Vivid LIVE announces Sampa The Great as first act for 2021 lineup

Presenting the world premiere of 'An Afro Future'

Vivid Sydney has announced Sampa The Great as the first artist for its 2021 musical programme, showcasing her new show ‘An Afro Future’ this August.

Today (May 11), organisers revealed the Vivid LIVE portion of the festival will return this year, running from August 6-28 and taking place at its usual home of the Sydney Opera House.

Sampa The Great will be globally premiering ‘An Afro Future’ on August 8 at the Joan Sutherland Theatre, accompanied by her full band, dancers and singers. The ensemble will be performing her four-time ARIA award-winning debut album ‘The Return’.


In a press statement, Vivid LIVE curator Ben Marshall said he was “honoured” to have Sampa The Great performing – describing ‘An Afro Future’ asĀ  a “majestic and ambitious live performance spectacle.”

“Sampa Tembo’s triumphant artistic arc makes her one of the most exciting creative voices of her generation,” he said. “[H]er dazzling and inventive explorations of her musical and cultural heritage [is] fused with the explosive energy of the very best parties.”

Sampa’s show will be an Australian exclusive. Pre-sale tickets are available from Wednesday 12 May with general sale released on Friday 14. Find more information here.

The full Vivid LIVE program is slated for release later this month.

Earlier this year, Sampa The Great had to cancel a string of performances of ‘An Afro Future’ over border restrictions as a result of COVID-19. The show was scheduled to kick off in Sydney’s Domain in February before hitting Adelaide in March for WOMADelaide and wrapping up in Melbourne.


Instead, the rapper insisted she would use the spare time to finish off her second album. She has also spent the past year back at home in Zambia, working on music with the likes of The Avalanches and Denzel Curry.

In February, Sampa made her NPR Tiny Desk debut, appearing on the series in celebration of Black History Month.