What's on in July

Music, art, theatre, NAIDOC week, dance, dance parties – and also cheese.

27 Jun, 2024    Sydney Festival


NAIDOC week  

Australia's annual NAIDOC Week runs from 7 – 14 July this year, and always turns up stacks of opportunities to celebrate, support and learn more about the oldest living culture in the world.   

Barangaroo Reserve is holding free events all week between 5 and 7pm, from performances and singalongs from the Buuja Buuja Butterfly Dance Group to educational workshops about dingos, the night sky and possum skin cloak making. Whilst Canterbury Bankstown Council are hosting week-long celebrations, with ceremony, family days, movie screenings and more.  

A NAIDOC concert at the Conservatorium of Music featuring Nardi Simpson's Choir Barayagal among other great artists redefines what it means to be an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander musician. Whilst the likes of Barkaa, Isaac Compton, Riah and more take over Sydney Town Hall with contemporary live music for NAIDOC in the City.  

Bangarra Dance Theatre take up temporary residency at the Australian National Maritime Museum for a series of dance workshops for kids and adults, whilst Sydney Opera House hosts a fascinating family-friendly talk with Deadly Science founder Corey Tutt OAM. 

Finally, jumping in ahead of official NAIDOC week but absolutely not to be missed, is the National Indigenous Art Fair this weekend (29-30 June), showcasing First Nations artists, designers and makers a the Overseas Passenger Terminal at Circular Quay. 


It’s all happening. The inimitable Macy Gray hits the Enmore mid-month whilst Tenacious D shreds the ICC into oblivion. But it’s the Australian acts that are out in force this month, with Montaigne at The Vanguard, Hockey Dad at The Hordern, Pacific Avenue at Label, Boo Seeka at Mary’s Underground and June Jones at the Lansdowne.  

If you’re in the mood for a throwback, you’re spoilt for choice. No Fixed Address plays Marrickville Bowling Club, Boney M hits Enmore Theatre, Jebediah and Magic Dirt are teaming up at Manning Bar, where Radio Birdman also plays three dates.  

For those of the dance music persuasion, two legendary internationals hit Carousel during this month: Osunlade and Fred P – the latter ding an extended set and teaming up with Sydney stalwart Simon Caldwell on warm up. DJ Seinfield returns to Lost Sundays at The Ivy, and don’t miss the chance to get wild at the Heaps Gay Queen’s Ball at City Recital Hall (sans-seating).  

The classical scene is also turning it on this month, with a few final seats still available for The Choir of King's College, Cambridge in Sydney Opera House Concert Hall, which will also host the dramatic Saint-Saëns’ Organ Symphony. Or descend into a deliciously sombre mood at Sydney Town Hall with Rachmaninoff’s Vespers.  

Theatre and dance 

Sydney Festival alumnus James Elazzi (Lady Tabouli, Queen Fatima) can be found at National Theatre of Parramatta with brilliant new production, Karim. Counting and Cracking is in its final days at Carriageworks, where you can also find First Nations works Cut the Sky from Marrugeku and SWIM from Griffin Theatre Company.  

Carriageworks also hosts a rowdy street dance spectacle with Red Bull Dance Your Style Weekender, whilst at Roslyn Packer Theatre, the much-anticipated Dracula rounds out Kip Williams’ gothic theatre trilogy.   

Visual art 

The whimsical women and floral patterns of the reigning king of Art Nouveau await at Art Gallery of NSW, with the Alphonse Mucha exhibition now in town. Also at the AGNSW currently, Sydney's most beloved annual exhibition, the famous Archibalds.  

Material exploration abounds in Laozi's Furnace, the latest White Rabbit Gallery takeover. And keep the Chinese art bender going with w trip to the China Cultural Centre, where Memory, Myth, Metaphor explores the dialogue between Chinese and Australian art in the medium of watercolour.   

For the photography fans, the internationally recognised Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition comes from London's Natural History Museum to the Australian National Maritime Museum. Whilst at the State Library, the annual World Press Photo Exhibition shows photo journalism at its finest.  

Event fruit salad 

If you’ve got kids, get them to see Erth’s Dinosaur Zoo at Carriageworks post-haste. If you love cabaret, the beloved Bernie Dieter is holding court at the Entertainment Quarter. If you’re a music theatre fan, the cult-classic Chicago is at Capitol Theatre.  

For opera lovers and opera newbies alike, Tosca runs at Sydney Opera House, and for movie buffs, Laneway Cinema at The Rocks offers a cute outdoor movie date. For something new, head to the inaugural Africa Film Fest Australia in Parramatta. Or maybe, maybe you just love cheese – Carriageworks has a festival for that.  




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