November events in Sydney

See out spring with a host of community festivals, comedy shows and arts exhibitions
Musician on stage at Newtown Festival
Photograph: Supplied
Advertising

While we love our spring beach days, and it may be warm enough to lose the jacket, it's not guaranteed bikini temperatures every weekend. Luckily, November is packed with annual festivals like Newtown Festival, Sydney Open and the Festival of Dangerous Ideas to keep us occupied no matter the forecast. Plus, Sydney's best laneways are everpresent for exploring hidden streets, little shopping lanes and wonderful food and drink venues. 

Celebrating? Be sure to book a table at one of our recently crowned 50 best restaurants

RECOMMENDED: Food and drink festivals in Sydney.

November's biggest events

1
Childish Gambino press image
Photograph: Brandon LeGallez
Music, Rap, hip hop and R&B

Childish Gambino

icon-location-pin Sydney
icon-calendar

The Grammy, Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winning polymath is gearing up to deliver two back-to-back shows (of the musical variety) on the forecourt of Sydney Opera House in November. 

2
People at festival pose holding a sausage dog.
Things to do, Fairs and festivals

Newtown Festival

icon-location-pin Newtown
icon-calendar

It’s the big 4-0 for this inclusive Inner West party celebrating Newtown’s tight-knit community with music, art, food, markets and animal friends. Heaps Gay will get the glitter ball rolling with a karaoke dance party, before you head to the live music stages.

Advertising
3
Woman holding hands over her face with dark fingers
Photograph: Supplied
Things to do, Fairs and festivals

Festival of Dangerous Ideas

icon-location-pin Sydney
icon-calendar

A lot’s changed for the Festival of Dangerous Ideas, including switching up the location from Sydney Opera House to one of the most storied islands in our harbour. Speakers will tackle unconventional topics, from sex robots to tying yourself up in lies and rope.

4
Nick Cave "Until"
Photograph: James Prinz
Art, Installation

Nick Cave: Until

icon-location-pin Eveleigh
icon-calendar

American artist Nick Cave – not to be confused with the Australian singer-songwriter – is bringing 16,000 wind spinners, 24 chandeliers, 10 miles of crystals, thousands of ceramic birds and one crocodile to Sydney. Cave’s Until is a mammoth new installation work coming to Carriageworks from November 23. 

Advertising
5
JAALA musician
Photograph: Supplied
Music, Music festivals

FBi Turns 15 Festival

icon-location-pin Camperdown
icon-calendar

The three-stage party at Manning House will feature exclusively Australian acts, headlined by Australian Music Prize winners Cloud Control, psychedelic punk-rock group Tropical Fuck Storm, hip hop powerhouse Sampa the Great and CC:DISCO!.

6
Grosvenor Place Photo Brett Boardman for Sydney Living Museums.jpg
Photograph: Brett Boardman
Things to do, Walks and tours

Sydney Open

icon-location-pin Sydney
icon-calendar

Sydney Open is a chance to have a stickybeak in the landmark buildings that make up the city’s skyline and gain access to otherwise closed off spaces over one weekend, like ancient fraternal organisation headquarters or the building that inspired a 1930s moneybox. 

Advertising
7
A Cheery Soul Sydney Theatre Company 2018 supplied pic
Photograph: Rene Vaile
Theatre, Drama

A Cheery Soul

icon-location-pin Sydney
icon-calendar

Penned by Patrick White in 1963, A Cheery Soul presents the aggressively sensible Miss Docker. She's lived a good and decent life but finds herself on the brink of homelessness. Will the good people of Sarsaprilla be able to help Miss Docker back on her feet?

8
Profile of young woman.
Photograph: Supplied
Things to do, Talks and discussions

Feminist Writers Festival

icon-location-pin Ultimo
icon-calendar

This fledgling feminist event was established in 2016 to support feminist writers by gathering together the country’s finest activists and literary minds to unravel the intersection of storytelling, social justice and womens’ lives. It’ll make its way to Sydney for the first time this year, with three days of interactive discussions and activities.

Advertising
9
Estelle British singer
Photograph: Supplied
Music, Music festivals

RnB Fridays Live

icon-location-pin Sydney Olympic Park
icon-calendar

Returning with a whopping line-up of ’00s musical legends, the next R’n'B Fridays Live is bringing out eight-time Grammy Award winner Usher, ‘Turn Down For What’ party starter Lil Jon, Salt-N-Pepa, T-Pain, ‘Mr. Steal Your Girl’ Trey Songz, Eve and ‘American Boy’ Estelle. 

10
Oh Lucy still with Josh Hartnett
Photograph: © Oh Lucy, LLC
Film, Film festivals

Japanese Film Festival

icon-location-pin Sydney
icon-calendar

This year, the festival will feature romantic detective mystery Destiny: The Tale of Kamakura, which many people are calling a live-action version of the Studio Ghibli classic Spirited Away. Another highlight of the program is the low-budget but high-concept take on the zombie comedy genre One Cut of the Dead.

Advertising
11
The Catherine Tate Show Live 2017 supplied image credit: Matt Crockett
Photograph: Matt Crockett
Comedy, Sketch

Catherine Tate

icon-location-pin Sydney
icon-calendar

The Catherine Tate Show hasn't been on the air since 2009, but the characters and catch phrases created by Tate have taken off in the years since. Now she's bringing The Catherine Tate Show - Live to Australia for the first time, after a huge tour around the UK in 2016. 

12
Zoe Coombs Marr: Bossy Bottom MICF 2018 photo supplied
Photograph: Supplied
Comedy, Stand Up

Zoë Coombs Marr: Bossy Bottom

icon-location-pin Redfern
icon-calendar

After as her shitty, sexist alter-ego ‘Dave’ for the last six years, Coombs Marr is abandoning him to perform a more traditional stand-up set as herself in Bossy Bottom. But her promise of “just jokes” is quickly proven false. 

Time Out says
Advertising
13
Things to do, Food and drink

Wine Island

icon-location-pin Sydney
icon-calendar

Running over three days, guests will be ferried from the Man O War steps to the island with a bubbly Bellini in hand. Once on land they can kick back, enjoy the island soundtrack and sample exciting wines and well-paired dishes from some of Sydney's best. 

14
Sam Smith with hand on his head
Photograph: Supplied
Music, Pop

Sam Smith

icon-location-pin Sydney Olympic Park
icon-calendar

The soulful UK singer-songwriter is returning to Australia this November for the first time in three years, supporting his latest album The Thrill of It All. Since his last visit, he’s accumulated a colossal cache of metalware from ARIA, the Golden Globes, the Brits and the Grammys.

Advertising
15
People doing yoga with their dogs
Photograph: Supplied
Things to do, Fairs and festivals

Double Bay Street Festival

icon-location-pin Double Bay
icon-calendar

The much-loved Double Bay Street Festival attracts 80,000 people each year. Your pup will be thoroughly entertained with doggy-friendly yoga, a ball pit, treats and a magician. If you don’t have a pooch you can still join in the fun by watching the rescue dog parade. 

16
Ken Jeong in still from the Hangover
Comedy, Stand Up

Ken Jeong Live

icon-location-pin Sydney
icon-calendar

You might remember him as Leslie Chow from the Hangover trilogy or the wise-cracking doctor in Judd Apatow's Knocked Up, but if you didn't know actor Ken Jeong is also an accomplished stand-up comedian, and he'll be performing live in Sydney for the first time in November.

Advertising
17
David Goldblatt Museum of Contemporary Art 2018
Image courtesy the artist and Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg © the artist
Art, Photography

David Goldblatt: Photographs 1948–2018

icon-location-pin The Rocks
icon-calendar

The MCA is presenting an exhibition of mostly black-and-white photos by South African photographer David Goldblatt. If you're not part of the art world, you probably won't have heard of Goldblatt, whose images have traced the changing face of South Africa from the start of apartheid through to its dismantling. 

18
Women dancing at Sydney Opera House in Dance Rites
Photograph: Joseph Mayers
Things to do, Fairs and festivals

Dance Rites

icon-location-pin Sydney
icon-calendar

This nation-wide Indigenous dance competition celebrates long-standing cultural traditions and welcomes performers of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities from across Australia. Dressed in traditional skin markings, they'll present three choreographed numbers including a welcome and farewell dance, and a freestyle piece. 

Advertising
19
John C Reilly and Steve Coogan in Stan and Ollie
Photograph: Supplied
Film, Film festivals

British Film Festival

icon-location-pin Sydney
icon-calendar

Among the movies playing is the Keira Knightley-helmed Colette, which tells the true story of 19th-century French writer Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette. Led by Michael Caine and an all-star British cast, King of Thieves is a comedic retelling of the Hatton Garden robbery.

20
Warm Bodies Cement Fondu 2018
Adham Faramawy, 'Makeup Tutorial', 2018, video still
Art

Warm Bodies

icon-location-pin Darlinghurst
icon-calendar

Visitors can walk through a room-sized haunted house installation which reimagines and recreates scenes from gory B-grade horror flicks, catch the Australian premiere of choreographer Angela Goh’s new work 'Body Loss', and see works by international artists Loretta Fahrenholz and Phillip Stearns. 

Advertising
21
A wide shot of the crowd sitting down in front of the large scre
Photograph: Moonlight Cinema
Film, Outdoor cinema

Moonlight Cinema

icon-location-pin Centennial Park
icon-calendar

There's nothing quite like a film under the stars in the beautiful surrounds at Belvedere Amphitheatre in Centennial Park. Settle in for a movie and as always, the Moonlight Cinema food truck and bar can supply you with comestibles, but you're welcome to BYO food and drinks, too.  

22
Members of Smash Mouth on stage
Photograph: Creative Commons
Music, Rock and indie

Smash Mouth

icon-location-pin Newtown
icon-calendar

The tour will be the band’s first visit down under in five years, and they’ll be headed to Sydney first. You can expect to hear all their hits including ‘All Star’, ‘Why Can’t We Be Friends’, ‘I’m A Believer’ and ‘Can’t Get Enough of You Baby’.

Advertising
23
Madiba the Musical Comedy Theatre 2018 photo credit: Julien Vachon
Photograph: Julien Vachon
Theatre, Musicals

Madiba the Musical

icon-location-pin Sydney
icon-calendar

Next year marks the 25th anniversary of the end of apartheid in South Africa and the election of Nelson Mandela. So it’s fitting that the first English language version of Madiba the Musical – A Celebration of the Life of Nelson Mandela opens in Australia this month. 

24
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone image.
Photograph: Warner Bros
Things to do

Harry Potter Marathon

icon-location-pin Cremorne
icon-calendar

Before Harry Potter and the Cursed Child makes its Australian debut next year, relive the first years' journey on the Hogwarts boats through to the final horcrux reveal at this two-day Harry Potter Marathon at the Hayden Orpheum Picture Palace.

Advertising
25
The Tap Pack Sydney Opera House 2018
Photograph: Supplied
Dance

The Tap Pack

icon-location-pin Sydney
icon-calendar

Picking up where the Frank Sinatra and the rest of the original Rat Pack left off, the slick-suited Tap Pack dance and banter to a literally toe-tapping soundtrack from the likes of Sinatra, Ed Sheeran, Michael Buble and Beyoncé. 

26
Dionne Warwick
Photograph: Supplied
Music, Funk, soul and disco

Dionne Warwick

icon-location-pin Darling Harbour
icon-calendar

Warwick is beloved by millions of fans worldwide and has a whopping five Grammy awards to her name. She's most known for hits such as 'I'll Never Love This Way Again', 'Walk on By', 'A House is Not a Home' and 'Say a Little Prayer for You'.

Advertising
27
Reggie Watts Just for Laughs 2018 photo supplied
Photograph: Supplied
Comedy

Reggie Watts

icon-location-pin Sydney
icon-calendar

Reggie Watts might now be best known as the leader of the house band for The Late Late Show with James Corden, but he's long performed his own brilliant shows of musical improv, using just his voice and a loop pedal. 

28
Sydney Beer Week Sponsored Content
Photograph: Supplied
Things to do, Fairs and festivals

Sydney Beer Week

icon-location-pin Sydney
icon-calendar

Sydney's own dedicated beer festival is back to celebrate brewers, pints, paddles, tinnies, taps, breweries, slabs, schooners and everything in between. The 10-day celebration will host tap takeovers, brewery tours, meet the brewer sessions, workshops, tours and dinners.

Advertising
29
Belle's Hot Chicken burger
Photograph: Nikki To
Things to do, Food and drink

Rulers of the Roost

icon-location-pin Forest Lodge
icon-calendar

Belle's Hot Chicken will host a collaborative chef dinner, where head chef Morgan McGlone will step out of the kitchen and invite Shannon Martinez (of Melbourne's Smith and Daughters) to take the helm creating signature dishes on November 4.

30
Sculpture by the Sea 2017
Art, Galleries

Sculpture by the Sea

icon-location-pin Bondi
icon-calendar

Now in its 22nd year, Sculpture by the Sea is one of Sydney's key annual arts events, drawing more than 500,000 to the 2km coastal walk from Bondi to Tamarama to enjoy site-specific sculptures by top artists and emerging talents from Australia and abroad.

Advertising
31
Real Festival
Photograph: Supplied
Things to do, Fairs and festivals

Penrith Real Festival

icon-location-pin Western Sydney
icon-calendar

Over two days (November 2-3) Real Festival will line the banks of Penrith's Nepean River with artists, performers, food trucks, market stalls and music. It's free to attend and welcomes the whole family. 

32
band standing in front of a motel on a sunny street
Photograph: Ali Lander-Shindler
Music, Pop

The Rubens

icon-location-pin Newtown
icon-calendar

The Ruben's are on a repeat journey to Sydney to share their album Lo La Ru after their successful Opera House show back in March. Their groovy, pop-rock sound will be complemented with support from Little May.

Advertising
33
Star Wars Identities: The Exhibition
Museums, Science

Star Wars Identities: The Exhibition

icon-location-pin Ultimo
icon-calendar

Have you ever wondered which Star Wars character you most resemble? In this new exhibition you’ll be invited to journey to a galaxy far, far away to create your own Star Wars identity, using specialist technology and rooms of Star Wars costumes, models, props and artwork. 

34
Aspects of Love Hayes Theatre 2018
Photograph: Chris Parker
Theatre, Musicals

Aspects of Love

icon-location-pin Elizabeth Bay
icon-calendar

Aspects of Love is an intimate piece focusing on the relationship between an actress called Rose and a young student Alex, who becomes obsessed with her while travelling through France. It's based on a David Garnett novella of the same name and takes place across 17 years.

Advertising
35
Katherine Sabbath poses with a pink cake.
Photograph: Supplied
Things to do, Expos and conventions

Cake Bake and Sweets Show

icon-location-pin Darling Harbour
icon-calendar

You won’t find any Shake ‘n Bake at the Cake Bake and Sweets Show – this flour-covered expo only dishes out top tier sweet treats. There’s masterclasses, cake-decorating competitions, workshops and cooking demonstrations for home bakers, and plenty of taste-testing opportunities.

36
Grand Designs host Kevin McCloud
Photograph: Glenn Dearing
Things to do, Talks and discussions

An Evening with Kevin McCloud

icon-location-pin Sydney
icon-calendar

Grand Designs host Kevin McCloud is returning to Australia for an exclusive appearance in conversation with Man About the House presenter and comedian Tim Ross. The pair will take to the Concert Hall stage in one of the most recognisable buildings in the world to chew the architectural fat.

Advertising
37
Landless Bodies Casula Powerhouse 2018
Fatima Mazmouz, 'Super Oum', 2009 (video still)
Art

Landless Bodies

icon-location-pin Casula
icon-calendar

How does the experience of being female transcend our geographic and cultural boundaries? Six Arab women artists from Morocco and Australia explore ideas of female identity and body politics in the domestic and public realms in a new exhibition.

38
Dancers in colourful national dress
Photograph: Supplied
Things to do, Fairs and festivals

New Beginnings Festival

icon-location-pin Sydney
icon-calendar

This big day of culture in Tumbalong Park will showcase the skills and talents of Sydneysiders who came to Australia as refugees, those seeking asylum and others who have recently migrated to this fine city. 

Advertising
39
People walking down steps at Opera House at Sunrise on the Steps
Things to do, Classes and workshops

Sunrise on the Steps

icon-location-pin Sydney
icon-calendar

Sydney Opera House is bringing back its popular morning yoga classes on the outside steps of the landmark building. The 60-minute classes take place on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays with views of the Botanic Gardens and Sydney Harbour. 

40
Olafur Arnalds press image in front of blue background
Photograph: Supplied
Music, Dance and electronic

Ólafur Arnalds

icon-location-pin Sydney
icon-calendar

Icelandic multi-instrumentalist Ólafur Arnalds returns to our shores for the first time in three years to debut his new album Re:member. He’ll introduce his new futuristic software ‘Stratus’, for the first time, which is enable two self-playing pianos in his performance.

Advertising
41
Plants at Plants that Bite
Things to do, Exhibitions

Plants with Bite

icon-location-pin Sydney
icon-calendar

Budding horticulturalists who like plants with attitude should head to the Royal Botanical Gardens for a free exhibition of carnivorous greenery. The Calyx will be filled with 25,000 of the world’s hungriest, most clever plants. 

42
Mo Gilligan 2018 Just For Laughs
Photograph: Yoshitaka Kono
Comedy, Stand Up

Mo Gilligan

icon-location-pin Marrickville
icon-calendar

A little over a year ago, Mo Gilligan was working in a Levi's shop in Covent Garden. Now he's touring the world and selling out stand-up gigs. He's headed to Sydney as part of Just for Laughs. 

Advertising
43
Modern masters from the Hermitage 2018 AGNSW Matisse
Art, Galleries

Masters of modern art from the Hermitage

icon-location-pin Sydney
icon-calendar

There are more than 3 million items held in the Hermitage – and most aren't on permanent display – so picking works for a single exhibition is a bit of a tough ask. But this exhibition focuses on works from the late 19th century and the early 20th century.

44
Art hanging from roof at White Rabbit Gallery Super Natural Exhi
Art, Galleries

Supernatural: Visions of the Future

icon-location-pin Chippendale
icon-calendar

The foyer installation at White Rabbit always sets the tone for each exhibition, but the one that greets visitors to Supernatural is a pretty big statement. Hanging high above the gallery are ten life-like nude figures, with the body of a man, but from the chest up they’re dragonflies.

Advertising
45
Group of Halloween dressed people.
Photograph: Supplied
Things to do, Pop-up locations

Jurassic Lounge: Halloween

icon-location-pin Darlinghurst
icon-calendar

Museums become eerie places after dark, so the Australian Museum is using their historic halls as the setting for a huge Halloween party. On the evening of October 27, you can get all tizzed up for a night of music, interactive games and celebratory feasting and drinking.

46
Degenerate Art Old Fitz Theatre 2018
Photograph: John Marmaras
Theatre, Drama

Degenerate Art

icon-location-pin Wooloomooloo
icon-calendar

Between 1933 and 1945, one-fifth of all Europe’s artworks were looted or had their sales coerced by the Nazis. So how did one man come to believe he could shape the cultural history of Europe? Writer, actor and director Toby Schmitz tackles the question.

Advertising
47
Spacewalkers Russian Resurrection
Photograph: Supplied
Film, Film festivals

Russian Resurrection Film Festival

icon-location-pin Sydney
icon-calendar

The Russian Resurrection Film Festival is one of the largest, oldest and most respected Russian film festivals outside of Russia. For its 15th anniversary, the 2018 festival will screen new release movies and restored films at Event Cinemas George Street and Burwood. 

48
Woman drinks cocktail on the bar.
Photograph: Supplied
Things to do, Games and hobbies

The Lock In

icon-location-pin Surry Hills
icon-calendar

You’ve been flung back in time to 1988 Indiana and your mystery-solving skills are required to investigate the disappearance of local residents. This is the premise of the Lock In, which blends theatre, puzzles and cocktails to create a role-playing adventure similar to an escape room. 

Advertising
49
Two male profiles.
Photograph: Supplied
Things to do, Talks and discussions

Ben Quilty with Richard Flanagan on Home

icon-location-pin Sydney
icon-calendar

This artist-author duo will present a compelling discussion about living in war, reflecting on their interactions with asylum seekers fleeing conflict. Within this, award-winning visual artist Ben Quilty will present his new book, which collates images of home created by Syrian children.

50
Press release photo of RL Grime sitting on plinth in front of blue background
Photograph: Supplied
Music, Rap, hip hop and R&B

RL Grime

icon-location-pin Moore Park
icon-calendar

After four years of silence since his debut album Void in 2014, the American producer has overcome stifling pressure to create something better and more meaningful than his previous LP and presents us with a 15-track album that he describes as “bright and open and almost ethereal”. 

Make the most of those sunny evenings

A panoramic view of Camp Cove beach in Watson's Bay
Photograph: David Iliff
Attractions, Beaches

The best harbour beaches in Sydney

It's sunny outside. You want to go to the beach. But the drive to Bondi is looking like absolute hell. And besides, you haven't shown one of our (many) harbour beaches much appreciation lately. But which ones are worth the trip? We asked an expert – Caroline Ford, author of the new book Sydney Beaches: A History – for her opinion.

Advertising
This page was migrated to our new look automatically. Let us know if anything looks off at feedback@timeout.com