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Sydney summer festival guide

Stay hydrated and crowd surf through our picks of the best music festivals to rage in this summer

People sitting outside at a festival
Photograph: Supplied
By Time Out editors |

The season for outdoor celebration has begun. Our city will heave with music loving throngs as fans make pilgrimages to temporary party pockets throughout Sydney and all over NSW. From line-ups that champion the new and local, like the DIY-loving Nag Nag Nag to New Year's Eve blowouts in bush-fringed locations, like Falls Festival, there's plenty to love. So fire up your group message and get tickets for the whole gang, here's everything you need to know about music festivals this summer.

Before you head off in a Native American headdress, check-in with our guide on how to not be a dickhead at music festivals. Or, if you're staying put over summer but want a rager quick-fix, peruse our best clubs, queer-friendly parties, and retro dancefloor guides for a guaranteed good time.

Travel further for the festival fix

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.

More to explore