Sydney Festival introduces nine new Australian works this summer – and a whopping 47 free events across the city
The annual cultural celebration is the big one on Sydney’s summer must-do list, and the festival’s contemporary programming always manages to surprise. This year there are 136 events to choose from – showstoppers include contemporary ballet Tree of Codes, UK export Barber Shop Chronicles, direct from London’s National Theatre, and ethereal underwater concert Aquasonic.
Hyde Park will once again host performances, such as the ‘boylesque’ Briefs: Close Encounters and the all-Irish variety show Riot, but also an eery Ghost Train, the Glitterbox and a double-decker Karaoke Carousel.
Large-scale artwork includes participatory installations like Four Thousand Fish in which members of the public can create ice sculptures of fish that’ll be released back into the Harbour at sunset. Plus, there’ll be a towering toy dinosaur made of plastic by Japanese artist Hiroshi Fuji.
The festival includes the Australian premiere of The Town Hall Affair which reimagines a raucous 1971 feminist debate. They’re bringing back the Darug language classes, called Bayala, some of which are free. And there’s a huge program of circus performances and free activities in Parramatta.