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Ten reasons to go to Sydney Festival

Head north in January 2017 for three weeks of theatre, dance, circus, music and arts
The Beach
Photograph: Noah Kalina

January is Sydney's favourite month of the year thanks to Sydney Festival. The three-week celebration of summer in the city includes 150 events across theatre, dance, circus, music and arts, and is well worth the plane (or road) trip up to catch as much of the action as possible. This year is festival director Wesley Enoch’s first program and he’s brought with him a renewed focus on new Australian work, a deepening of our connections to country and languages, and lots of accessible public art. In fact, there are 73 free events on the program. Take a look at our top ten picks of the program, which all take place between January 7-29.

Top 10 picks of Sydney Festival 2017

The Encounter 2017 Sydney Festival supplied photo photographer credit Chloe Courtney
Photograph: Chloe Courtney

The Encounter

Complicite's one-man show takes audience members on McIntyre's journey into the depths of the Amazon.

Nick Cave sitting at a piano, writing
Photograph: Kerry Brown

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds will be performing their 16th studio album Skeleton Tree.

House of Mirrors as part of Sydney Festival

House of Mirrors

Step inside the maze of disorienting optical illusions and stumble around as you try to find your way back out again.

Another Day in Paradise Myuran Sukumaran 2016 Sydney Festival supplied image Self Portrait by Myuran Sukumaran

Another Day in Paradise

Campbelltown Arts Centre will host the first major survey of artworks by the late Myuran Sukumaran.

Two acrobats in performance
Photograph: Sarah Walker


There’ll be a big top in Prince Alfred Square, where you can seean impressive display of acrobatic skills.

Champions by FORM Dance Projects 2017 Sydney Festival hero shot 1 photographer credit Heidrun Lӧhr
Photograph: Heidrun Lӧhr


Eleven female dancers perform a fusion of choreography and footy moves, with commentary by Mel McLaughlin.

The Beach
Photograph: Noah Kalina

The Beach

Sydney Festival is making a giant ball pit in the Cutaway at Barangaroo with 1.1 million recyclable polyethylene balls.

Thelma Plum profile shot, looking to camera
Photograph: Cole Benetts

1967 Music in the Key of Yes

This special performance marks the 50th anniversary of Australia’s 1967 Indigenous rights referendum.

Measure For Measure 2017 Sydney Festival Cheek by Jowl production still 01 photographer credit Johan Persson
Photograph: Johan Persson

Measure for Measure

Satire is paired with intense performances to tell a tale set in Putin's Russia.

Briefs The Second Coming 2017 Sydney Festival hero shot 1 photographer credit Chantel Concei
Photograph: Chantel Concei


Briefs are a collective of male burlesque, drag and circus superheroes that formed in Brisbane's underground in 2008.

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