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VIVID bar with flowers, candles and skulls
Photograph: Anna Kucera

The Opera House is getting a post-punk pop-up bar for Vivid

Emily Lloyd-Tait

Vivid Sydney is back, which means so is another elaborate, themed pop-up bar inside the Sydney Opera House. Normally you wouldn't just pop into the city's most recognisable architectural wonder for a snack and a cocktail, but during the city's winter festival of light, music and ideas you can kick back in the Concert Hall Northern Foyer, which becomes Sydney's most impressive bar for a ten days.

This year the theme is 'Spellbound', which, we're told, is paying homage to "the moody opulence of the masters of Dutch still life and new wave punk typified by alt-rock legends the Cure". What that translates to is a whole lot of candle light, flower displays, fruit platters and carefully placed skulls. The bar is being run by the people behind Newtown’s the Midnight Special and the Goldie’s Music Hall pop-up from Vivid Live 2018.

All that gazing at shimmering light displays can be hungry work, so they'll be serving duck rillettes on brioche buns, a croque monsieur, botanical cocktails and local brews from Grifter Brewing Co., Moo Brew and Young Henrys. The pool tables will be black, the couches will be black, the eyeliner will probably be black. It's going to be moodier than an emo kid's bedroom, and as ostentatiously opulent as an Adriaen van Utrecht painting. 

A pink cocktail on a fruit and flower-laden table

Photograph: Anna Kucera

The soundtrack will be a care of the Damned, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Siouxsie and the Banshees, New Order and Iggy Pop – they're bringing the '80s back in a big way. 

Spellbound will be open every night until late from Fri May 24 to Mon Jun 3. 

Find out how you can watch the Cure's Vivid Live show without leaving your house

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