THIS IS OUR CITY IN SUMMER!
Every January, Sydney Festival enlivens and transforms Sydney with a bold cultural celebration based on the highest quality art and big ideas.
The program is kaleidoscopic in its diversity, from burlesque circus to Chicago rap to Dutch theatre; from contemporary dance to family programs to traditional Indigenous arts practice. In all, the program comprises around 370 performances and around 100 events performed by over 700 artists in more than 30 venues each year. 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.
Tickets to majority of performances are available on the day for only $25 at the Tix for Next to Nix booth in Hyde Park, right in the heart of the city.
Join us for our famous free concerts in The Domain. Summer Sounds has featured the sounds of Brazil, Gypsies, New Orleans and Mali and is followed the next weekend by the orchestral power of the Sydney Symphony. Throughout January the Meriton Festival Village is home to two Spiegeltents with a captivating program of burlesque and music which makes the most of the summer nights in the atmospheric setting of Hyde Park.
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, Peter Sellars, Sir Ian McKellen and David Byrne & St. Vincent alongside some of the world's great companies - Wayne McGregor's Random Dance, Cheek by Jowl, Gate Theatre 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 Cloudstreet and Smoke & Mirrors have 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), Wayne McGregor's Random Dance (Entity), Ludger Engels and Vivienne Westwood (Semele Walk) and Fabulous Beast (Rian).
Wesley Enoch is Festival Director 2017–2019
Previous directors were:
Lieven Bertels: 2013 - 2016
Lindy Hume: 2010–2012
Fergus Linehan: 2006–2009
Brett Sheehy: 2002–2005
Leo Schofield: 1998–2001
Anthony Steel: 1995–1997
Stephen Hall: 1977–1994