Sugar Mountain Cometh

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Sugar Mountain is the hip new kid on Melbourne’s festival block. A music, multimedia and arts extravaganza, the main event takes place at The Forum, with scatterings of sideshows happening in Federation Square, ACMI and No Vacancy Gallery.

With the festival making its return in January, less than 12 months after its debut in April earlier this year, we talked to co-curator Nicci Reid about what we can expect from the upcoming event.

SD: Can you tell us a bit about the people behind Sugar Mountain, how the idea evolved and was finally realised?
NR: To An Fro Family are the crew behind SMF. There’s Pete Keen, who looks after the arts programming, Brett Louis who is the mega-mind genius, Tig Huggins of Two Bright Lakes and myself, of Wing and Gill. Tig and I take care of the music programming.

As far as the evolution of SMF goes, we talked about it for a really long time, what we like in festivals, what we don’t, what’s missing in Melbourne and what there’s too much of.

SMF is us putting all of that talk into a week of incredible events.

SD: Do you plan on Sugar Mountain becoming a permanent fixture in the Melbourne arts calendar each year?
NR: SMF was always intended to be ongoing. We wanted to have a Summer festival, so our move to January was part of the plan and we’ll stay here now. It’s important to us to grow at a steady pace. We plan to be here for the long haul, and we’ll keep evolving as we go.

SD: In addition to a lineup of great local artists you’ve pulled some big international acts (Thee Oh Sees, Deerhoof, Eye from Boredoms) while keeping ticket prices relatively low…
NR: Keeping ticket prices low has always been a priority for us. We’ve just tried to balance as much awesomeness as we can fit into the time frame we’re working with at a ticket price we’d be happy to pay.

SD: Who are some of the artists you’re personally most excited to see?
NR: If I had to call specifics, Absolute Boys’ new material is face-meltingly incredible. I can’t wait to see them play in a theatre environment.

Shabazz Palaces are ace, seeing them play at The Forum is going to be a dream come true for us. Thee Oh Sees’ live show is consistently the hugest, hottest, craziest show going. Watching them play gives me butterflies.

Sugar Mountain takes place at The Forum Theatre on January 14 2012. Tickets, lineup and other info at sugarmountainfestival.com.

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