David James Young • 31 July 2012

Noise rock veterans and symphony orchestras – welcome to the 2012 Melbourne Festival!

Continuing the arts-based rivalry that thrives between Sydney and Melbourne, the latter has just announced a line-up for the 2012 Melbourne Festival that is set to have countless Sydney connoisseurs either weeping into their soy lattes or desperately fumbling for plane tickets. What can we say? The Melbourne Festival is kind of a big deal – and this year sees them pull out some seriously fluffy rabbits out of their hat.

Atop the most exciting of the announcements is the return of Antony and the Johnsons for their first Australian shows since 2010. Described as a “never-to-be-repeated concert event,” the group will be performing their latest album Swanlights in full with a 44-piece orchestra and huge visual aethetics. It will be performed across two nights at the Arts Centre.

Also making the trek over are two Sonic Youth members: the new frontman of Chelsea Light Moving, Thurston Moore, and guitarist Lee Ronaldo. The two will not be performing together, though; rather, they shall be performing tracks from their own solo material at individual shows. Noisy power trio Shellac are also scheduled to appear for two rare shows at the Hi-Fi Bar and Ballroom, supported by locals My Disco and Blacklevel Embassy.

Of course, this is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. It’s safe to say that the 2012 Melbourne Festival is cooler than being cool – and you Victorians and out of towners best not delay, too; as it’s already on sale!

For a full program, visit the official festival website.