Sydney summer festival guide

From boutique festivals with all-Aussie line-ups to blockbuster New Year's Eve extravaganzas, here's everything you need to know about music festivals this summer
People sitting outside at a festival
Photograph: Supplied NYE in the Park will be garden party style from afternoon to early morning
By Time Out editors |

Sure, NSW isn't quite as lackadaisical or arty-farty as our Southern sisters when it comes to throwing festivals (OK, 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 line-ups 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.


Fuck Yeah Hobart The Flaming Lips performance for Mofo 2016 image courtesy Museum of Old and New Art and photographer credit Rémi Chauvin
Photograph: Rémi Chauvin
News, Music


Hobart's going to give Sydney Festival a run for its money come January, as it's taken over by over 200 artists for the Museum of Old and New Art's annual arts and music festival MONA FOMA aka MOFO, headlined by Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Fémina and Breadwoman among a bevvy of eclectic musical gems and oddities.

Saul 2015 Glyndebourne Festival production still 01 photographer credit Bill Cooper
Photograph: Bill Cooper
News, Theatre & Performance

Adelaide Festival

If you like your art epic and/or European, you’re going to really, really enjoy Adelaide Festival’s 2017 program – the first under new co-artistic directors Neil Armfield AO (film and theatre director, former artistic director of Belvoir) and Rachel Heal). Given their pedigree, you kinda know what to expect – opera, auteurist theatre, Australian stories, strong visual arts component. And big names.

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