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Sydney Festival

See our top 20 picks of the 2020 program

Dodecalis Luminarium Sydney Festival 2020 supplied
Photograph: Alan Parkinson

There are plenty of reasons why January is one of the best times to be a Sydneysider: the whole city slows down a bit so we can enjoy those long balmy days outdoors and everybody seems just a little cheerier. But Sydney Festival (Jan 8-26) is at the top of our list.

The annual three-week cultural event takes over the city with an eclectic range of theatre, dance, music, visual arts, community events and cabaret. And the recipe is as eclectic as ever in 2020, with a handful of high profile local and international shows, and a bunch of smaller scale stuff that’ll keep you buzzing for the whole festival.

This year marks director Wesley Enoch’s fourth at the helm, and it’s a program defined by the breadth of new Australian work (and most of it on a pretty big scale), Indigenous work and a stellar kids’ program. Enoch, who is an Australian director and writer, has always had a strong focus on local work, and has commissioned even more for this year. Sydney Festival now claims the title of the biggest commissioner of new Australian work in the country.

So what can you expect from the festival? We’ve picked our highlights, trying to reflect the full diversity of the program as well as the shows we’re sure will challenge, provoke, move, or just entertain the bejesus out of you.

RECOMMENDED: How to score cheap theatre tickets in Sydney.

Sydney Festival 2020 top picks

Radiant Flux - Rebecca Baumann - Carriageworks
Photograph: Daniel Boud

Rebecca Baumann: Radiant Flux

Carriageworks, Eveleigh

Carriageworks has been home to its fair share of large-scale artworks in recent years, including Nick Cave's monumental 'Until' and Daniel Buren's playground of oversized kids' toys. But Rebecca Baumann's 'Radiant Flux' reaches even further, turning the Redfern arts wonderland into a giant kaleidoscope of colour.

Tick off your Sydney bucket list