The 1970s saw a huge cultural wave wash over Sydney; the genesis of much that we take for granted today, including the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.

Sedition 2019 is a festival that celebrates the public art and protest of that period through music, talks, cabaret, cinema, art exhibitions and more in multiple venues including the National Art School, the State Library of NSW, the University of Sydney, East Sydney Community Arts Centre, Palace Verona Cinemas and Paddington RSL.


A key event will be The Cabaret Conspiracy at the State Library from 7pm on Friday, 13 September, celebrating the 1979 birth of the radical performance group Cabaret Conspiracy, which was compered by two drag queens, Doris Fish and Sandra Lamont. The show also celebrates the birth of Michael Matou’s Sideshow Theatre Company. Matou had been a member of the Lindsay Kemp Company’s production of Jean Genet’s Our Lady of the Flowers, and was a star attraction at Sydney’s legendary Stranded nightclub, in the basement of the Strand Arcade.

Other key events will include Post Conspiracists at 8pm, Saturday, September 14 at the East Sydney Community Arts Centre. Curated by Vashti Hughes and Tim Hansen, the show will celebrate the recent resurgence of cabaret and underground entertainment in Sydney and its roots in the 1970s. Performers will include Betty Grumble, Christa Hughes, Imogen Kelly, Drew Fairley, Celia Curtis and Ross Johnston, Aaron Manhattan and NICOLA, and Dyan Tai.

Sedition 2019 started on Tuesday, August 27. Visit for details and a full events schedule.

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