Perth Festival launches at City of Lights

Last Updated: 07 Feb 2020
Christy Crafford

Perth Festival’s summer celebration of people and place bursts into life this weekend, kicking off an epic program of music, theatre, film and more! 

The first of hundreds of free and ticketed events are thrilling Perth audiences already, led by Indigenous performances and exhibitions across our city standing on Noongar Boodjar.

Buŋgul performance

Beaming at the vibrant new City of Lights precinct, the festival welcomes you to make new friends, enjoy great music and fantastic food, while immersing yourself in a truly unique cultural experience.

Some stellar 2020 Festival guests include visual arts giants Lynette Wallworth and Ian Strange, superstar writers Neil Gaiman and Julia Donaldson, performance marvels Meow Meow, Rufus Wainwright, Amanda Palmer, Kate Tempest, Bryony Kimmings, and Phelim McDermott, and music greats Paul Kelly, Garrick Ohlsson, Gesualdo Six, Blind Boys of Alabama, Evelyn ‘Champagne’ King and Mavis Staples,

Another huge and special highlight fresh from the outstanding reviews from its world-premiere in Sydney is Buŋgul, an extraordinary live audio-visual tribute to Gurrumul and his rich Elcho Island culture led by Yolŋu dancers, songmen and the West Australian Symphony Orchestra.

Buŋgul is just one of the many opening highlights at Perth Concert Hall.

Other opening highlights

Stunning exhibitions

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Unique exhibitions by Kimberley visual magician John Prince Siddon, Cheeky Dogs illustrator Dion Beasley and acclaimed Noongar artist Sandra Hill will be opening on the first weekend.

VR Experiences

The first-weekend gems also include openings of the enthralling VR experiences of Lynette Wallworth’s Awavena and Laurie Anderson’s and Hsin-Chien Huang’s Chalkroom, while the ever-popular Ballet at the Quarry returns to the glorious natural setting of the Quarry Amphitheatre.

Theatrical Brilliance

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International brilliance shines through in the theatrical production of Tao of Glass, the raw Irish dance of MÁM and the dazzling one-woman show I’m a Phoenix, Bitch. During the Chamber Music Weekend, Beethoven’s 250th anniversary will be celebrated alongside Indigenous songlines, set within the stunning University of Western Australia gardens. There will also be an exquisite staging of Tim Winton’s exemplary Perth novel Cloudstreet, and the rock n' roll finale Highway to Hell.


Hip-hop icon Briggs of A.B. Original kickstarts the action at Chevron Lighthouse on 7 Feb with his Bad Apples House Party and special guests Birdz and Miiesha. Then, musical spirits will soar all weekend with Spinifex Gum featuring Marliya, the Cat Empire’s Felix Riebl and guests on 8 Feb and the rapturous soul of Ngaiire and Emma Donovan on Sunday, 9 Feb.

See the full program below


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