Sydney Festival - Vigil:Awaken

Cleansing of place, a re-awakening of spirit, and an honouring of sovereignty

On the evening of 25 January we will gather along the shoreline of Barangaroo Reserve and look out across the water towards Me-Mel (formerly Goat Island). In 2023, the annual tradition of Vigil takes on a new form, celebrating the re-awakening of the spirit of this precious island, which has been a key landmark of Sydney Harbour for several hundred years and a sacred place for the clans of Eora for tens of thousands.  

Ceremonial smoke, flares, music, light, performance and narration will intertwine to create a dramatic and mesmerising multimedia art piece, through which to appreciate the deep cultural significance of Me-Mel's forthcoming return to her original custodians.  

Created by Jacob Nash and Stephen Page, with sound by Steve Francis and lighting by Matt Marshall, Vigil: Awaken is a cleansing of place, a re-awakening of spirit, and an honouring of sovereignty.  

Vigil asks people to come together to witness and participate in ceremony. The 2023 event will run for approximately 40 minutes and, unlike previous years, will not have infrastructure or services at Barangaroo Reserve for anyone wanting to stay after its conclusion. 

"A night of shared emotions through songs and songlines, a night of opening hearts and listening."

25 January 

Barangaroo Reserve

Find out more.



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