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Program revealed for 2016 Perth International Arts Festival

Program revealed for 2016 Perth International Arts Festival
November 6, 2015

A grand-scale opening concert featuring acclaimed local musicians and writers will launch the 2016 Perth International Arts Festival (PIAF) in February.

The Home concert, which includes a significant visual arts element, features bands including The Triffids, The Panics and The Waifs, as well as writers Tim Winton and Robert Drewe and artist Shaun Tan.

The 2016 festival is the first of four for new Artistic Director Wendy Martin, and has a $17.6 million budget.

It follows this year's wildly successful festival, the high point of which was The Giants marionette performance that drew 1.4 million visitors to the Perth CBD over three days.

Looking forward to the event, Martin stated “visionaries, mavericks and dreamers - it's through the lens of their imaginations that we get to see, understand and re-imagine our world.”

Organisers have also revealed that, from 2016 to 2019, the annual event will move its popular Chevron Festival Gardens precinct to Elizabeth Quay's Lot 4, ‘a temporary outdoor venue for festivals, concerts and sporting events’ at the intersection of Perth’s The Esplanade and William Street.

Commenting on the move from the event's previous base at Perth's Cultural Centre to Elizabeth Quay, Western Australian the Minister for Planning, Culture and the Arts, John Day announced this as "a great outcome for the tens of thousands of Perth International Arts Festival attendees".

Minister Day added "Lot 4 has always been earmarked as a temporary public space for a range of events at Elizabeth Quay.

"Its sale will be staged to meet market demand and in the interim it will be available as an exciting new outdoor venue for the community to enjoy.

"There was an incredibly positive response to a call for expressions of interest from event operators earlier this year, with many indicating a strong appetite for the kind of flexible space planned for Lot 4."

The temporary use of Lot 4 for events has been made possible amid the multi-stage redevelopment of Elizabeth Quay.

Highlights of next year's festival include Belvoir Theatre director Simon Stone's take on Henrik Ibsen's The Wild Duck, and "kamikaze cabaret" diva Meow Meow's version of The Little Mermaid.

South African artist William Kentridge will stage Refuse The Hour, involving chamber opera, dance and live music, while UK band The Tiger Lillies will perform an anarchic version of Hamlet.

The realities of life for young Muslim women is explored through boxing in Common Wealth theatre group's No Guts, No Heart, No Glory, which will be performed in a city gymnasium, while renowned jazz musician Wynton Marsalis will perform Swing Symphony.

The festival's contemporary music venue, the Festival Gardens, has been moved from Northbridge to the yet-to-be-completed Elizabeth Quay, and the line-up includes Icelandic contemporary composer Johann Johannson, Swedish Grammy-Award winner Jose Gonzalez, UK rapper Little Simz and Australian singer-songwriter Kev Carmody.

The Perth Writers Festival includes renowned atheist Richard Dawkins, UK author and journalist Simon Winchester, Still Alice author Lisa Genova and Canadian writer Patrick deWitt.

It has also been announced that PIAF General Manager Julian Donaldson will step down following the 2016 Festival after more than 10 years in the role.

The 64th Perth International Arts Festival begins on 11th February and runs until 6th March.

Images: How Perth' Elizabeth Quay will look when complete (top) and the Giants from the 2015 Perth International Arts Festival (below).

28th July 2015 - PERTH INTERNATIONAL ARTS FESTIVAL HONOURED WITH NINE HELPMANN AWARDS

12th March 2015 - 1.65 MILLION ENJOY 2015 PERTH FESTIVAL EVENTS

16th February 2015 - 1.4 MILLION WATCH THE GIANTS OPEN PERTH INTERNATIONAL ARTS FESTIVAL

3rd February 2015 - $10 MILLION BOOST FOR AQUATIC PLAYGROUND AND ENTERTAINMENT SPACE AT PERTH ELIZABETH QUAY DEVELOPMENT

27th November 2014 - NEW PERTH INTERNATIONAL ARTS FESTIVAL DIRECTOR REVEALED

15th November 2014 - NEW PUBLIC SQUARE IN PERTH CBD TO BE EVENT AND TOURISM HUB


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