Everything you need to know about The Thirsty Mile

Your guide to the best spot in town this summer.

03 Jan, 2024    Sydney Festival

Event collection Guide

Tickling the southern toes of the Harbour Bridge in one of the most knockout harbourside locations in the world lies The Thirsty Mile.  

A Sydney Festival takeover amongst the heritage-listed wharves of Walsh Bay Arts Precinct, the Mile stretches across multiple theatres, dance studios, bars, an exhibition space and a thumping club – all by the water, all within a few minutes' walk. 

From epic theatre to experimental jazz; Bach symphonies to dirty breakbeats. There's free stuff, bougie stuff, family stuff and olives, stuffed. 

Come for a show, stay for the sunset, accidentally find yourself kicking on to a cabaret or club night. The Thirsty Mile is a place to squeeze every last drop of summer out of the day and drink it with ice in the evening.  

Here's what you'll find there in January... 

Moonshine Bar

The social centrepiece of the Mile is Moonshine Bar. This is where you can get a drink, get fed, pull up a deck chair or dance the night away.  

The main room of Moonshine Bar is filled with an enormous art installation called Hi-Vis, which is free to explore. It's an unmissable experience that is also literally impossible to miss.  

Awesome ticketed events will also be held in the installation space, so sometimes that part will be closed off to ticket buyers only. At these times, you will still be able to enjoy drinks, food and seating in the foyer and outside areas of Moonshine Bar. 

Where to eat


Moonshine Bar has you covered for snacks, with cheese and charcuterie boards, croissants, jaffles and more.  

Download the food and drink menu here. 


If you’re in a white tablecloth kind of mood, or simply after something more substantial, grab a meal at one of Walsh Bay Arts Precinct's fantastic restaurants participating in our Festival Feasts program.  

Here are the spots where you can grab a bespoke Festival menu this January: 

Elements Seafood Grillhouse
Henry Deane at Hotel Pallisade
Lima Restaurant & Bar
Pier Bar
The Dining Room by James Viles
Walsh Bay Crabhouse 

What to see...


Smashed: The Nightcap is Sydney Festival's resident cabaret, with a killer house band, heaps of guest appearances and a femme-fronted core cast of absolute kooks. Guaranteed good time.  

And there's stacks more cabaret on offer at Sydney Theatre Company's Wharf 1 Theatres: discover a lost icon of mid-century Sydney at Send for Nellie, or enjoy An Evening Without Kate Bush.  

Use the genre filter on The Thirsty Mile web page to find more fabulous cabaret.  


From a joyous celebration of seminal First Nations rock outfit, Warumpi Band in Big Name No Blankets, to an environmentally-minded piece that plays out in reverse and back again (Are we not drawn onward to new erA), to an absolutely cooked story of how a Scottish lawyer ended up at a sex party in Berlin (Ode to Joy: How Gordon got to go to the nasty pig party). 

Use the genre filter on The Thirsty Mile web page to find more epic theatre. 

Live music

We've got music coming out of our earballs at The Thirsty Mile. Programmed at ACO, The Neilson – one of the best spaces for sound in the city – is everything from Baroque chamber music to drone music; an incredible international jazz program alongside Irish folk and homegrown pop artists. 

Read about a week of deconstructed Bach music here, and use the genre filter on The Thirsty Mile web page to find more live music. 

DJs and electronica

Prefer to enjoy your tunes from a standing, stepping or fist-pumping position? Late Nights are your vibe. From Wavyland to Astral People, Sydney's finest promoters are converging on the main room of Moonshine Bar, a cavernous warehouse-like space that's 100% rave-ready, with a giant inflatable installation in it, because Festivals. 

Read more about Late Nights at The Thirsty Mile here. 


The collection of dance events at the Mile is impeccable, and wonderfully varied. There's the contemporary and cutting edge, with large-scale wonders from GöteborgsOperans Danskompani and unique statements like the Hope Hunt and the Ascension Into Lazarus/Wolverine.

There's First Nations dance theatre hybrids like GURR ERA OP, and for those who want to get up and get amongst it, fantastic street style events with Sculptured Riddims.

Sunrise yoga

Bask in the early-morning rays, soak in the ambient tunes and stretch out those nine–to–five aches and pains with an energising yoga session by the water with teacher Jazz Luna. Luna will take you through an energising practise of Vinyasa (flow), accompanied by the blissed-out beats and sounds of our in-house sunrise DJ.

Read about Sunrise Yoga sessions here. 


The inimitable Thom Monckton (The Artist 2023) returns as a petulant monarch in The King of Taking, and a beautiful Korean fable is told through puppetry and live music in Sugung-ga: The Other Side of the World. And don't forget the free installation Hi-Vis that the kids can definitely get lost in long enough for you to pull up a deck chair at Moonshine Bar. 

...and there's plenty more of the good stuff, from free poster exhibitions to video installations, dance workshops and an all-ages, all-welcome dance party featuring a deaf DJ and host.  

Check out all events at The Thirsty Mile by heading to the web page.  

We’ll see you at the wharves.  

The Thirsty Mile FAQs

Can I get food at The Thirsty Mile? 
Yes, there is a menu available at Moonshine Bar, or you can visit one of the nearby restaurants participating in Festival Feasts.  

Can I drink at The Thirsty Mile?
You bet. Head to Moonshine Bar for drinks, deck chairs and summer shenanigans.  

Can I bring my kids?
Certainly – there are two fantastic kids' shows running, an art installation for all ages and a place to eat and relax by the water with some kid-friendly options on the menu. 

Do I need a ticket to go to the Thirsty Mile? 
No. Whilst many events on the Mile do require a ticket, you can still come down for a drink, some food, to visit one of the free art installations or simply soak up the incredible views at any time. 

How will I know where to find my show? 
There are clear wayfinding signs on site, plus you can download a handy map from The Thirsty Mile web page.  

Can I swim at The Thirsty Mile?
It is not possible to swim in the harbour around the wharves, however there is a dedicated natural swim spot just down the road at Barangaroo Headland.  

How can I find out what events are at The Thirsty Mile?
Head to The Thirsty Mile web page for a comprehensive list. And look out for the orange life ring icon when browsing the website. If you see the ring, it's on the 'Mile 




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