An ice rink with people skating
Photograph: Lucy Parakhina

Get set for three fun-filled weeks as Bondi Festival returns this winter

It’s wintertime in Bondi and that means Sydney’s best beach gets fired up with arts, culture and experiences you can’t find anywhere else in town

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Don’t let the winter chill stand in the way of having a good time. Bondi Festival is back from July 5-21, with three big weeks of comedy, dance, theatre, live music and plenty more fun for all-ages. Whether you’re looking for something out-of-the-ordinary (like experimental theatre or drag king comedy karaoke), or you’re keen for an old school spin around the ice rink, we’ve got you sorted for the best things to do and see at this ocean-side festival. There’s something for everyone (it’s Bondi after all) and most of it is under $36. 

Read on for our top picks.

4 unmissable experiences at Bondi Festival 2024

Play along activities for all ages

For the gamers out there, let your imagination loose in these immersive shows. Part-detective, part-murder-mystery game, Werewolves, returns to Bondi after taking out the Best Interactive Show prize at Adelaide Fringe 2023, tasking you with finding the monster in your midst. Suitable for ages ten and up. Gothic comedy show, Blood on the Clocktower: Live! brings the popular board game to life for a night of utter mayhem, as a group of comedians sort through lies, laughter, ghosts and bad singing to reveal who is the demon of the village. Got a night off from the kids? Or just looking for an excuse to brush up on your drawing skills? Spend an hour with Gladdy Drawing Club. Create your masterpiece under the guidance of guest artists at this interactive and body-positive life drawing class.

Try something new with an out-of-the-ordinary line-up

Burnout Paradise hits Bondi Festival, after a smash run at Melbourne Fringe, from experimental theatre makers Pony Cam. Leave your expectations at the door as this hilariously escalating series of challenges performed on treadmills pushes the limits. For those who have outgrown clubs but still love a night out on the dance floor, meet The Bondi Social. Inspired by the real-deal dance halls of the ‘60s and ‘70s, grab a buddy and get your groove on for a night under the disco ball. Whoever thought to pair wine with comedy was really onto something smart, which you can confirm for yourself at In Pour Taste: A Comedy Wine Tasting Experience, where comedy duo Sweeney Preston and Ethan Cavanagh pair their epic jokes with five tasty wines from artisan wine store Native Drops. Stand up and wine? Yes please. 

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Bring the whole crew for family-friendly fun

Bondi Festival’s beloved Bondi Festival Ice Rink makes its beachside return, offering the perfect outlet for kids to burn off some school holiday steam. While they skate it out, take that special someone on a spin around the Bondi Vista Ferris Wheel, where you’ll get epic views of the beach and can keep an eye on the action below. This year, Gould St Street Party makes its debut as an all-day fiesta taking over Gould Street and Roscoe streets on Saturday, June 20. Marking the final weekend of the festival, this celebration has a jam-packed program with live music, performances, activities, shopping and great food. Artsy families will love the Seaside Sketch Sessions, led by award-winning artist Cameron Stead. Suitable for ages eight and up.  

Enjoy performances from local artists and jump behind the mic

Get your groove on with Bondi Festival’s music events, starting with a soulful tribute to songstress Ruby Hunter on July 6. Proud, Proud Woman: A Ruby Hunter Tribute celebrates the enduring legacy of this trailblazing First Nations artist on the eve of NAIDOC Week, featuring a huge line-up of musicians including Dan Sultan and Emily Wurramara. Next, local musical comedian Ally Morgan premieres her latest show Hymns From My 20s, taking the crowd through an eye-opening tour of her 20s at the intimate Badlambs Barbershop in Bondi. Warm up your vocal chords and get behind the mic at Karaoke with Natali Caro (& Friends), a free and interactive takeover of Bondi Pav Bar with the genre-defying comedian, actor, DJ, drag king and damn good singer. Belt out your best tunes or come along for the spectacle and a drink, overlooking Sydney’s best beach.

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