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Vivid Sydney returns to light up Sydney this winter
Photograph: Supplied

The latest events cancelled or postponed and venue closures due to COVID-19 in Sydney

An up-to-date list of the latest Sydney venue closures and events which have been cancelled due to COVID-19, also known as the coronavirus

By Divya Venkataraman and Time Out editors

Here at Time Out, we're all about helping Sydneysiders experience the best of our incredible city. At the same time, organisers of many large-scale events in Sydney are currently taking appropriate precautions in light of the COVID-19 outbreak and cancelling events in order to protect the public and those involved. Venues including major arts institutions are also temporarily closing. 

Some of these precautions have now become mandated, as a result of the government's effective ban of mass public gatherings greater than 500 people across Australia as of March 13. To help keep you up to date, we've collated a list of all the major events that have been postponed or cancelled and venue closures due to the outbreak of coronavirus in Sydney. We'll endeavour to update this often as new announcements break.

RECOMMENDED: How to support your local restaurant during the COVID-19 outbreak.

The latest event cancellations

Nazeem Hussain: Basic Idiot 2019
Photograph: Supplied

Sydney Comedy Festival: cancelled

This event has been cancelled due to the government ban on mass gatherings during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Sydney Comedy Festival has regrettably cancelled the 2020 Festival which was set to take place from 20 April to 17 May. Although the Festival will not be staged in April and May, a number of performers will look to reschedule their shows for later in the year. Information about these rescheduled shows will come at a later date. Tickets for cancelled events will be refunded and information regarding these refunds will be forthcoming. The Festival encourages everybody to follow the advice from the Department of Health during this difficult time."

Dancers perform Anna Karenina
Photograph: Taylor-Ferne Morris

Anna Karenina: cancelled

The Australian Ballet has cancelled Anna Karenina due to the government ban on mass gatherings during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Australian Ballet’s Artistic Director David McAllister said: “While this is disappointing to us all, the health and safety of our audience and company members is our top priority. The Australian Ballet will continue to rehearse and prepare for our next seasons and we will keep everyone up to date as the situation progresses. We look forward to returning to the stage in great shape and as soon as possible.”

All ticketholders will be contacted directly by the team at The Australian Ballet regarding options to donate, defer attendance or offered refunds.

Two people with their backs turned to the camera are looking at an artwork.
Photograph: Supplied

Art Month Sydney: cancelled

Art Galleries

As of March 17, 2020, the remaining events in the Art Month program have been cancelled in line with the government's restrictions on non-essential gatherings to limit the spread of COVID-19. The Collectors’ Space exhibition will remain open until 28 March, with a limitation on visitor numbers. Tickets purchased for the Ceramics Workshop on 21 March and Forage to Feast dinner on 26 March will be reimbursed. 

"We are extremely proud of the programs we have delivered since our launch on 6 March and we will continue to highlight, support and celebrate contemporary art in our city for the next fortnight."

Vivid Light 2019 installations shinning by the harbour with walking crowds.
Photograph: Supplied

Vivid Sydney: cancelled

Vivid Sydney is a city-wide festival of light, art, performance and ideas which has been one of Sydney's most popular cultural events since launching in 2009. Following government and health authority advice it has been cancelled. 

"Unfortunately, Vivid Sydney 2020 has been cancelled on the recommendations of the Australian Government and health authorities regarding non-essential, organised gatherings of more than 500 people. Vivid will shine brighter than ever in 2021!"

Dark Mofo 2017 promo image HIGH RES feat Chris Levine 2016 iy_project image courtesy the artist and Museum of Old and New Art Tasmania
Photograph: Supplied

Hobart's Dark Mofo: cancelled

News Events & Festivals

Tasmania’s Dark Mofo festival has a reputation for programming the dark, demented and esoteric with huge success. This year, founder David Walsh released a statement explaining that the festival run out of his museum, MONA, will not be going ahead. He cited his hope that an early cancellation would protect Dark Mofo's longevity in the long-term. Hopefully the Nude Solstice Swim will return next year. 

Current venue closures in Sydney

Photograph: Hamilton Lund

Sydney Opera House: performances cancelled

Theatre Sydney

As of March 17, the Opera House made the difficult decision to cancel all public performances until March 29 inclusive. At that time, they will re-evaluate the situation. At this stage, food and beverage outlets, tours and retail are open and operating. See the website for latest updates. 

Taronga Zoo: closed

Museums Mosman

Sydney's famous zoo is offically closed from 5pm on Wednesday, March 25, to comply with social distancing measures. This includes all overnight accommodation. A re-opening date it not yet determined. 

"Taronga’s essential staff will continue to ensure the welfare and safety of the animals in our care remains at the highest possible standard. Whilst non-essential staff will work mostly remotely, ensuring our commitments to conservation and education continue at this challenging time. Taronga’s two Wildlife Hospitals will remain open to provide care to the animals at our zoos as well as to receive and care for injured native wildlife."


BridgeClimb: closed

Things to do The Rocks

Like many tourism operations, climbing the famous Sydney Harbour Bridge is one activity that is on hold from March 23 for an as yet undefined period. BridgeClimb will have a small customer service team fielding booking enquiries during this period. 

Home Nightclub
Photograph: Home Nightclub

Nightclubs: closed


All clubs have been closed from Monday, March 23, in line with the federal government's strict crackdown on public venues. 

There's some digital ventures to keep you groovin', like Room 2 Radio, Sydney's first virtual nightclub.

Art Gallery of New South Wales 2017 exterior daylight August feat Archibald Prize banners (C) AGNSW photographer credit Felicity Jenkins
Photograph: Felicity Jenkins

Art galleries: closed

Art Galleries

Art galleries are amongst the venues closing to the public with the federal government's strict public venue closures, which are in effect from Monday, March 23. This includes Sydney's major institutions like the Art Gallery of New South Wales. 

Time Out Sydney will keep you informed of when galleries re-open, new dates for major exhibitons like the Archibald Prize, and digital tours you can take in the meantime.

Hyde Park Barracks Museum
Photograph: Supplied

Museums: closed

Museums History

Museums are amongst the venues closing to the public with the federal government's strict public venue closures, which are in effect from Monday, March 23. This includes Sydney's major museums like the Powerhouse and the National Maritime Museum.

Time Out Sydney will keep you informed of when galleries re-open and digital tours you can take in the meantime.

Ian Thorpe Aquatic Centre
Photograph: Supplied/City of Sydney

Aquatic and fitness centres: closed

Sport and fitness Ultimo

All gyms and indoor sporting centres have been ordered to close from Monday, March 23, under the federal government's new stricter measures to control COVID-19. 

The City of Sydney closed all aquatic and fitness centres (including the Ian Thorpe Aquatic Centre, pictured) from March 20. See the website for updates and contact information. 


CicciaBella: closed

4 out of 5 stars
Restaurants Italian Bondi Beach

Bondi Italian restaurant CicciaBella has made the difficult decision to shut its doors as a result of the NSW government lockdown. 

Misfits: closed

3 out of 5 stars
Bars Redfern

The Redfern bar and restaurant has decided to close its doors temporarily as a result of the pandemic. 

A barman pulls a pint a the Cricketers Arms
Photograph: Anna Kucera

Cricketers Arms Hotel: closed

4 out of 5 stars
Bars Surry Hills

This legendary Surry Hills watering hole decided to close up shop for the foreseeable future from March 18. The reopening date is not set at this time, watch their Facebook page for updates.


Dimitri's Pizzeria: closed

4 out of 5 stars
Restaurants Pizza Darlinghurst

This popular Darlinghurst pizza joint made the decision to close their doors for the time being on March 18. Stay tuned to their Instagram page to know when they'll be firing up the wood oven again. 

Read the latest advice on coronavirus

Photograph: Shutterstock

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