse line-ups, and you've got yourself a pretty bloody great way to spend a waterfront evening. This year, the growls, squeaks and hisses of the menagerie at the zoo will be complemented by acts returning to the Taronga stage and artists debuting on the sunny lawn. It all kicks off with a synthy-pop session by New Zealand duo Broods on January 31. Listening to the big feels of songs like ‘Peach’ and ‘Heartlines’ will be a joyful start to the series, before Aussie rockers Wolfmother make an appearance the following evening for a little ‘Joker and the Thief’ in the early evening. Other big acts we’re excited about include country warbler and ARIA Hall of Fame inductee Kasey Chambers, chart-topping soul, gospel and R‘n’B pioneer Mavis Staples, the rowdy uncle of Australian musical storytelling Paul Kelly, as well as another tribute set to Australia’s favourite Sweeds by Björn Again. Pop powerhouse Meg Mac will be the final musical act to take the stage, with her ever-growing setlist of hits like ‘Roll Up Your Sleeves’, ‘Grandma’s Hands’ and ‘Something Tells Me’ blasting out on March 6. Bu
The streets, laneways and parklands of Parramatta are transformed every year by a kaleidoscope of culture and colour when Parramasala brings parades, performances, markets and workshops to the area, celebrating the many cultures that make up our diverse city. For the special ten-year anniversary in 2020, you can expect more vibrant live music, incredible traditional costumes, engaging theatre, music and dance, and of course, joyful street parades and activities. To that glorious multicultural mix, they’ll be adding more amazing food offerings, with cuisines hailing from South America, the Middle East, Indigenous Australian communities and South East Asia at the International Food Village from March 13-15. Also keep your nostrils flared for the intoxicating scents from the International Aromas Festival, a marketplace for coffee and delicious brewed beverages from around the world popping up on March 15. This year's Parramasala live line-up starts with the annual Welcome Parade, a procession of performers, drummers and colour leading in to a rambunctious opening night party on Friday March 13 with the Grammy award-winning party band Los Amigos Invisibles kicking the celebratory atmosphere into gear. Be sure to also check out the Masala Music Festival on March 14 where you can experience sets from Sampa the Great, Mojo Juju, Adrian Eagle, and many more. For global dance fans, head to the World Dance Congress for stunning performances from Indian Bharatanatyam to African street
This techno and house-heavy festival has made appearances across the globe, and is again setting up in Sydney in the grand amphitheatre surrounds of Parramatta Park on Saturday, March 7, 2020. It’s known for hypnotic visual displays and the kind of untz, untz, untz atmosphere that’ll keep you entranced on the main stage as well as something they’re calling the Resistance Stage. The line-up for the boppy, hip-hoppy festival has a decidedly international themed. You’ll hear tracks from France’s biggest tech DJ export, DJ Snake (think ‘Taki Taki’ with Selena Gomez and ‘Lean On’ with Major Lazor), Sweedish spinner Eric Prydz, Grammy Award-winning Russian producer Zedd, Dutch DJ Afrojack and Italy’s Deborah De Luca.
If you spent your first café paycheck on the CD single of the Pussycat Doll’s ‘Don’t Cha’ (and subsequently learnt all the risqué chair dance moves) then So Pop 2020 is so the music festival for you. The nostalgic party debuted in 2019 with Aqua, Vengaboys, Blue, B*Witched and other beloved old-school acts, and it’s returning to Sydney with a very fresh line-up of artists from the ’90s and 2000s that we know you secretly – or openly – still adore. See a very slick performance by all-female pop powerhouse the Pussycat Dolls, yell-sing along to ‘All Star’ and ‘I’m a Believer’ by Californian garage-rock legends Smash Mouth, and share your beautiful soul with Disney teen icon (now in his 30s, so relatable), Jesse McCartney. Other acts that’ll take you back in time at the huge Qudos Bank Arena show on April 25 include the massively popular British disco-pop five-piece Steps; ‘Murder on the Dancefloor’ singer Sophie Ellis-Bextor (she certainly won’t kill the groove); ‘Saturday Night’ Eurodance star Whigfield; trance-pop mixer with mad moves DJ Alice, and more. Presale tickets to the pop party will be available from 1pm on December 4, with the rest up for grabs from December 9.
Book your flights to Tasmania because Bon Iver has announced they will be performing at Hobart’s winter festival, Dark Mofo, in 2020. Unable or unwilling to cross the strait? The group is coming to Sydney too, with a stadium sideshow already lined up. Justin Vernon and the gang are the first act announced for Dark Mofo – Hobart's annual festival of art, music, food and mischief – with the American indie band expected to play songs from the new album i,i (pronounced ‘i comma i’ because of course it is). The new studio album (Bon Iver’s fourth) is similar to 22, A Million with the same silky smooth baritone, dazzling high falsetto and experimental undertones. Vernon has come a long way since the laments that made For Emma, Forever Ago a hit (it was the mid-noughties, and it tapped into the indie emo zeitgeist with aplomb). You can get your haunting indie-folk Bon Iver fix in Sydney on Tuesday, June 23 at the ICC. Tickets will be on sale Thursday, December 5.
So, you think a trip a winery is all quaint cellar doors and discussions over tasting notes? Wine Machine begs to differ. This vino-centric music fest returns to the Hunter Valley in 2020 for another epic celebration fine wine times, with vintage tunes and dancing to match. Roche Estate will provide the picturesque festival backdrop and there will, of course, be barrels of wine and food trucks to keep you moving and grooving. There will also be handpicked Australian bands performing to further stimulate your senses. The 2020 line-up will be headlined by indie alt-rock New Zealanders the Naked and Famous along with Wine Machine royalty Hot Dub Time Machine. Joining them are the Jungle Giants, packing their signature indie-electronica off the back of their huge single ‘Heavy Hearted’, Kosovan DJ Regard will be there spinning his smooth 2019 hit ‘Ride It’, Melbourne indie dance boys Northeast Party House will bring their stirring live performance style (you’ve definitely heard their banger ‘Magnify’), and dance legends Bag Raiders will bring their full live show. Even more indie and electronic darlings round out this massive line-up. Wine Machine will take place on Saturday, March 14 at Roche Estate in the Hunter Valley. Tickets start at $69 per person. So put on your dancing shoes, slug a glass of chardy and get your hot little hands on some tix.