Sydney Summer Festival Guide
Sure, NSW isn't quite as lackadaisical or arty-farty as our Southern sisters when it comes to throwing festivals (okay, we're downright draconian), but there are plenty of hardworking promoters and party planners who are willing to wrestle with this state's byzantine bureaucracy and puritanical licensing laws in order to make fun times happen for small (and really, really large) groups of people. From lineups that champion the new and local, like one stage Parra festival FOMO to New Year's Eve blowouts in exotic locations (we see you Lost Paradise, Falls Festival) there's plenty to love. And, if you insist on a BYO, no-dickheads experience, you can always fly to Victoria or Tasmania.
The best clubs in Sydney
Sydney's nightlife scene has been through tumutulous times since the introduction of the lockout laws, with clubs and late night venues hit the hardest. Hats off to the venues still giving Sydneysiders a place to boogie – and the producers and DJs still dishing out stellar soundtracks. There's live music, juice bars, drag shows, cabaret and even bowling alleys, which will lure even the most sceptical clubber to one of Sydney's favourite nightspots.
Where to see free live music every night of the week
Liven up your Tuesday with some old school funk or or get yourself through hump day at a mid-week gig. Whatever night you choose, there's plenty of free live concerts every night of the week to get you groovin', right across the city and its surrounds.
Your guide to Sydney's music scene
Your guide to Sydney nightlife
Shows to book now
Any aspirant highschool guitarist worth her salt will remember the shiver they got the first time they picked out 'B-E-B-E-B-E-B-E-B-E-B-E-down-up-strums'. Now, after more than half a decade between tours, The Pixies are returning to blast us with the simple magic of 'Where Is My Mind', along with tracks from their September 2016 album Head Carrier. This will be only the second time The Pixies have hit our shores without founding bassist Kim Deal (she's off releasing solo material). As with their Vivid shows in 2014, Deal has been replaced in the lineup by Paz Lenchatin, formerly of A Perfect Circle. She's been touring with the band since shortly after Deal left, and became an official member of The Pixies in July of 2016. Tickets go on sale September 2.
If you've seen Nicole Car sing, then you'll know she's got the vocal chops to pull of this role – but does she have the naughty streak? She'll need it to play Egyptian courtesan Thaïs, whose powers of seduction are enough to divert the evangelising monk Athanaël from virtue to vice – or at least, lust. Singing opposite her is Québecois baritone Étienne Dupuis. This will be a one-night-only staged concert – no set design or props, just a costumed cast and orchestra. Single tickets for Thaîs are available from October 12. Until then, you can purchase tickets as part of a subscription. See what else is in the Opera Australia 2017 season.