Things To Do

13 Awesome Sydney Solstice Events To Yank You Out Of Hibernation

By Jess Willemse
10th Jun 2021

Enough is enough, it’s time to pull yourself out of that winter slump and take on everything Sydney has to offer this chilly season. Lucky for us, the stars have aligned and the NSW Government via Destination NSW has launched an epic new winter event: Sydney Solstice.

Spanning two magical weeks, from Tuesday, June 8 to Sunday, June 20, Sydney Solstice is bringing you more than 200 world-class food, creative and theatrical events to enjoy. It’s the perfect chance to rediscover your favourite haunts this winter, or take it to a ‘treat yourself’ level and make it a Sydney staycation.

Wondering where to start? We’ve done the hard yards and curated 13 events to hit up during Sydney Solstice. 

Supper Club – The Dip 10 Year Anniversary

For one night only on Sunday, June 13, legendary Sydney eatery The Dip—helmed by Andrew and Bianca Levins in 2011—returns for a pop-up at Mary’s Underground to celebrate 10 years of The Dip and their signature nightclub eats. Joining the team for this next-level nightclub experience will be Mitch Orr (Pilu, ex-ACME), Clayton Wells (Automata) and Mike Eggert (Totti’s/Pinbone). Expect a seriously impressive DJ line-up, gourmet signature hot dogs and sweaty dance floor vibes. 

Book in Supper Club – The Dip 10 Year Anniversary here

My Drag Story

If you’re an avid viewer of RuPaul's Drag Race Down Under, you won’t want to miss a catalogue of drag royalty and up-and-coming queens taking to the stage for ‘My Drag Story.’ It’s no surprise this performance has garnered rave reviews, given the likes of Bee Dazzled, Shanks Prince of Redfern, Dizzy Bility, Dorreen Manganini, Minnie Cooper and Miss 3D make-up the cast. Rally your queens, cue the glitter and let the good times roll. 

Book in My Drag Story here.

Tastes Of Sydney Gaze And Graze Rooftop Experience

What’s better than sampling some of Sydney’s finest produce? Doing it 31 levels above Sydney Harbour with a 270-degree view of the skyline. Make your way to Panorama, a new pop-up lounge bar, for a culinary adventure you have to taste to believe. This interactive experience features a line-up of courses heroing the city’s finest produce and the stories behind their origins. 

Book in Tastes of Sydney Gaze and Graze Rooftop Experience here

George Maple & Friends

Make it a night out to remember and hit up George Maple & Friends at the Enmore Theatre on Friday, June 18. Termed a ‘multi-disciplinary artist and entrepreneur,’ Maple is known for pushing boundaries in her live performances, which have graced the stages of Coachella, Lollapalooza and EDC Vegas. She rolls with the likes of Lorde, Hayden James and Flume in her day job, so it’s no surprise her personal gig is a serious showstopper. 

Book in George Maple & Friends here.

Merivale Events 

It’s hard to pick just one Merivale event going down, so we’ve pulled together a list of our favourites. Stay up late and get around a midnight feast at Mr. Wong, join Poof Doof FT. Sneaky Sound System for a next-level dance party, get your drum and bass on with Netsky or embrace your creativity at LOST Sundays

Aboriginal Whale Watching Experience

Take this chance to connect with a seriously majestic species and understand the importance whales play in Aboriginal culture, from their role in dream stories to totem animals. Running for the entirety of Sydney Solstice, this three-hour cruise departs from Darling Harbour and Circular Quay, with tickets priced from $59. You’ll take to the ocean to learn about Guriwil the whale, participate in an ancient whale song and hear the stories passed down from Aboriginal ancestors. 

Book in the Aboriginal Whale Watching Experience here

Phew-Ture

We all know and love the team at Bitter Phew on Oxford Street for their expert selection of local brews and vinos. They’re (somehow) leveling up for Sydney Solstice with a delicious exploration of Indigenous ingredients and the wild food movement, showcased by Gabriel Gutnik from Ziggy's Wild Foods. The event will include Gutnik’s expertise shared alongside a wild food-inspired cocktail and curated grazing board. 

Book in Phew-Ture here

Spin-Off 2021

For one night only we’re throwing it back to the noughties with the highly anticipated return of Spin-Off, which is being revived for Sydney Solstice and Mardi Gras Pride Weekender. Offering up the stage to newbie DJs to battle it out behind the decks, you’ll want to throw on your dancing shoes for this one. The night will also finish up with K.I.M (The Presets) as the guest headliner—we’ll see you there. 

Book in Spin-Off 2021 here.

Aria After Dark

If you’re partial to a sip or two of vino, this exclusive event will certainly tickle the wine-lover in you. For a limited run during the event, Aria will host a series of evenings diving into NSW’s wine and food scene. Each event is curated by an expert local winemaker, with sips selected to complement a snack menu, crafted by Aria’s Executive Chef Joel Bickford.

Book in Aria After Dark here

Soulstice Laneway Festival

Love music, margaritas and dancing? Then you'll need to snap up tickets to Soulstice Laneway Festival. Temperance Lane in Sydney’s CBD will be transformed into a miniature laneway festival with DJs. The legends from Esteban Restaurant will also be dishing up some of the hottest Latin food going around, which you can wash down with top shelf mezcal margaritas.

Book in Soulstice Laneway Festival here

Me-Mel Island Experience

During the weekend you’ll have the chance to uncover and understand Sydney's Aboriginal heritage by visiting Me-Mel (Goat Island), just north west of the city. On this trip, you’ll discover the importance of the island to the locals and revel in the natural splendour of the environment. Plus, experience a traditional Aboriginal ochre and Welcome Ceremony on arrival and top it all off with a BBQ lunch and performance. 

Book in Me-Mel Island Experience here

Third I Festival

A festival within a festival? We’re so here for this. Third I Festival is a three-day gig taking over the Inner West, helping to satisfy those suppressed travel cravings. Closing out Sydney Solstice, you’ll be able to purchase a passport and travel the world by enjoying food and drinks across a variety of local eateries. You can also expect a fire line-up of artists and bands, pop-up art galleries and a series of masterclasses and cultural experiences. 

Book in Third I Festival here

Moonlight Sea Kayaking Experience

If you’re after an alternative to all the food, drinks and dancing, then kayaking Sydney Harbour by moonlight is where it’s at. This serene yet stunning experience will allow you to enjoy the sunset over the harbour followed by a relaxing paddle through Darling Harbour through to Glebe Island Bridge, all set to the backdrop of the city’s dazzling lights. 

Book in Moonlight Sea Kayaking Experience here.

Audamus – A Final Excursion in Sound and Taste

Launch into the weekend with a line-up of acts set to bring the house down. We’re talking the likes of DJs Phil Smart and K.I.M, as well as performances from Jac Frier and Veda and Brisbane crew Dream Coast. Taking over the helipad of the HMAS Vampire, you’ll be treated to panoramic vistas of Barangaroo and a delectable two-course gourmet picnic. 

Book in Audamus – A Final Excursion in Sound and Taste here

The Details 

What: Sydney Solstice
Where: Various locations across Sydney CBD, Darling Harbour, Newtown, Oxford Street and surrounds
When: Tuesday, June 8 to Sunday, June 20

Editor’s note: This article is sponsored by the NSW Government via Destination NSW and proudly endorsed by Urban List. To find out more about who we work with and why read our editorial policy here.

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