Sydney Festival 2019

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Event Category: FestivalEvent Tags: free events, January, and Sydney Festival

  • Every January, Sydney Festival enlivens and transforms Sydney with a bold cultural celebration based on big ideas and cutting-edge art and performance.

    The program is kaleidoscopic in its diversity, from jaw-dropping contemporary ballet to epic art installations, international theatre hits, primal circus, immersive virtual reality, modern Indigenous art and theatre, punk protest music and more.

    Inclusive programming, a broad range of free events and accessible pricing policies for the ticketed shows means that Sydney Festival is open to all, welcoming Sydneysiders and visitors from wherever they live.

    More than any other cultural event, Sydney Festival defines Sydney’s personality. For over three decades we have presented international artists who guarantee headlines, and whose presence in Sydney adds to the Festival’s buzz and prestige. Names like Björk, Brian Wilson, Grace Jones, Manu Chao, Elvis Costello, AR Rahman, Cate Blanchett, Ralph Fiennes, Robert Lepage, The Flaming Lips, Nick Cave, PJ Harvey, Peter Sellars, Sir Ian McKellen and David Byrne & St. Vincent, alongside some of the world’s great companies – Company Wayne McGregor, Cheek by Jowl, Gate Theatre, The Wooster Group and the Schaubühne Berlin to name only a few – share the Festival with the most exciting artists and companies in Australia.

    Sydney Festival’s audacious contemporary programming positions it at the forefront of arts practice in Australia and up there as one of the most wonderful festivals in the world.


    Sydney Festival was originally conceived by the Sydney Committee, the NSW State Government and the City of Sydney with a view to attracting people into the city centre during the holiday month of January.

    The first Festival took place in 1977 and it has since grown to become one of Australia’s largest annual cultural celebrations with an international reputation for modern, popular and intelligent programming. In many ways it is probably still best understood as a celebration of Sydney and its style and energy reflect the confidence, diversity and vigour of one of the world’s most beautiful cities.

    The Festival has a history of presenting Australian premieres and many of Australia’s most memorable productions such as Cloud street andSmoke & Mirror shave resulted from Sydney Festival’s commitment to nurture local artists. It has brought many of the world’s great artists to Sydney including: Ariane Mnouchkine and Thèâtre du Soleil (Flood Drummers), Robert Wilson (The Black Rider), Robert Lepage (Far Side of the Moon, The Andersen Project, Lipsynch), Schaubuhne Berlin (Hamlet), Netherlands Dance Theatre, James Thiérrée, Philip Glass, Ian McKellen (Dance of Death), Peter Sellars, Batsheva Dance Company, National Theatre of Scotland (Beautiful Burnout,Black Watch,Aalst), Al Green, AR Rahman, Kneehigh Theatre (Tristan & Yseult,The Red Shoes), Ludger Engels and Vivienne Westwood (Semele Walk), Fabulous Beast (Rian) and Comapny Wayne McGregor (Tree of Codes).


    The Sydney Festival Limited (ACN 070 285 344) is bound by the National Privacy Principles under the Privacy Act 1988. Sydney Festival holds personal information for the purposes of sending information about Sydney Festival events and other arts events. Read Sydney Festival’s Privacy Policy.

    Reconciliation Action Plan: Sydney Festival’s vision for reconciliation is to formally and informally engage with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists and communities and to positively contribute to improving outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

    Disability Inclusion Action Plan: The Sydney Festival Disability Inclusion Action Plan supports our commitment to being for everyone in Sydney, regardless of accessibility needs, and provides our organisation with strategic direction in addressing accessibility issues.

    Sustainability Plan: Sydney Festival has a vision is to be the most sustainable major performing arts festival in Australia.

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