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A view through a packed crowd with their hands in the air watching a band perform on the stage at the Metro.
Photograph: Supplied/ Destination NSW

Sydney Solstice has revealed its jam-packed program

The food, drink, music and arts fest runs across the CBD, Darling Harbour, Newtown and Oxford Street for two weeks

By Time Out in association with Destination NSW
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Forget hibernating this winter Sydneysiders, because the city is about to come alive with an exciting new suite of events. Sydney Solstice celebrates our city's enviable restaurants and bars, the glorious rebirth of our rocking live music scene and incredible arts and culture.

Stretching across 13 action-packed days from June 8-20, leading up to the longest night of the year, Sydney Solstice is the loving hug we need to keep our hearts toasty this winter. The jam-packed program presented by Destination NSW brings together some of our fave venues, artists and musicians, plus superstar chefs like Kylie Kwong and Matt Moran, all centred on four exciting precincts.

“The NSW Government remains committed to the revitalisation of Sydney CBD and surrounds and we are thrilled at the response and interest from local Sydney businesses with more than 150 venues and hundreds of artists, chefs and performers participating in Sydney Solstice," says the Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney, Stuart Ayres. “We anticipate Sydney Solstice will attract many locals and visitors to Sydney, and particularly, the four key precincts activated as part of the program. This is incredibly positive for so many businesses that were affected by Covid-19 restrictions to help support their recovery, as well as the community, who are looking for new ways to rediscover the Harbour City and restore their social calendar to its pre-Covid heights."

The Sydney Solstice program will see over 200 events and experiences pop-up around the CBD, Darling Harbour, Newtown and Oxford Street. Here's a little sneaky peek of what to expect: 

The CBD will be jumping with fabulous events popping up all over the city. Queer party royalty Heaps Gay will take over Sydney Town Hall on the Queen's Birthday long weekend to throw The Queen’s Feast – A Last Supper for All the Senses, a multi-sensory dining experience led by women chefs including MasterChef’s Sarah Tiong, master of sweets Anna Polyviou, Bloodwood's Claire Van Vuren  and Georgia Woodyard from Southside Charmers. The MCA will host smooth moves with a performance program amongst the art, darlings. The Ivy’s pool deck will glow up with a PoofDoof party featuring Sneaky Sound System. The Metro Theatre will be triumphantly reopening during the Sydney Solstice period with a series of live music events (just like the good 'ol days). First Nations artist William Barton will unveil a stunning new work that looks to the stars called 'Songlines of Our Universe' at Sydney Observatory. Mr Wong will be hosting late-night  DJs, dancinganddim sum. ARIA restaurant will present a celebration of local seasonal produce and stellar NSW wines. There'll be interactive art installations and dance performances in Chinatown. And our city's newest dining and drinking precinct YCK Laneways will be hosting Night Over Light, a series of ticketed music, dance, theatre and art events over 12 nights. 

Down at Darling Harbour, the waterside will be transformed into a European-style Winter Festival replete with ice-skating rink and daily performances and DJ sets to set the vibe. The Australian National Maritime Museum will host cool new inflatable ocean creatures from Studio A and Goldberg Aberline Studio. The Terminus Hotel in Pyrmont will welcome a craft beer festival. You can also take in all the wintry splendour with a special night sea kayaking tour from Darling Harbour to Pyrmont.

Newtown's Country and Inner Western festival asks you to get your line dance on with country, alternativecountry, bluegrass, folk, Americana and blues artists activating an eclectic range of Inner West venues. A two-day food festival will pop up in South Eveleigh with the streets taken over by music, live performances and unmissable feasts from EatFuh, Kylie Kwong, RaRa Chan and Steve Costi’s Famous Fish. 

And Oxford Street is getting in on the Sydney Solstice magic too, with a street party in Paddington and north of 80 venues rolling out the red carpet with live music and delicious food and drink offerings. Hotel Harry transforms into ALTAR Danceteria, becoming one of Sydney Solstice’s premier late-night dancing destinations with genre-spanning parties and feasts happening over the two-week period. Upstairs at Bitter Phew you can celebrate all things fermentation with a two-week nod to funky brewers, winemakers, bakers and cheesemakers. And FBi radio's electronic music show 'Sunset' will host two intimate live broadcast events at  Golden Age Cinema and Bar, featuring performances by Simon Caldwell and friends in one and sets from Kato, Ben Fester and friends.

Winter has never been hotter. Sign up for more deets and book tickets to select events over at www.sydneysolstice.com.

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