Every January, Sydney Festival enlivens and transforms Sydney with a bold cultural celebration based on big ideas and cutting-edge art and performance.
In 2021, we're building on a proud 44-year history of commissioning and presenting inspiring and ground-breaking new Australian art, with a program that celebrates the best work from our finest artists and companies. Recovering, reconnecting, and reinvigorating.
The diverse program includes everything from jaw-dropping cabaret to acclaimed theatre, modern Indigenous work, exhilarating music, and family-friendly fun that we can't wait to share with you.
Ready to plan a summer jam-packed with arts and culture experiences from around Australia? Checkout the Sydney Festival 2021 preview guide below.
Don't miss your chance to pick up a copy only in The Sydney Morning Herald, Saturday 14 November.
REQUEST A COPY
Please note this is only available within Australia
Create your own Festival itinerary: download and print our weekly SydFest 2021 planners*, get out the old highlighter pen and chart your course.
The Sydney Festival podcast was recorded using RØDE Microphones equipment, generously donated by Sydney Festival’s Principal Philanthropic Partner, Peter Freedman AM.
Dalarinji – Ours, Yours, Everyone's
Sydney Festival Director Wesley Enoch explores the possibilities with Jennifer Ganske, National Head of Arts and Tourism for Regional Development and Engagement at nbn Australia.
Sport has done an admirable job of using the connectivity of the internet to combat the isolation imposed by COVID – how can Australia’s arts scene, in particular, First Nations artists, make the most of the nbn™ network to expand the regional and global audience for Australian art?
Enoch has spearheaded a strong First Nations presence throughout his five-year tenure as Director of Sydney Festival, and this new partnership with nbn – including a regional Sydney Festival tour – opens up limitless possibilities to come.
This event was presented by Sydney Festival in partnership with nbn.
Darcy Grant wants to normalise five person handstands
Sydney Festival Artistic Director, Wesley Enoch was joined by Creative Lead of Gravity & Other Myths Darcy Grant to chat about his upcoming show, The Pulse.
Darcy Grant is a classically trained acrobat, award-winning fine art photographer, physical theatre director and founding member of Circa, revered as one of the world’s most adventurous, genre-defying circuses. He has trained, taught and toured work on the cutting edge of new circus to some of the world’s most prestigious venues. Where theatre, dance, circus and visual art meet is where Darcy likes to practice. In 2017 Darcy was commissioned by Adelaide International Arts Festival to direct Backbone by Gravity & Other Myths. The show premiered to five-star reviews and standing ovations, also attracting three Helpmann Award nominations including Best Choreography and Best New Australian Work.
Due to the current South Australian border restrictions, Gravity & Other Myths has had to cancel their world premiere season of The Pulse at Sydney Festival 2021. Adelaide Festival will be premiering The Pulse in February 2021.
Michael Kantor wants to bring musicals to supermarkets
Sydney Festival Artistic Director, Wesley Enoch was joined by award-winning director Michael Kantor to chat about his upcoming SydFest show, RAPTURE: A song cycle of Desire and Ecstasy, Murder and Mayhem.
Michael Kantor is an opera, theatre, and film director of some 25 years, working for nearly all the major theatre and opera companies, and festivals across Australia. Michael was the Artistic Director of Malthouse Theatre from 2004 to 2010. Recently, Michael directed his first feature film The Boy Castaways for the Adelaide Film Festival, and created and directed The Shadow King for the Melbourne, Brisbane, Sydney, Adelaide, Perth and Darwin Festivals, and The Barbican London, for which he was awarded The Helpmann Award for best direction.
Michael Kantor's latest work, RAPTURE: A song cycle of Desire and Ecstasy, Murder and Mayhem is on at The Headland at Barangaroo Deserve from 16–17 January 2021.
Kate Gaul is gender bending theatre classics
Sydney Festival Artistic Director, Wesley Enoch was joined by award-winning director Kate Gaul to chat about her upcoming SydFest show, H.M.S. Pinafore.
Kate Gaul is a theatre director, producer, and designer, with directing credits that include plays, opera, physical theatre, devised works, and classics for theatre companies and schools in Australia. She is Artistic Director of Siren Theatre Co where her passion is for text-based drama challenges artists and audiences to have bold imaginative experiences.
Kate's opera credits include Castor + Pollux (Pinchgut), Eight Songs for a Mad King (Verbruggen Ensemble), The Cunning Little Vixen (Sydney Chamber Opera), Hansel and Gretel (Pacific Opera), Il Matrimonio Segreto, English Eccentrics, Les Mamelles de Tiresias, Cendrillon (Sydney Conservatorium), Dialogues of the Carmelites, Die Fledermaus (WAPPA).
Kate Gaul's latest production, H.M.S. Pinafore is on at Riverside Theatres from 13–23 January 2021.
Katie Noonan believes the best musicians are from Brisbane
Sydney Festival Artistic Director, Wesley Enoch was joined by five-time ARIA award-winning artist Katie Noonan to chat about her upcoming SydFest performance, Songs of Don.
Over the past 20 years, Katie Noonan has proven herself one of Australia’s most hardworking, versatile, and prolific artists. Named one of the greatest Australian singers of all time by the Herald Sun, Katie has produced 20 studio albums throughout her career, with seven times platinum record sales under her belt and 26 ARIA award nominations that span diverse genres.
In the midst of owning her record company and working as the artistic director of Queensland Music Festival, Katie remains committed to what sets her artistry apart from the pack: her ability to evolve. “There’s always going to be something to learn or someone who can teach you something,” she explains. Music, for Katie, is a lifelong lesson, a generous act of giving, and a means to change the world.
Katie Noonan's latest performance Songs of Don is on at The Headland at Barangaroo Reserve on 14 January 2021.
Scott Wright creates puppets to save pygmy possums
Sydney Festival Artistic Director, Wesley Enoch was joined by award-winning artistic director Scott Wright to chat about his upcoming SydFest show, Duba.
Scott Wright is the Artistic Director and co-founder of Erth – Visual & Physical Inc., a company recognised internationally as an innovator of physical and visual theatre, and a creator of brave, unbridled work for children.
With 30 years at the helm, Scott has directed many of Erth’s shows and led the company into becoming far greater than any expectations from humble beginnings in regional Victoria. Some of Scott's personal passions include the survival of indigenous stories, exploring how ancient stories can be retrieved and presented to new audiences, and leading the company into the future with a fresh emphasis on practice-based, non-outcome driven experimental theatre for a range of audiences and age groups.
Scott's latest work Duba is on at Carriageworks from 8–24 January.
Our program this year is all Australian Made, and this new podcast is a collection of live talks, artist chats and big ideas from the Festival hosted by Wesley Enoch.
With this series, we take a minute to recover after the year we’ve had... to reconnect with our community, reinvigorate our local artist scene and to remind ourselves how resilient we truly are.
Because no matter where you are in the world, everyone could do with a little piece of Sydney summer.
Wondering how to get to the venue to see your show? Trying to figure out the parking situation? Or need some accessibility details? Find out all this information and more on our venue pages.
Even if you are the most dedicated Festival-goer in Sydney you'll need to sleep every now and then. Our accommodation partners are looking forward to keeping you content during your stay in January.
How To Book
The best way to book tickets for Sydney Festival is via our website. Simply click the BOOK NOW button on the page of the show you want to attend.
Some events which are sold out will offer the opportunity to join a waitlist. In these cases if more tickets for the event become available we will be in touch to give you the opportunity to purchase.
Please note when booking that paired seats cannot be split under the Festival's COVID Safe plan.
If you require a single seat at time of booking, where available please select a seat that is on its own in the seat map. If you require other configurations please contact the Sydney Festival office during business hours.
For a full listing of where to purchase tickets, click on the Tickets & Pricing tab on your chosen event.
For information regarding special pricing for Seniors, Students and Children see our Ticketing Fine Print. Information regarding the accessibility of our shows and accessible sessions can be found on the Accessibility pages and can also be filtered through the Explore page.
With a Multipack, you can save up to 10% on eligible festival tickets.
Look out for the Multipack icon on the Explore page.
How to book a Multipack:
Browse the program and add events to your cart.
Once you have included three or more events in your cart, events that are eligible for a Multipack discount will automatically be updated.
You must book all events in the one transaction in order to qualify for your Multipack discount; prior purchases do not count.
Things to note:
Multipack tickets are strictly limited so book early to avoid disappointment.
Multipack discounts apply to most events, however allocations are limited and only apply to full price A Reserve or General Admission tickets.
Once an event's Multipack allocation has been exhausted, you can still add that event to your Multipack to reach three or more events, but no discount will apply to that event.
Use the filter on the Explore page to view all eligible Multipack events.
Ticket Resellers Policy
To eliminate the risk of fraud, you are strongly advised to only purchase tickets from Sydney Festival or one of our partner venues, as purchasing a ticket from an unauthorised seller can result in the ticket holder being denied entry.
Many unofficial sellers will list tickets for sale, even though they do not actually have those tickets. This is called "speculative ticketing". They are speculating that they will be able to get tickets and then resell them to fans. Those speculative listings are not real tickets in hand (they do not actually have tickets to sell). Beware of these sellers.
Ticketing Fine Print
SYDNEY FESTIVAL TERMS AND CONDITIONS
Concession tickets are available for the following: full-time students, pensioners, Seniors Card holders, children 16 years and under, unemployed. Proof of concession must be produced at the events to obtain the concession or child price. Concessions are only available where indicated and may be subject to availability.
Tickets are sold on behalf of the organisation responsible for presenting the performance and subject to terms and conditions applicable to that performance and/or the venue where performed. This includes any Department of Health or other Government Department COVID-19 entry procedures.
Unless otherwise stated, ticket prices include booking fees and GST where applicable. A transaction charge may apply at point of sale.
All print at home tickets will be emailed 72 hours prior to the performance date.
All sales are final. Tickets cannot be refunded or exchanged after purchase except as outlined in the Live Performance Australia Ticketing Code of Practice. Additionally Sydney Festival will exchange or refund a ticket due to COVID-19 imposed government restrictions.
In the event that the Department of Health or other Government Department makes a formal request, we may be required to disclose your personal information for contact tracing purposes. By purchasing your ticket, you are providing us with your permission to do so.
Reserved seating guarantees the purchaser a reserved seat, all seating is in line with current government guidelines. Patrons may not move between seats unless directed by staff.
Sydney Festival reserves the right to charge a fee for the replacement or approved exchange of tickets.
Program details are correct at time of printing but are subject to change where necessary and without notice.
Sydney Festival has the right to add, withdraw, reschedule or substitute artists and/or vary advertised programs, prices, venues, seating arrangements and audience capacity. In the event of a change in cast, Sydney Festival will only refund the cost of the ticket when the cancelled performer was billed by Sydney Festival as the main attraction/star performer.
General Admission tickets do not have allocated seating and cannot be replaced if lost, damaged or stolen.
Latecomers may not be given access to the auditorium unless there is a convenient break in the performance, and for certain events may not be admitted at all.
The use of cameras and other recording devices constitutes a breach of copyright and is strictly prohibited. Mobile phones, pagers, etc. must be turned off before entry into the auditorium.
Only tickets purchased by authorised agencies should be considered reliable.
If you purchase tickets from Viagogo, eBay, Gumtree or any other unauthorised reseller you risk these tickets being fake or void. A list of authorised agencies is listed on each event page under 'Tickets & Pricing'.
Sydney Festival presents artists and productions on the basis of merit and excellence. Any political affiliations or views expressed by artists or companies participating in, or sponsoring, Sydney Festival are not necessarily representative of those of Sydney Festival or its staff.
Sydney Festival 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.
If you are participating/viewing an event that is livestreamed you consent to the Organiser taking photographs or audio/visual recordings of you throughout your participation/viewing of the Event and agree that the Organiser may use the photos or recordings for livestreams, and future promotional and marketing purposes without further reference or compensation to you. In providing your consent, you release and discharge the Organiser, its staff and its agents from any and all loss, damage, expense or claims that you may suffer or incur by the Organiser’s use of the photographs and recordings and/or the content of the same photographs and recordings.
Discover Sydney in Summer
Love ❤️ Sydney
Whether it’s time spent sunbathing down at the beach, sharing a picnic in the park, or a day out enjoying one of Sydney Festival’s exciting events, there is no better time to be in Sydney than in Summer.
Every January, Sydney Festival brings in the New Year with a series of theatre, dance, music and art, that inspire and delight audiences across the city. When the evenings are balmy, and those familiar colors drape the CBD, you know that Sydney Festival – and summer – has arrived.
Take time this Summer to reconnect with your city and discover what you love about Sydney.
Challenge the way you see Sydney this Summer, reconnect and discover what you love about it.
Start 2021 off on a high (literally) and book a Sydney Harbour BridgeClimb or experience the harbour from a different perspective and enjoy a tour by kayak.
Foodies book a table, fashionistas get out and shop the High Street and art lovers visit a gallery and compare notes over lunch. Plan a staycation and treat yourself to a hotel room for a night or two. The best Sydney has to offer is ready and waiting for you.