With the announcement that the creators of AUSTIN CITY LIMITS had teamed up with the crew behind SPLENDOUR IN THE GRASS for a brand new festival in Australia, the gravity of such a game-changing event was felt across the country. Then, the line up dropped with an explosion of some of the world's biggest names, and everyone's thoughts were confirmed - Sydney City Limits is here to shake up the festival scene.
With its inaugural event on the last Saturday of summer bringing the likes of BECK, YOUNG THUG, FUTURE, THE LIBERTINES, GRACE JONES, PHOENIX and the almighty JUSTICE among so many more, this is certainly one spectacular way to make a first impression. But it doesn't stop there. The one-day, four-stage festival at Centennial Park in Sydney will also feature some seriously good food courtesy of Sydneysiders Jake Smyth and Kenny Graham bringing together the best chefs from Sydney institutions for JAKE AND KENNY'S FOOD FIGHT, so at least everyone's bellies will be full while their minds are being blown by the incredible line-up.
Harking back to the era of BIG DAY OUT, SOUNDWAVE and more of the giant festivals that once ruled supreme, Sydney City Limits is a chance to catch international superstars in a sensational setting during one exceptional day, and if you haven't realised by now, we're pretty damn excited. However, it's not just the internationals that will be bringing the goods up on stage: Aussies will also be showing everyone how it's done as well. It can get pretty overwhelming figuring out who to catch on the day, so we've put together our favourite picks that we highly recommend catching.
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The rap maestro out of WA will be bringing his unique brand of catchy but thought-provoking hip-hop to Sydney come February. He broke out last year with his intricate song, 'Same Script', as well as delivering show-stopping performances at BIGSOUND and beyond. Passion and Ramo go hand in hand, so you'll be hard pressed to find someone giving it as much as this guy does at the festival. There's a reason he's tipped as one of the most exciting players on the rapidly evolving hip-hop scene here in Australia, and you only have to take a listen to his latest single, 'YKWD' to know why. Don't miss this guy!
If there's one artist that's been firmly on the rise for the past 12 months, it's MALLRAT. The Brisbane artist uses pop, hip-hop, RnB and more to craft her own sound, carving out space in a saturated landscape to shine bright for all to see. She had a turning point last year when she received international acclaim from critics and fans alike for her sweetest song yet in 'Better', and is showing absolutely no signs of slowing down any time soon. You can expect big things to come from Mallrat this year, so if you want to get in before she blows the hell up, this is where to do it!
After a completely sold out national tour in support of their debut album and stand out performances at Falls Festival to wrap up the year, Winston Surfshirt continue their reign as one of the most exciting bands to pop up in the past 12 months with a special performance at Sydney City Limits. With a huge on stage presence thanks to the six members on stage, and some surprise covers thrown into the live show (Kendrick Lamar's 'HUMBLE' in particular), Winston Surfshirt will be laying down the grooves on February 24th, so for all your funk, soul, and hip-hop needs, these guys have you covered.
One of our Artists to Watch for 2018, Stella Donnelly will be doing what she does best at Sydney City Limits: playing damn good shows. Having just performed on the Falls Festival tour with Methyl Ethel, wrapping up a stellar year in her own right, Donnelly will be bringing her raw and real stories to Sydney for another stunning performance. She was the talk of the town at BIGSOUND last year, and with impressive shows and moves made afterwards, it's really all systems go for this young artist. Not afraid to speak her truth, you can expect to get lost in her world as she tells her tales on the big stage.
SYDNEY CITY LIMITS
February 24th, Centennial Park, Sydney
JUSTICE, BECK, FUTURE, VANCE JOY, PHOENIX, TASH SULTANA, YOUNG THUG, GRACE JONES, GANG OF YOUTHS, THE AVALANCHES, DUNE RATS, THE LIBERTINES, ALLDAY, THUNDERCAT, L D R U, OH WONDER, CAR SEAT HEADREST, BAD//DREEMS, THE HEAD AND THE HEART, OCEAN ALLEY, WINSTON SURFSHIRT, THE STAVES, ALEX LAHEY, MALLRAT, SIGRID, STELLA DONNELLY, ZIGGY RAMO.
Words by Emma Jones