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Bondi Festival

  • Things to do, Fairs and festivals
  1. Ferris wheel looking out over the sea
    Photograph: Supplied/Bondi Festival
  2. Ice skating
    Photograph: Supplied/Bondi FestivalIce skating at Bondi Festival
  3. A woman in dating attire holding a chicken
    Photograph: Theresa HarrisonOnstage Dating
  4. Two kids with iPads and earphones
    Photograph: Hamish Ta-MéThe Village by the Kids
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Time Out says

Warm up your winter with a playful festival of performance, art and family fun by the beach

Who said Bondi was just a summer destination? After a two-year hiatus, Bondi Festival is back with three big weeks of comedy, dance, theatre and all-ages hands-on activities, plus live readings, audio walks, reflective art and encounters designed to feed your curiosity and get you out and about this winter.

From July 1-17, venues both traditional and unexpected will light up across the suburb for playful and immersive theatre shows, while the beloved Bondi Vista Ferris Wheel and Bondi Festival Ice Rink also make their beachside return.

Audience interactivity takes centre stage in shows like Lyre: A Theatrical Séance, which sees audiences bussed to a secret location for a hilariously terrifying group séance led by magician Harry Milas, and I Liked It, But…, where you’ll join one of Australia’s best dancers for a tongue-in-cheek pub trivia night. Over music, silly stories, vegan meat trays and a few demonstrations, Sydney Dance Company and Chunky Move choreographer Joel Bray will break down the mysteries of contemporary dance.

There’s more laughs to be had over at Badlambs Barbershop with @AbuSalim, a gender-bending comedy that follows self-professed “bardic barber, Lebbo poet and ladies man” from Fairfield, Zac, as he rehearses a new activist poetry show, while at Bondi Bowlo artist Bron Batten goes on real first dates in Onstage Dating, allowing audiences to witness true love blossom (or crash and burn). For a more solitary experience Acqua Profonda: A Trilogy turns the seaside into your theatre, with a trilogy of dramatic audio works designed to be listened to on the beach from your phone. Each story explores the depths and truths our oceans and waterways contain, and is best heard with waves crashing in the background. 

There’s plenty to entertain young ones too. Sparky the Library Van is popping up in Bondi Park with free activities and books galore to take home, and you can explore North Bondi through the eyes of children in The Village by the Kids as mini-guides take you on a trek through their neighbourhood.

In addition to the main program, this year marks the debut of Bondi Festival Local, where local venues present their own arts shows, live music and foodie events. Limited tickets are now on sale for all shows, so book ahead for those that take your fancy.

For bookings or more information, visit the Bondi Festival website.

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