What's On

Sydney Festival 2024: A New Party Precinct, A Mid City Music Festival, And More

By Sammy Preston

Sydney Festival 2024

It's been a mega year for Sydney: World Pride, SXSW Sydney, and the FIFA Women's World Cup. And as the temperature starts to soar, the Sydney Festival is locked to return, giving you even more reasons to get out and about and enjoy this glorious city as we rock and roll into a new year. 

Kicking off on Friday 5 January 2024, this time around, the 24-day festival will feature over 150 events. To number crunch—there'll be 26 world premieres, 29 Aussie exclusives, and 43 free events, presented by over 1,000 artists.

Image credit: Sydney Festival | Supplied

Expect to see a few nautical, water-bound, and floating events this year, with the festival paying special tribute to the harbour. A standout on the program is Arka Kinari, a 70-tonne sailing ship that becomes a performance piece after dark. Multimedia artists Grey Filastine (US) and Nova Ruth (Indonesia) explore life after the carbon economy using video, design, and dance. It's Kevin Kostner's Waterworld, with the addition of psychedelic beats, Javanese post-folk, and analogue synths. 

Music-wise, Summerground is a festival within a festival, taking over Tumbalong Park for three days. It's a wild cocktail of genres, from deep soul to alt-pop—think Brooklyn-based Danté Knows, Arnhem Land's King Stingray, and big favourites like Electric Fields and The Teskey Brothers. 

The Thirsty Mile is another festival within the festival, taking over the original "Hungry Mike" docklands area of Walsh Bay. The brand-new pop-up precinct will feature theatre, exhibitions, and its very own late-night nightclub called Moonshine Bar. In and around British sculptor Michael Shaw's 46-metre-long neon bright snake-like sculpture, Hi-Vis, you can join interactive dance events or hit late-night parties hosted by Astral People, Wavyland, and Finely Tuned. 

Elsewhere, Te Wheke-a-Muturangi is a big, beautiful octopus by multi-disciplinary Māori artist Lisa Reihana. Made from over 1,000 pieces, it will be hovering over the waters of Watermans Cove.

Sydney festival's much-loved—and perhaps much-needed—January 25 Vigil returns, this year focussing on empowering young voices and giving them a platform to share their messages with the people of Australia.

To peep the full program and buy tickets, head over here

The Details

What: Sydney Festival 
When: Friday 5–Sunday 28 January 2024
Where: Throughout Sydney
Tickets: Online, here

For more great stuff to do in Sydney, check out our what's on guide

Image credit: Sydney Festival | Supplied

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