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Photograph: Supplied/Milo Jones King

October events in Sydney

The second month of spring is packed with film, food and festivals galore.

Written by
Maxim Boon

After months on hiatus, city life continues to regain an ever-increasing sense of normality. So, as we head through spring towards the usually bursting summer calander, it's time to take stock. Some of October's annual highlights, such as Sculpture by the Sea (postponed until later in the year) and the Night Noodle Markets (reimagined as an at-home experience) are notably absent in 2020. However, when one door closes, another inevitably opens, and there are several exciting new events for Sydneysiders to enjoy this year. 

An alternative alfresco exhibition to Sculpture by the Sea is coming to Manly's Q Station, and for the first time ever, the Good Weekend Quiz is getting a live treatment as part of Good Food Month. There's also a heap of theatre, art and film on offer, as the city's top arts institutions welcome back Sydney's eager culture vultures. Here's our pick of the best events to enjoy this October, and quite frankly, you're spoilt for choice.

Looking for more inspo to kickstart your spring? Check out these physically distanced activities to try now the warmer months are here.

October's biggest events

  • Art
  • Galleries
  • Sydney

Take a look at pictures of placards held aloft during Australia’s Black Lives Matter marches and you’ll see that even in the midst of tragedy, there’s a fierce sense of dark comedy at play too. And even empowered joy.

We all need a bit more of the latter in our lives this year. Thankfully the Art Gallery of NSW has you covered. Opening on October 24 and running to sometime in 2021, new exhibition Joy gathers fun art from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander creatives from across the Central Desert.

Collecting everything from Queenie Kemarre’s cute bird statues carved in wood and painted in brilliant pink hues, to Judith Inkamala terracotta magpie adorned pots, and films too, it’s a celebration of the brighter side of life.

As the AGNSW sees it, although it’s important to tell the stories of history and people that are uncomfortable, in need of critical dialogue or deeply embedded in culture and its practices, sharing joy is just as necessary, and we often forget to make space for that in our appraisal of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art.

  • Shopping
  • Markets
  • Eveleigh

The Carriageworks Farmers Market is resuming from August 8, 2020.

It’s imperative that you do not eat before you visit the Carriageworks Farmers Markets. You’ll want to save maximum belly space for your personal version of The Bachelorette where you decide who gets your dollars and what delicious produce gets to come home with you. Maybe you like something soupy and savoury first thing? In that case go for the pho stand for a traditional Vietnamese start to the day. There’s a bibimbap stall that will even replace the rice with shredded cauliflower if you don’t believe in cheat days, and a classic bacon and egg roll for creatures of habit, from Farmer Rod’s Free Range stall. 

Once the hounds of your hunger have been quieted it’s time to prepare for your next meal, or seven. Maybe you need the sweet bite of Pickle Hill’s Worcester sauce for the pantry? Or some fresh goat’s curd from Willowbrae? While you’re there you may as well get some smoked salmon, fresh ravioli from Pasta Emilia, free range eggs, a load of beer and barley bread form the Bread and Butter Project, and some jersey milk butter to go on it.

Chef Josh Niland of Fish Butchery and Saint Peter in Paddington now has a permanent stall selling inventive seafood using lesser known varieties and flavours. His prawn toast is a certified hangover buster, and the few cooked items sold change with the tide. There are usually take-home packs of fish sausages and Ballina prawns as big as your hand.

You can spend a whole lot of money if you want to here, but equally you could just grab a kombucha on tap and find a chair for some of the best dog-watching in the city.

Find more of the best markets in Sydney.

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