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May events in Sydney

There are heaps of events to look forward to this month

Photograph: Sydney Writers Festival

Winter is on the way but that's no reason to stay indoors, Sydneysiders make the most of ‘thinking season’ with talks and ideas festivals like Sydney Writers’ Festival, Vivid Ideas and Semi-Permanent. It’s also whale-watching season and the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition. Don’t forget Mothers’ Day! We’ve got lists of the best florists in Sydney

The biggest events in May

GABS Beer, Cider and Food Fest


The GABS Beer, Cider and Food Fest was dreamt up by the Local Taphouse owners Steve Jeffares and Guy Greenstone over a drink in 2011. Now, the beer and cider extravaganza will be hitting up Sydney Showground. In addition to the beer stalls from local and international brewers, the SpecTapular beer festival will also have 180 different festival beers on tap – beers brewed exclusively for the festival – which is the most the festival has ever had. 

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Sydney Showground , Sydney Olympic Park Saturday May 27 2017

Green Day

Nineties punk heroes Green Day are returning Down Under, having sold out their 2009 21st Century Breakdown tour, with their brand-new album Revolution Radio. Formed in California in the late ’80s, and breaking through into mainstream success with their 1994 album Dookie, the group (Billie Joe Armstrong, Mike Dirnt and Tré Cool) have successfully married a cynical view of contemporary American politics with blistering pop punk.  Fans will be happy to hear that their 2010 Broadway hit American Idiot is also making its Australian premiere in 2017.

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Qudos Bank Arena , Sydney Olympic Park Wednesday May 10 2017

Vivid Sydney


Vivid is the largest winter festival in the Southern Hemisphere, running over 23 days and nights with an extensive program of Light, Music and Ideas events. Last year, visitors flocked to the cathedral of lights in the Botanic Gardens and took thousands of shots of the Sydney Opera House lit with ‘Songlines’. They heard talks from game-changers Spike Jonze, Beau Willimon and Margaret Zhang. Plus, they let people sleepover at the Opera House. The full Vivid Sydney program is announced on Tuesday March 14.

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Around Sydney , Sydney Friday May 26 2017 - Saturday June 17 2017

The Bodyguard

Premiering on London's West End in 2012, Alexander Dinelaris's musical version of The Bodyguard is based on the 1992 film starring your ’90s boyfriend Kevin Costner as an ex-Secret Service agent hired to protect a superstar from her stalker, and Whitney Houston as the damsel-in-distress, Rachel Marron. It's coming to Australia in 2017 (thanks to producers Michael Harrison, David Ian and John Frost) with Fijian-born singer-songwriter and original Australian Idol Paulini making her theatrical debut in the role of Rachel Marron, and the rest of the cast TBC. Tickets are on sale from October 31. Check out what Time Out London said about The Bodyguard.

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Sydney Lyric , Darling Harbour Tuesday April 25 2017 - Sunday July 2 2017

John Olsen: The You Beaut Country

This exhibition, jointly conceived with the National Gallery of Victoria, represents the most comprehensive survey of Olsens work to date, spanning seven decades and various mediums – from his best-known paintings to ceramics, tapestries and works on paper.  The focal point for the exhibition, and its namesake, is the 'You beaut country' landscape series from the ’60s. Olsen painted these after a stint studying in Europe, during which time he developed his unique vision of the Australian landscape.

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Art Gallery of NSW , Sydney Until Monday June 12 2017