Sydney’s annual Festival of Dangerous Ideas – an annual gathering of conversations, debates and presentations on controversial topics held at the Sydney Opera House, and co-curated by the wonderful folk at the St James Ethics Centre – has dropped their lineup for 2014, and it’s an absolute cracker.

The yearly convention of big thinkers and challenging topics will this year be headlined by Nadya Tolokonnikova and Masha Alekhina of Russian punk/feminist/activist group Pussy Riot, who will be participating in two talks – one exposing the Russian Gulag, and one on their time in prison, disdain for the Putin regime, and the fight for their own beliefs. Along with Pussy Riot, famed novelist Salman Rushdie will be appearing to discuss his works, along with with his commitment to freedom of expression.

The packed festival lineup features presentations from the likes of Malcolm Fraser, Mark Latham, Jane Caro, Glenn Robbins, Dave O’Neil, John Pilger, and Dan Ilic with the A Rational Fear gang, among many others.

In the past, the festival has played host to speakers including Julian Assange, Jonathan Safran Foer and Philip Nitschke.

The 2014 incarnation of the Festival of Dangerous Ideas will be held on August the 30th and 31st. Tickets go on sale from Monday, June 30th.

You can check out the full program for yourself here.

Photo: Win McNamee via Getty Images.