Sugar Mountain: The Plus Ones’ Guide

Billed as a summit of music and art, Sugar Mountain (Saturday 21 January 2017) has turned into a yearly ‘must do’ for those seeking a sensory festival feast in the heart of Melbourne. Much more than a music festival, Sugar Mountain has become synonymous with innovation.

2017’s festival has us most looking forward to a variety of experiences, from augmented reality to Stranger Things-inspired food.

MoVement – augmented reality will be a feature of the festival in 2017. Organisers are hoping that festival-goers will curate their own warped experience using the festival app. The app will enable participants to interact with large scale 2D worlds across a number of spaces, including the main stage (hopefully when performances are on!). Artwork has been designed by international artist, Karan Singh, who is described as a playful minimalist. Aside from this, the team has also collaborated with VMovement who specialise in the exploration of dance music and the curation of intimate spaces.

Sensory – after debuting in 2016, the team has brought back the incredibly popular sensory restaurant. This year the restaurant will play on themes from Stranger Things and explore sight, taste, sound, smell and touch. The experience is ticketed separately, and is sure to sell out. You don’t have to worry about collaborating with your mates for group tickets as seating is sorted later on. Get in quick!

Line up – with 30 artists playing throughout the festival you’re sure to find something you like. To narrow down picks is never easy, but here I go:

  • I’m most excited about Blood Orange – who hasn’t played in Melbourne since 2012 and writes for the likes of Florence & The Machine, The Chemical Brothers and Tinashe.
  • Melbourne duo Slum Sociable, who debuted at Sugar Mountain 2015 will be making a return in a much bigger fashion after selling out across the country and internationally for the past couple of years.
  • Melbourne electronic artist Sui Zhen just looks so cool. I haven’t heard her before, but this video aligns with my value system.

Do yourself a favour and go through the Youtube links under each artist on the Sugar Mountain page. If this doesn’t get you excited, nothing will.

For me, Sugar Mountain successfully navigates the curation of intimate spaces, art and sensory experiences without feeling like a commercial masterpiece. If I were to try to draw parallels maybe a combination of Dark Mofo/The Pleasure Garden. With a wrap like that, is it any secret that we can’t wait for iteration 2017!

– Rukmal
Co-founder of The Plus Ones, Rukmal lives and breathes events. 

Sugar Mountain runs Sat. 21 January 2017. Make sure to get your tickets soon as allocations are already selling out.

Disclosure: The Plus Ones are invited guests of The Mushroom Group.
Photo Credit: Sugar Mountain, Jayden Ostwald Photography, Rebecca Houlden / Photographer, Mark Stanjo, Andrew Bibby Photography, Chip Mooney, Ryan Wheatley, Byron Kehoe.