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Performers pose at Sydney Cricket Ground
Photograph: Supplied/Sydney Mardi Gras

February events in Sydney

Celebrate love in all forms, Lunar New Year and live music this month

Written by
Time Out editors

This summer's weather may have been more soggy than sunny, but the second month of the year is still set to be a steamy time in Sydney. Treat your special someone this Valentine's Day, with a bouquet from the city’s swankiest boutique florists, or celebrate love in all its forms at this year's CovidSafe Mardi Gras celebrations, which kick off with a fabulous series of performances and exhibitions this Feb ahead of next month's arena spectacular. You can also ring in the year of the Ox at one of the vibrant Lunar New Year's celebrations taking place across the city, plus a whole heap more must-see shows, exhibitions and happenings.

RECOMMENDED: The best Bloody Marys in Sydney.

February's biggest events

  • Things to do
  • Markets
  • La Perouse

Sydney’s Blak Markets creates a space to browse stalls spruiking a range of locally made arts, crafts and food from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stallholders – from native plants to award-winning jewellery, silk scarves, and ethically sourced bush foods, there’s an eclectic mix to peruse.

"The Blak Markets are a great chance to buy authentic gifts knowing that 100 per cent of the profits go back into Aboriginal communities," market manager Ash Little said in a press release.

The Markets usually take place bi-monthly on the first Sunday of the month at Bare Island, set on the picturesque point of La Perouse within the Kamay-Botany Bay National Park, an area which is usually only open for tours. It's a great place to teach the kids about Indigenous culture, with a smoking ceremony in the morning as well as weaving and art workshops, and musical performances.

You can also find the Markets on the lawn of the MCA in Circular Quay during NAIDOC Week, with a special edition (Blak Markets in the Rocks) on the weekend of November 14 and 15, between 10am and 5pm. 

Stay tuned for more information on upcoming markets at and the Facebook page. You can also check out and buy from many of the stallholders on the online marketplace on the website, which sprung up during lockdown.

Want more? Check out the best markets in Sydney.

  • Things to do

Once the sun goes down, the party kicks off at the Hyde Park Barracks. Once a month, for the duration of 2021, the heritage site in the middle of lush, green surrounds of Hyde Park will transform into a cultural hub with live beats, a pop-up bar and food offerings as part of Sydney Living Museums' After Dark series. 

After Dark is part of the NSW Government's Up Late initiative that sees cultural institutions throwing open their doors well into the evening. At the series launch on 25 February, FBi Radio will curate a queer-friendly music line-up in the stony surrounds of the Barracks, with music from the likes of Okenyo and JamarzOnMarz, while the outdoor courtyard stage will be lit up by Stereogamous, performing a DJ set and take guests through a guided meditation. You'll also be able to hear the story of one of Australia’s earliest LGBTQI+ figures, bushranger Captain Moonlite AKA Andrew George Scott. Adam Lindsay, executive director of Sydney Living Museums and NSW State Archives will be joined on a fascinating panel by curator and crime specialist Nerida Campbell, criminologist and historian Dr Andy Kaladelfos, and artist Todd Fuller, who has created animations to bring the captain's story to life, which will be projected on the stone walls of the museum. 

An Archie Rose gin pop-up bar will be slinging free drinks on arrival, and you'll get to purchase food provided by OzHarvest all night. Plus, a ticket to the event gets you complimentary museum entry between the first two iterations of the After Dark series, so you can come back to
 explore the immersive experience for free.

Tickets are $25 per person. Book online. Save the date for future events on March 11, April 29, May 27 and June 24. 

  • Film
  • Sydney

You would think that all round legendary bloke and Quandamooka man Wesley Enoch would have his hands full crossing the Ts and dotting the Is of January’s fast-approaching all-Australian Sydney Festival. But somehow he’s also found time to help spread the word  about a brilliant series of short online films examining the aftermath of last summer’s terrifying bushfires, dubbed We Need To Talk About Fire.

Marking the directorial debut of Bridget Ikin – the super-producer behind such notable Australian films as Sherpa and Jirga – the films explore the ongoing impact the fires have had on individuals, community and land. Filming largely at Bundanon in Illaroo, Ikin has captured a range of voices who share Indigenous knowledge systems, stories of community action, healing initiatives and creative responses to changing the way we live with bushfires.

The We Need To Talk About Fire series couldn’t be any timelier as Sydney swelters, and with the knowledge that the last fire season burned a 17 million-hectare swathe through the country, claiming 31 lives on top of an estimated 3 billion animals and insects.

Bundanon CEO Deborah Ely says, “In the middle of the stressful and unpredictable crisis presented by the 2019/20 summer fires, we realised that this experience was shared by our entire community. We understood that the impact would be long and hard, and that Bundanon was uniquely placed to bring people together, to assist in the recovery and to build resilience.”

It’s all about hope and coming together, with Ely adding, “We Need To Talk About Fire was the outcome of multiple conversations with our neighbours, those who assisted us during the fires and those with whom we work – artists, elders, community representatives and those who share our love for the landscape, it’s wildlife and it’s cultural significance.”

You can watch all four films presented by Enoch online here, plus gorge on poems, artist interviews and three exhibitions, plus take a road trip to visit Bundanoon for more food for thought.

Love thought-provoking cinema? Check out Sydney Film Festival at Sydney Festival.

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