Sydney Fringe Festival Announces Program Highlights and 2017 Ambassadors

Sydney Fringe Festival  Announces Program Highlights and 2017 AmbassadorsSydney Fringe Festival - New South Wales' largest independent arts festival - today announced its 2017 Festival Ambassadors and the next wave of program highlights set to enliven inner Sydney from 1- 30 September 2017. For the first time in 2017, Fringe will be presenting a new Festival Hub, a 7000m2 warehouse at Sydney Park in Alexandria, transformed into multiple performance and exhibition spaces. During Sydney Fringe Festival, the hub will be home to immersive light, art and theatre experiences, music and theatre performances, a 200-seat vegan feast, a masquerade ball and numerous installations.

Sydney Fringe CEO and Festival Director Kerri Glasscock said: "The inaugural HPG Festival Hub is the Sydney Fringe Festival's largest and most exciting activation to date and the result of a major new partnership with local property developer, HPG Australia. It will see The Warehouse space - roughly the size of an airport hangar - transformed into a thriving independent arts centre and festival hub."

The 2017 Festival Ambassadors, who are tasked with championing the independent arts and this year's Fringe program, are Tim Freedman of The Whitlams, renowned Australian artist Ben Quilty, writer, personality and social commentator Benjamin Law, performance artist Betty Grumble and performer/poet/activist Candy Royalle. Ambassadors will be part of the program at the new HPG Festival Hub with headline performances by Ambassador Tim Freedman of The Whitlams on 21 and 22 September, Betty Grumble Sex Clown and Candy Royalle.

The Fringe Ignite Launch Party celebrates the opening of the Festival on Saturday 2 September, presenting a series of live music gigs and performances from 3pm until 8pm at Kensington St Chippendale. This event, curated by one of Australia's most dynamic vocalists NGAIIRE, will see performances scheduled across the day in shops, bars and restaurants along the street, converting them into free pop-up venues filled with live music and performances, full lineup announced in August.

Heaps Gay continues the celebration of the opening weekend with their Masqueerade for two nights only on Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 September, transforming the HPG Festival Hub into a world of mystery and disguise where reality is suspended and art becomes real life.

Other highlights of the program include two world premiere theatre experiences, and a world first interactive art exhibition. Silent Theatre, presented by Sydney Fringe Festival together with Urban Newtown, will invite audiences to voyeuristically observe the happenings in the hotel watching from the streets below, catching glimpses through the hotel windows whilst listening to the story unfold through headphones, and Mongrel Mouth's UNDERTAKING takes over a section of the HPG Festival Hub with a fully immersive theatrical experience. World renowned British Gif-iti artist INSA will exhibit a world first retrospective of his innovative GIF-iti works in the main courtyard of World Square in the city, taking street art and converting them into animated GIFs. Visitors are encouraged to download the 'Gif-Iti' app to interact with the artworks, with the works coming to life when patrons hover their phone screens in front of the suspended artworks.

This year's festival includes two huge music events. The Global Rhythms music festival returns for its fifth year on 24 September, filling Glebe's Bicentennial with a family friendly kaleidoscope of sound, food and art featuring a lineup of performances from San Lazaro, Alphamama, King Tide and The Strides with Afro Moses (Homage to Fela Kuti) along with more to be announced. Lah Lah's Big Live Band and the Sydney Youth Orchestra join together for a special collaboration on Saturday 30 September, performing in the Sydney Town Hall to close the festival.

The 2017 program will again take over the streets, shop fronts and venues across the city this September inviting audiences to engage with 'what's new': new art, new activations, and new, young artists (60% under the age of 30). More than half of the productions in the 2017 program are world premieres, whilst 63% of productions will be Australian premieres and a further 83% Sydney premieres.

Key events are on sale 5 July 2017 and the full program for the 2017 Sydney Fringe Festival will be announced 1 August 2017. Please visit https://www.sydneyfringe.com/ for further details and updates.

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