Sappho Books, Cafe & Bar

We are one of Sydney's favourite General Second-hand Bookstores. Walk through to our beautiful courtyard Cafe that transforms into a tapas Bar at night.

- We buy and sell used books and records, host live music and events and are available for venue hire -

 

Opening Hours

Monday: 8.30am to 7.00pm

Tuesday: 8.30am to 7.00pm

Wednesday: 8.30am till late

Thursday: 8.30am till late

Friday: 8.30am till late

Saturday: 8.30am till late

Sunday: 9:00am to 7:00pm

 

 

Devil on the Rooftop
Sep
27
7:00pm 7:00pm

Devil on the Rooftop

Jess Randall
The fiddle you know and the fiddle you don’t

Jess Randall entangles her classical background with a gut-wrenching no-holds-barred approach to traditional fiddling styles. She has toured Europe, The UK, Scandinavia and Australia on many occasions with her other musical love, The Crooked Fiddle Band.

Jess is the fiddle’s advocate when it comes to natural acoustic tone. She disdains artificial effects and uses traditional strings, hair, wood and some good old fashioned angst to produce sounds relevant to both medieval and modern times, showing just how much is possible between a violin and a bow, or three.

Jess’ love of ‘faster than you can actually play’ Romanian fiddle style and appreciation of it’s parallelism with hard-driving bluegrass set her off on a quest to train-wreck the genres into something more than the sum of it’s parts, finally emerging with Devil on the Rooftop.

 

Morgan Haselden
Guitar makes work for idle hands

Morgan began his musical journey as many Australian guitarists do, sitting on the side of his bed playing rock/folk/pop styles whilst recording his favourite songs from the radio onto cassette and dreaming of cunning strategies to outsmart his poker opponents. Eventually he pursued the classical path into a Bachelor of Music majoring in classical guitar with Greg Pikler at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. During this time he earned two scholarships and scored HDs for his yearly recitals each year for 4 years. The secret to his success was judiciously drinking milk to enhance the strength and beauty of his carefully crafted fingernails.

The first to tell you the devil is in the detail, Morgan has spent many an hour arranging pieces for his Grapelli/Django influenced duo, Mimosa, who have been going strong for 6 years and are making a name for themselves in the gypsy jazz genre. With this act Morgan has performed all over Australia including at the Sydney Opera House, he has toured toured, and performed on cruise ships around the world on the high seas.

With unblinking eyes and gritted teeth, a bead of sweat rolls into Morgan’s crazed grin as he stands at the ready, there is a Devil on the Rooftop and he can’t miss a beat!

Thomas Wade
Caught between the bass and the deep blue sea

Exploring one style of music has never been enough. From classical to reggae, bluegrass to jazz, folk to electronica, Sydney bassist Thomas Wade has created a seemingly unique musical language.

Performing throughout Australia, America and Japan, Thomas has found himself in a vastly diverse and ever-changing musical landscape that has fed into the way that he approaches his instruments and the music he coaxes from them.

Having such an eclectic musical upbringing has made itself evident in the array of sonic textures found in Thomas’ music. Hitting, scraping, screeching mixed with tender, round warm double bass sounds to dizzying highs and bowel crushing low synth noises can be expected by audiences in many of Thomas’ shows.

Recently Thomas has been touring extensively with critically acclaimed band The Pigs, also with Arabesk and The Midnight Tea Party. Other current projects include: The String Cartel, The Pia Andersen Trio, That Redhead and Daniel Weltlinger with plenty more exciting music planned through 2017 and beyond…

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Syd'Side
Sep
29
7:00pm 7:00pm

Syd'Side

Syd’Side is a Sydney based Jazz Trio formed in 2017 and featuring Stefano Rocco on guitar, Pablo Puentes on piano/keyboards and Muhamed Mehmedbasic on bass.

The trio provides a selection of jazz standards including compositions of Cole Porter, Jerome Kern, Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie and many others great masters of Jazz.

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Emad Younan
Oct
6
7:00pm 7:00pm

Emad Younan

A unique storyteller, Emad plays both the songs of his brother Jesse Younan and truly inspired covers.  Sappho highly recommends Emad as he is fabulously talented. Hearing him over a few bites and drinks makes for a great night.

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Fergus Bailey
Oct
7
7:00pm 7:00pm

Fergus Bailey

Fergus Bailey is 19 year-old singer-songwriter from Sydney. He plays folk music in the style of Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen, blended with noise rock and shoegaze in the style of The Jesus and Mary Chain and My Bloody Valentine, with a bit of cello and trumpet thrown in for good measure.


Soundcloud: 
https://soundcloud.com/fergus-bailey

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEGb8Lel1Ldn3uFepaGJS5Q

Instagram: 
https://www.instagram.com/fergusbailey/?hl=en

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Emad Younan
Sep
22
7:00pm 7:00pm

Emad Younan

A unique storyteller, Emad plays both the songs of his brother Jesse Younan and truly inspired covers.  Sappho highly recommends Emad as he is fabulously talented. Hearing him over a few bites and drinks makes for a great night.

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Master Tiger
Sep
16
7:00pm 7:00pm

Master Tiger

Master Tiger compose exquisite indie-folk tunes on guitar with textured arrangements of cello, violin, piano, bass, harmonica and tin whistle. Released in 2017, their debut album So Long, Voyager embraces the diverse, ranging from sea-shanty tales to boot-scootin’ jigs and everything in between!

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In Two Parts
Sep
15
7:00pm 7:00pm

In Two Parts

In Two Parts, Sydney cover duo Brendan Gill and Meagan Caratti, a sleek and engaging duo with Meagan’s smooth & versatile vocal, matched with Brendan’s sublime dexterity on acoustic and electric guitars and close harmonies.

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September Poetry Night @Sappho w/ Cahill, Shankar, Webb, and Tu
Sep
12
7:00pm 7:00pm

September Poetry Night @Sappho w/ Cahill, Shankar, Webb, and Tu

On the second Tuesday of September, the poetry night at Sappho will feature Michelle Cahill, Ravi Shankar, Jen Webb, and Jessie Tu, plus the usual open section. Come along from 7pm. Tapas and booze at the bar!

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MICHELLE CAHILL
is a Sydney poet, fiction writer and critic. Her awards include the Val Vallis Poetry Prize, the Hilary Mantel Short Story Prize, the ABR Elizabeth Jolley Prize Shortlist and most recently the NSW Premier’s Literary Award for New Writing for Letter to Pessoa (Giramondo). Vishvarupa was short-listed in the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards. Her essays on poetics, narrative and race have appeared in the Sydney Review of Books, Westerly and The Weekend Australian. She was a Visiting Scholar in Creative Writing at UNC Charlotte and a Fellow at Kingston Writing School. She is reading new poems on grief and mental health, and poems from her most recent book The Herring Lass (Arc). 

RAVI SHANKAR
is the author, editor or translator of over a dozen books, including most recently "The Golden Shovel: New Poems Honoring Gwendolyn Brooks" (University of Arkansas Press, 2017), "What Else Could it Be: Ekphrastics and Collaborations" (Carolina Wren, 2015), and "Andal: The Autobiography of A Goddess" (Zubaan Books/University of Chicago Press, 2016). He has won a Pushcart Prize, a Glenna Luschei Award from Prairie Schooner, appeared on NPR, PBS, the BBC and in such publications as The New York Times, The Paris Review and Caravan, and been awarded many fellowships, including from the Rhode Island Commission on the Arts, the MacDowell Colony and the Corporation of Yaddo. He founded Drunken Boat, one of the world's oldest electronic journals of the arts, and he teaches and performs around the world, most recently for the New York Writers Workshop and as the Writer-in-Residence at Sun Yat-Sen University in Gwangzhou, China. He holds a research fellowship from University of Sydney and his memoir-in-progress is entitled "Correctional." 

JEN WEBB
works at the University of Canberra, and has been published in journals such as Mascara Literary Review, Hecate, New England Review, The Amethyst Review (Canada), Bathtub Gin (USA), The Lake (UK), and in translation, in Poetry and Thought (China). She has been anthologised, including in Page and Kelen's The House is not Quiet and the World is not Calm (Macau); Albiston and Brophy's Prayers of a Secular World; and Tredennick's Australian Love Poems, and her poems have been selected by Les Murray and John Tranter for Best Australian Poems. She has published 7 pamphlet collections, and is ACT editor for the Australian Book Review’s 'States of Poetry' annual anthology; with Paul Hetherington, for the Mandarin/English collection 窗口:当代澳大利亚诗歌—英汉对照选集 | Open Windows: Contemporary Australian Poetry; and with Kavita Nandan, for Writing the Pacific. 

JESSIE TU
Her poems and scripts have appeared in the Australian Book Review, FishFood Magazine and The Voices Project. Winner of 2016 Joseph Furphy Literary Prize in Poetry. She was shortlisted for the Peter Porter Poetry Prize earlier this year. Recently returned from a workshop in creative non-fiction writing at the Iowa Summer Writer's Festival, University of Iowa. 

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OPEN MIC
The open section takes place after the guest poets. Sign up is from 6:30pm on the night at the venue. There will be up to 10 readers, 2 minutes each.

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Michael St. George
Sep
9
7:00pm 7:00pm

Michael St. George

Michael St. George is a multi-media performance dub artiste whose conscious verse and fresh musical sound have earned him international industry awards and peer recognition. A native of Jamaica and inspired by his working-class upbringing, his work primarily focuses on themes of justice, social equity, inter-generational relations and current relevant issues of the day. He has been performing live and recording his music and poetry since 1990. Michael's unique performances and workshops interweave languages and rhythm in a dynamic blend that is inspirational, thought provoking, catalytic and incite constructive conscious change. 

 

MSG has shared stages and studio across the globe with such icons as Oku Onuora, The Last Poets, Culture, Burning Spear, Brinsley Ford, Lillian Allen, Luciano, Thomas Mapfumo, Mutabaruka, Mzwakhe Mbuli, Dennis Bovell and the International Dub Band, Toots and the Maytals, Benjy Myaz, and Boukman Eksperyans. He has also done collaborative work with prominent musicians and producers including Paul Kastic, Dalton Brownie, Orville "Wyz" Malcolm, Iauwata Selassie, Pam Hall, Ifield Paco Joseph, Amara Kante, Muthadi Thomas and Kassa Alexander.

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Jowe E
Aug
19
7:00pm 7:00pm

Jowe E

A multi-instrumentalist and passionate musician, Jowe E recently released her first EP Album entitled Freein' My Mind. She has been known in the scene as the petite songstress with an unexpected soulful powerful voice coupled with her signature guitar techniques. Compared with the likes of Joni Mitchell, Carole King, Bic Runga to name a few, Jowe E shares tales of her travels, life, love and roadtrips through her songs. She has collaborated with musicians across New Zealand as well as Australia, both as a songwriter and as a backup vocalist or dropping beats on the cajon. Jowe E has shared her songs across Canada as part of her world trip, which led her to write the song Freein' My Mind back in 2013. 


 

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Jessie Robins
Aug
5
8:00pm 8:00pm

Jessie Robins

Jessie is singer/songwriter aged 22, based in Brisbane, Australia. She studied a Diploma of Contemporary Music and Performance at JMC Academy in Brisbane. With vocal strength influences from today’s highest selling artists such as Mariah Carey, LeAnn Rimes and Taylor Swift, her musical sound falls under the Pop/Acoustic Genre

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Douglas Aguiar
Aug
4
7:00pm 7:00pm

Douglas Aguiar

Born in Brazil and became a Spanish citizen after living and getting involved with Madrid’s music scene DOUGLAS AGUIAR studied at Villa Lobos Music Conservatory in São Paulo. In 2000 developed his technic and musicality practicing Flamenco guitar in Spain.

2004 saw the launch of his first album “Outras Bossas”. The second album was released in 2008 “Boca a Boca”. From 2009 to 2011 he recorded a series of live video performances which showcased new songs. 

In 2013 he moved to Sydney, and has since been promoting music and culture around Australia

With Latin influences and traveling freely among different Brazilian styles, DOUGLAS AGUIAR offers a wide musical set adding Australian memories from his teenager surf life.

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AUGUST POETRY NIGHT
Aug
1
7:00pm 7:00pm

AUGUST POETRY NIGHT

On the 1st Tuesday of August, the poetry night at Sappho will play host to AVANT GAGA #30, which will feature leading American poet/translator/anthologist Jerome Rothenberg, as well as Peter Minter, Patricia Killelea and Winnie Dunn. There will also be the usual open section, drinks and tapas at the bar, and etcetera. 

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JEROME ROTHENBERG
is an internationally celebrated poet, translator, anthologist, and performer with over ninety books of poetry and twelve assemblages of traditional and avant-garde poetry such as Technicians of the Sacred, Shaking the Pumpkin (traditional American Indian poetry), Exiled in the Word (a.k.a. A Big Jewish Book), and, with Pierre Joris and Jeffrey Robinson, Poems for the Millennium, volumes 1-3. He was a founding figure of ethnopoetics as a combination of poetic practice and theory, and he has been a longtime practitioner and theorist of poetry performance. His most recent big books are Eye of Witness: A Jerome Rothenberg Reader (2013) and Barbaric Vast & Wild: Outside & Subterranean Poetry from Origins to Preset (volume 5 of Poems for the Millennium, 2015). A new book of poems, A Field on Mars: Poems 2000-2015, has just appeared in separate English and French editions.

PETER MINTER
is a poet, poetry editor and writer on poetry and poetics. He teaches creative writing, Australian literature and Indigenous Studies at the University of Sydney, with a research focus in decoloniality, countermodernity and ecopoetics.

PATRICIA KILLELEA
is a mixed-heritage Chicana/Irish-American poet, musician, and scholar. She is the author of the poetry collection Other Suns from Swan Scythe Press, 2011. Originally from the Bay Area, California, she is currently an Assistant Professor of English at Northern Michigan University, where she teaches Creative Writing (Poetry) in their M.F.A. program as well as Native American Literature
courses. She is currently Poetry Editor for the literary journal
Passages North, and the Reviews Editor for the journal As/Us. Patricia earned her Ph.D. in Native American Studies at the University of California, Davis and she holds a Master’s degree in Creative Writing and English, also from UC Davis. She is also a musician and works in digital poetics, producing video poems and other soundscapes. Her poetry films have been featured in Atticus Review, as well as Poetry Film Live and Moving Poems. One of her video poems was recently long-listed for Rabbit Heart Poetry Film Festival (2016).

WINNIE DUNN
is a Tongan-Australian writer from Mt Druitt. She is a manager and editor at Sweatshop: Western Sydney Literacy Movement. Winnie’s work has been published in The Vocal, Voiceworks, The Lifted Brow and The Big Black Thing. She has performed readings for Sydney Festival, Sydney Writers’ Festival, Wollongong Writers’ Festival and Stella Girls Write Up.

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OPEN MIC
The open mic section allows anyone from the audience (up to 10 people) to read a poem of their own (2 mins each). Sign-up is from 6:30 on the night.

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Robert Clancy
Jul
26
7:30pm 7:30pm

Robert Clancy

Robert's first teacher was guitarist Jose Luis Gonzalez, who after 3 years and at the age of 10 in Sydney 1964, took him to play for Andres Segovia. During his teenage years he studied with Don Andrews and Antonio Losada, and performed often with Nicholas Petrou. At the University of Sydney with special encouragement from Winsome Evans he turned to the Renaissance and Baroque lute.
 
After graduating with B.Mus, he won a two year Swiss Government scholarship to study mediaeval and renaissance music at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis in Basel. He studied lute with Hopkinson Smith and Eugen Dombois, and musicology with Thomas Binkley and Sterling Jones amongst others. 

Also teaching at SCB were Jordi Savall and Montserrat Figueras, who invited Robert to play with Hesperion XX in 1980. He was the principal lute player with the group for five years, participating in many concerts and recordings. Some of the regular players at that time included Hopkinson Smith, Ton Koopman, Christophe Coin and Paolo Pandolfo. In 1982 he co-founded the ensemble La Stavaganzawith Enrico Gatti and Rinaldo Alessandrini.  

Returning to Sydney in 1985 he formed The Broken Consort, attracting both state and federal funding and for 12 months performed and recorded with many Australian musicians including Gerald English, Catherine Finnis, Winsome Evans and John O'Donnell. He was given special support by Musica Viva, the ABC and 2MBS-FM. 

In 1986 he developed a neuro-physiological condition in the right hand called focal dystonia which brought to an end his concert career. He continues his work as a computer programmer and is making a return to the stage, much to everyone's delight.

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RED SLUMBER
Jul
23
6:00pm 6:00pm

RED SLUMBER

It's movie night at Sappho! Snuggle up with a mulled wine and a red blanket this Sunday night and get cozy for a sneaky sneak preview of our very own Sappho barman Michael Booth's directorial feature debut, 'Red Slumber'. Proceeds go towards the production of Michael's next film, 'Thirty-Three'. Bookings and further details at:

https://www.trybooking.com/book/event?eid=298274

https://vimeo.com/225036576

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Martial and Solene
Jul
8
7:00pm 7:00pm

Martial and Solene

Four years ago, Martial and Solène started music occasionally. In 2016, they’ve decided to make a break in their life by travelling after being most of their time handball players in France. Now in Australia, they are playing Folk-Rock cover songs such as The LumineersMumford and sonsColdplay and more…

After a two year first band experience at home, The Kentucky French Colorado, which make them discover Folk music, they now harmonize with a guitar and a saxophone to start writing pages of a new adventure…TIAL & SOSS

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Maddy Monjo
Jun
24
7:00pm 7:00pm

Maddy Monjo

Maddy Monjo is a seventeen year old singer-songwriter from Sydney. She first got a taste for performing at age six when she sang Bruce Springsteen's "Thunder Road"- since then, performing has become second nature, and the stage her home. Maddy began writing at age 13 on the old piano in her home's front room. Inspired by the sounds of Janis Joplin and Amy Winehouse, she brings a rawness and passion way beyond her years.

Links to music pages:

https://soundcloud.com/maddymonjo

https://www.facebook.com/monjomusic 

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Boleyn
Jun
10
7:30pm 7:30pm

Boleyn

Boleyn are a local band from the West and Inner West of Sydney. Playing a mix between acoustic and full band rock with a variety of influences from The Beatles , Oasis , Kings Of Leon , Stone Roses and the Arctic Monkeys to name a few, Boleyn are currently focusing on gigging throughout Sydney both acoustically and with a full band with the aim to release some more content in the coming months. 

LINKS : 

Facebook : https://m.facebook.com/boleynmusic/

Soundcloud : https://m.soundcloud.com/boleyn-1/told-me-so

YouTube : https://youtu.be/cvtVg-kS89I

Spotify : https://open.spotify.com/artist/7MvJauOjNpIk73Dd1uwRxz 

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Shirina Holmatova
Jun
9
7:30pm 7:30pm

Shirina Holmatova

Shirina is a singer and songwriter from Sydney, NSW. Shirina’s singing foundation was laid through active involvement at prestigious music/dance schools such as like YABC (Young Australian Broadway Choir), VPAC (Village Performing Arts College), Australian Girls’ Choir etc.

Shirina’s unique vocals and cheerful personality inspire many people when they see her perform and 'lose herself' in her play list.

https://m.facebook.com/ShirinaHol/?ref=bookmarks

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Dean Kerr
May
27
7:00pm 7:00pm

Dean Kerr

Kerr is new to Sydney from Perth and mainly plays rhythm and blues. Since incorporating the looper into his set, the sound has shifted from a traditional piano bar type feel to more of a one man band kind of scenario.

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Poetry Night
May
9
7:00pm 7:00pm

Poetry Night

On the second Tuesday of May, the poetry night at Sappho will feature poets Greg McLaren, Meredith Wattison, Ariel Riveros Pavez and KA Rees, plus the usual open section. Drinks and tapas at the bar. Neon pink lights in the side alley. Free entry. 

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GREG MCLAREN
was until quite recently a Sydney poet but is now a commuting troubadour from the lower Blue Mountains. Probably. He's also a teacher, a sometime critic, and is several things to a number of people. He is the author of five books of poems, including The Kurri Kurri Book of the Dead and Australian ravens, both published by Puncher & Wattmann, and After Han Shan (Flying Islands). His work, such as it is, and if you can be bothered, can be found in Windchimes: Asia in Australian Poetry, Australian Poetry since 1788 (urg), A slow combusting hymn and the recent Contemporary Australian Poetry.

MEREDITH WATTISON
born 1963, a poet and essayist, her 6 books of poetry are Psyche’s Circus (Poetry Australia, 1989), Judith’s Do (Penguin Australia, 1996), Fishwife (Five Islands Press, 2001), The Nihilist Line (Five Islands Press, 2003), Basket of Sunlight (Puncher & Wattmann, 2007) and terra bravura (Puncher & Wattmann, 2015), shortlisted for the 2016 Kenneth Slessor Poetry Prize. Her recent essays have appeared in Cordite, Rabbit and Plumwood Mountain. The 2016 anthologies, Contemporary Australian Feminist Poetry and Contemporary Australian Poetry feature her work.

ARIEL RIVEROS PAVEZ
is a Sydney based writer. His works have appeared in various publications including Southerly, Verity La, Four W, Contrappasso Magazine, Mascara Review and Journal of Postcolonial Text. Ariel has a flash fiction chapbook out “Self Imposed House Arrest” available through Blank Rune Press in Melbourne and won the 2016 Schizophrenia Fellowship of NSW poetry prize. He was founding editor of Australian Latino Press and organizer for the Blue Space Poetry Jam series of events.

K.A. REES
has a Masters in Writing from the University of Sydney. Her poems and short stories have been included in publications by Red Room Company, Australian Review of Fiction, Australian Poetry and Rochford Street Review. She was recently short-listed for the Judith Wright Poetry Prize and has been Poet in residence at the State Library’s café, Trim. Kate lives here in Sydney with her partner, two small children and a cat on three types of heart Medic*tion.

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OPEN MIC
The open section will allow ten audience members to read a poem of their own. 2 minutes each, max. Sign up from 6:30pm on the night.

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Open Mind Mic
Apr
30
7:00pm 7:00pm

Open Mind Mic

Open Mind Mic is a soapbox-style symposium where you can speak your mind. 

It’s a platform to share ideas – like a TED Talk, except with a cocktail menu. 

Each speaker gets a maximum of 10 minutes, followed by a facilitated Q&A/discussion session. 

There is no theme and there are no censors – the only criteria is that your idea is discussion-provoking. You can be as controversial as you like – you just need to be ready to back up your stance during the Q&A. 

The discourse is free, as is the entry!

Doors open: 7pm
First speaker: 7:30pm

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