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Musician Flora carbon playing the saxophone with a funky pink and blue filter on the image
Photograph: Supplied/Earshift Music Festival

Here are the best online arts events you can stream

Arts venues and festival may be shuttered right now, but there are still plenty of fun things you can enjoy in the digital realm

Written by
Stephen A Russell
Contributor
Time Out editors
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If you've got a screen, you're just a couple of taps away from these awesome streamable cultural events that do not require any fancy clothes (or any clothes at all, tbh). There are heaps of cultural and cool must-sees online right now, from an online jazz festival, to Jude Perl's musical comedy mental health theatre show I Have a Face, to the Spot On(line) Children’s Festival just in time for the school holidays. 

So settle in with our guide to the best livestreams, virtual walk-throughs, and digital arts events happening in Sydney and beyond right now.

Need more ideas? Expore these cool things to do at home.

What to stream in Sydney right now

  • Kids
  • Kids

Theatres may have gone dark again, with the ghost lights back on across Sydney and Melbourne, but that doesn’t mean that there are no shows to be seen. All sorts of creative minds have created fun streaming stuff to entertain us during lockdown. Some of these efforts have even garnered international acclaim. That’s true of Australian company Threshold. While stuck in the first Victorian lockdown, Kyneton-based co-founders Tahli Corin and Sarah Lockwood conjured up magical theatrical experiences for kids and grown-ups to share at home together. Transforming everyday objects into sets, props and costumes, it really is the natural progression of the classic Shakespeare line – “All the world’s a stage.” All you need is an internet connection and you can dive headlong into Mountain Goat Mountain, with the Threshold team leading you on an incredible adventure using little more than a bedsheet and the limitless power of your combined imaginations. The 45-minute narrated audio work sends you on a mission to discover a rare magical creature. Another work, Feather Quest, creates a treasure hunt looking for hidden cards that trace the life-cycle of a bird, from freshly lain egg right through to flying the nest. 

  • Things to do

The devilish minds behind spook-tacular arts company Darkfield turned 20 minutes locked inside a shipping container into an even more terrifying experience than that already sounds, with their haunted immersive shows Séance and Flight. Since then, they’ve branched out into destroying the sanctuary and safety of our homes too. You can tune in and freak out to Darkfield Radio via their mobile app, which collects a hair-raising series of unnerving soundscapes meticulously designed to creep you out. In other words, the demonic portals they open are the perfect distraction for thrill seekers with a penchant for terror who may well be trapped at home in lockdown right now. 

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  • Music
  • Music

The Australian Chamber Orchestra (ACO) were absolute heroes when they launched their digital platform ACO StudioCasts in response to last year’s shutdowns, delivering slickly cinematic concert films to up your chill factor on demand, and they’re at it again. The current drama might have sunk their national tour of River, but they aren’t crying over it. Instead they’ve launched a new season of eight immersive movies that show off exactly what they can do. The latest drop, Tabula Rasa, was directed by Matisse Ruby and filmed at the Hordern Pavilion. It features ACO artistic director Richard Tognetti leading the ACO through performances of Arvo Pärt’s work of the same name and Shostakovich’s ‘Chamber Symphony’, integrated with imagery and video projections by renowned cinematographer Jon Frank and Beizj Studio.

 

  • Things to do
  • Talks and discussions

The Opera House's long-running podcast Ideas at the House gets a beautifully filmed treatment with a series of original, one-on-one interviews with some of the most inspiring women of the moment back in March as part of the All About Women Festival. (FYI, you can read five things we learned at All About Women 2021 here.) The series is hosted by the Opera House’s former head of talks and ideas and Time Out Sydney Future Shapers judge Edwina Throsby. Throsby gets up close and personal with actress, artist and Gen-X icon Ione Skye; best-selling author, podcaster, businesswoman and hyper fashion and decor influencer Lillian Ahenkan, aka Flex Mami; Sydney-based writer, sex worker and author of newly released contemporary fiction novel Nothing But My Body, Tilly Lawless (whom we also interviewed about why the world’s oldest profession is due a modern image makeover); and popular Australian media personality, author and host of the ABC podcast Ladies, We Need to Talk Yumi Stynes. Each interview gives a glimpse into a singular figure and the work it takes to succeed on their own terms.

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