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 music venues in Sydney
Want to catch some live music? Whether it's a big name international or a local indie band, Sydney's got a bunch bangin' live music venues, ready to please your ears and entertain you
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.
The Sydney musicians you need to know
We scoured Sydney to showcase some of the best up-and-coming musicians
It's the eternal dilemma any festival-goer is all too familiar with – the inevitable festival clash. Touring agency BBE is turning the old festival adage on its head by hosting a new festival that's taking things back to basics by having just one stage, meaning no clashes. This doesn't mean that they've skipped on the line-up, dishing out a packed out day of electronic, pop and festival favourites. FOMO Festival 2017 line-up:FlosstradamusEmpire of the SunPeking DukJmeGoldlinkMetro BoominHannah WantsSlumberjackGeorge MapleFekiMaribelleLastlings
The Falls Music and Arts Festival started as a humble music gathering in the early '90s in Lorne, Victoria. Fast forward to 2016 and the festival is now one of the crowning jewels in they Australian festival calendar. Byron Bay will host its fourth annual Falls Festival, running from New Years Eve until January 2nd. If you can't make it to Byron Falls also takes place in Lorne, Marian Bay and the new addition of Fremantle. Falls line-up:Childish GambinoLondon GrammarThe AvalanchesViolent SohoMatt CorbyAlison WonderlandCatfish and the BottlemenFat Freddy's DropTa-KuThe RubensThe JezabelsBall Park MusicGrouploveBernard FanningJamie TBroodsTkay MaidzaGrandmaster FlashIllyMØHot Dub Time MachineDMA'SAlunaGeorgeBooka ShadeClient LiaisonVallis AlpsParquet CourtsCity Calm DownL D R UModern BaseballTired LionRemiRy-XMarlon WilliamsLemaitreShura
So Frenchy So Chic
So Frenchy So Chic is back for a fourth year at new stomping grounds, but with all the fancy trimmings that we’ve come to expect from the wildly popular French-style picnic in the park. The line-up on stage includes the energetic six-piece Deluxe, who blur the lines between hip-hop, soul and pop; the Limiñanas sing in English and French with a sensual 1960s vibe; actor-poet-folk musician Bertrand Belin will bring his catchy tunes from Paris to Bicentennial Park; and festival royalty Nouvelle Vague are back with new songs form their latest album I could be happy plus covers of Joy Division’s ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’ and the Clash’s ‘Guns of Brixton’. Of course, one of the best things about so Frenchy is spending the day drinking Champagne on the grass. If you’re smart, you’ll pre-order the hampers from Simmone Logue, which include quiche with buttery crème fraiche pastry, goose-egg meringues and charcuterie and cheese platters. Prefer to buy on the day? There’ll be stallholders selling French delicacies like oysters, foie gras, raclette, crêpes and macarons. Plus, the Laurent Perrier bar will be open for bubbles, rosé and cocktails. So Frenchy is a family-friendly festival and kids under 12 can attend free of charge. They’ll have activities to entertain the enfant terrible, from face painting to bubble artists, drumming classes and lawn games like pétanque and croquet.
St Jerome's Laneway Festival has managed to go from just that – a festival in the backstreets of Melbourne for friends – to an internationally renowned tastemaker in a matter of year. 2017 will be no different, when the festival returns to the Sydney College of the Arts for a day of grassy fun.
Your guide to Sydney's music scene
The best bars in Sydney for live music
Despite the loss of some great pub-based music venues (RIP the Annandale and the Hoey), you can still catch the live gigs at these locals
Sydney's best music tees
Merch is a hot commodity for any music fan – so who's dealing the best tees?
The best music shops in Sydney
Here are the places you can still indulge in the old ways of comsuming music – your ears will thank you
Sydney's nightlife leaders
Meet the folks fighting the good fight
Sydney DJs to watch
Meet the Sydneysiders ruling the ones and twos
Your guide to Sydney nightlife
The best free parties in Sydney
Low on dollars but high on good times
Late night venues without a lockout
Outside the lockout zone there are plenty of late-night options in town to keep your evening rolling along
Where to party on weeknights in Sydney
Get the club going up on a Tuesday
The best gay party spots in Sydney
From old favourites to new hot spots
Sydney's party crews
Meet the people that make sure you have a dancefloor destination every weekend
The best pick up bars in Sydney
In these days of app-based dating the idea of meeting someone in the real world can sound fanciful, but we swear, it happens
Shows to book now
You'd have to have been living under a rock to have not heard of Flume in the past few years. The Manly raised electronic producer has steadily built a name for himself as a poster boy for the 'Australian sound' and the 23-year-old is just on the verge of releasing his second album Skin (which is already showing promising signs with singles like 'Never Be Like You' and 'Smoke and Retribution' proving he may just avoid the ol' sophomore slump). To continue his world domination Harley Streten will be heading out on a massive world wide tour, capping the 70-date stretch off back home, with a huge arena show at the Qudos Bank Arena (formerly known as Allphones). ).
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.
B*Witched, Atomic Kitten, S Club 3 and East 17
If you're reading this, you've gone back in time to 2002 because for no apparent reason Atomic Kitten, B*Witched, S Club 3, and boy band East 17 are doing a joint tour of Australia in 2017. Touching down in February next year, early 2000s Brit-pop stars will perform in Luna Park's Big Top. Times have definitely changed in the the decade since these groups were in last on the charts; S Club 7's club members have dwindled to just three of the original members: Jo O'Meara, Paul Cattermole, and Bradley McIntosh. The tour announcement of the UK pop extravaganza even came along with a helpful poster notifying readers of each group's popular hits during their early noughties heyday – though we're sure true fans won't need any reminding.
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.