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Sydney Festival

  • Things to do, Fairs and festivals
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  1. Snuff Puppets' Seagulls for Sydney Festival
    Photograph: Sydney Festival/Daniell Flood | 'Seagulls'
  2. The Thirsty Mile at Sydney Festival
    Photograph: Sydney Festival/Jacquie Manning
  3. A large yellow and red snake scultpure in a warehouse
    Photograph: Supplied/Sydney Festival
  4. Te Wheke-a-Muturangi – The Adversary
    Photograph: Supplied/Sydney Festival | 'Te Wheke-a-Muturangi: The Adversary'
  5. Dancers sliding down a 34 degree floor
    Photograph: Supplied/Sydney Festival
  6. A smoky stage
    Photograph: Supplied/Sydney Festival
  7. A woman in a top hat and white suit
    Photograph: Supplied/Sydney Festival
  8. A poster lady with a pink dress
    Photograph: Supplied/Sydney Festival

Time Out says

The arts come alive in summer with 130+ shows, gigs and arty happenings around the city

Every January, Sydney is given over to three big weeks of theatre, music, dance, visual art, and experimental and immersive live performances, called Sydney Festival. And for the summer of 2024, festival director Olivia Ansell and her team are taking it to another level. From late nights on the water filled with music and art to a free opera show on a boat, from wacky and delightful public art installations to trailblazing First Nations programming – there are more than 130 events coming at Greater Sydney, with the festival hosting more than 1,000 artists. 

Sydney’s iconic harbour will take centre stage, with works and events presented on (and in celebration of) water, from January 5-28. With 26 world premieres, 29 Australian exclusives, and 43 free(!) events, it’s a lot to take in.

The historic ‘Hungry Mile’ of Walsh Bay will evolve into The Thirsty Mile, a full-swing festival takeover by the water that will literally take over all eight performing arts venues in the precinct. The former working piers will be bustling ‘til late with theatres, bars, exhibition spaces, cabaret speakeasies, and a dedicated late-night club. 

This first-time takeover in Walsh Bay is Sydney Festival’s new answer to the Festival Garden that used to pop-up in Hyde Park every year (and it looks like we probably won’t even miss the Spiegeltent). Make sure you check out the vibrant 46-metre-long installation from British artist Michael Shaw while you’re down there – Hi-Vis is where “art strangles architecture on a grand scale”. Check out the full line-up, including femme-fronted late-night variety show Smashed, over here.

Don’t know where to start? Check out our top eight picks from Sydney Festival 2024 over here.

Note: The Summerground mid-city music festival planned as part of the 2024 Sydney Festival has sadly been cancelled. The Festival cited changing consumer behaviours, cost of living pressures and mounting operational expenses. Find out more here. The rest of Sydney Festival’s program has not been affected with more than 130 events locked in for the January celebration.


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Alannah Le Cross
Written by
Alannah Le Cross


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