Events and festivals

Events and festivals

Art & About



A collaborative arts festival where every corner of the city is ripe for unique creation and unforgettable storytelling.

From living room theatre to Sydney’s largest backyard party in Martin Place, this year's Art & About will excite and delight.

Festival program

The Magnificent Seven

Spring and summer in Sydney wouldn’t be the same if it weren’t for our Magnificent Seven events.

From art in unusual places and a 2-week party of all things cycling, to the magical festive season and an oriental wonderland, the City is helping put Sydney front and centre on the world’s cultural stage.

Trolley acrobatics show for Art and About 2014

Art & About Sydney

September is always an exciting time as it marks the launch of Art & About Sydney.

From 19 September to 12 October, the 13th Art & About festival will see 5 3-metre-high tepees constructed in Hyde Park, illuminating the works of some well-known artists, an outdoor photographic studio on the QVB forecourt where you can recreate your school photo with strangers, street dancers and acrobats coming together with the humble shopping trolley to spin, glide and slide and the Australian Life exhibition along with the Little Sydney Lives photo competition.

Festivities start with Friday Night Live when Martin Place is transformed into a giant backyard featuring entertainment, quality food and drinks – it’s a great place to begin your festival adventure. 

With a program boasting works from the quirky to the quintessentially Australian, local and international artists will present works that explore the festival theme of ‘endangered’ from 19 September to 12 October.

Sydney Rides Festival

Sydney Rides Festival

Join in Sydney's largest celebration of bike riding this October. Sydney Rides Festival signature events include:

Sydney Rides to Work on 15 October 2014 - refuel on your way to work with free breakfast and coffee. You can also grab a free tune-up as part of our National Ride2Work day celebrations at Prince Alfred Park, Union Square or Taylor Square from 6.30am to 9am. 

Sydney Rides the City on 19 October - a fun-filled bike bonanza for all the family. Featuring BMX stunt displays, face painting, live music and more – this day by the harbour will have all ages entertained at Pirrama Park, Pyrmont from 8am to 1pm. 

Sydney Rides the Night on 25 October - a picture-perfect night-time ride past light installations and special effects. After your ride enjoy a bite to eat from the gourmet food trucks, interactive video displays and live music in the outdoor lounge with the best harbour views in the city. Enter at Mrs Macquaries Road between 6pm and midnight.

Sydney Christmas

A Sydney Christmas is like no other in the world, with its sun-drenched summer days and balmy nights, uniquely Aussie festivities, and tradition with a twist. 

From 27 November until Christmas Day, streets in the city centre will be illuminated with bright lights and decorations, including dramatic digital projections that transform the façades of Sydney Town Hall and Pitt Street Mall’s King Street entrance. The new Street Light Disco in Martin Place with its sparkling disco ball-effect inspires visitors to 'trip the light fantastic' and get into the festive cheer.

Jump on the interactive dance pad at the Martin Place Christmas Tree, or text us your message and we’ll make it appear on the tree’s branches for everyone to see.  

And, the free family-friendly concerts in Martin Place, Hyde Park and the villages are guaranteed to be a big hit with the kids, with Santa making a special appearance.  

New-Years-Eve-2013

Sydney New Year's Eve

There’s only one place in the world to be for the biggest and best New Year’s Eve - Sydney. 

Join over 1.6 million people lining the Sydney Harbour foreshore, and millions watching across the world, as Sydney welcomes in the New Year.

The official program starts at 6pm with air displays full of acrobatic spills and thrills over Sydney Harbour. The 9pm family fireworks display will illuminate Sydney Harbour, then the enchanting Harbour of Light Parade® will glide across the water. At 10.30pm, a special "inspire moment" fireworks display will tease the crowds, then our world-famous fireworks display kicks off at midnight with dazzling fireworks going off from seven barges, jet-skis, the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House. 

Visit the Sydney New Year's Eve website for more information.

A reader sitting in a comfy red armchair at the Lawn Library.

Sydney Festival

Every January, Sydney Festival takes over the streets and parks of central Sydney with world-class music, dance and visual arts. Sydney Festival comprises of around 400 performances of 140 events performed by more than 1000 artists in more than 30 venues. 

A highlight this year was the Lawn Library at the Festival Village in Hyde Park. Entry was free, with plenty of things for kids and adults to do and heaps of books to read, swap and keep. 

The City of Sydney is a major sponsor of this significant event that attracts visitors from interstate and overseas.

Sydney New Year's Eve

Australia Day

We are so lucky to live in Australia, which is why each January we celebrate our great nation.

Sydney’s magnificent Hyde Park marked Australia Day with some free entertainment, including a special performance by the Wiggles.

Residents and visitors also marked the occasion by having a picnic with friends and family in one of the City’s many other beautiful parks and outdoor spaces. They include Pirrama Park in Pyrmont, Sydney Park in St Peters, Rushcutters Bay Park, or Glebe Foreshore Parklands.

Chinese-New-Year-2013

Sydney Chinese New Year Festival 2015

Celebrate the Year of the Sheep from 13 February to 1 March 2015.

As one of the largest Chinese New Year Festivals outside of China, Sydneysiders and visitors are invited to share in a month-long program of free and ticketed events, starting with the free festival launch at Dawes Point.

Our signature event, the Twilight Parade will illuminate the City’s streets as a procession of colourful floats, community groups and programmed entertainment weaves its way past excited onlookers. 

Everyone has the chance to enjoy delicious food from restaurants across Sydney with the return of Lunar Feasts set price meals. And, don’t miss the thrill of the Dragon Boat race competition as teams of 20 paddlers battle it out on the waters at Cockle Bay. 

Read the full Chinese New Year Festival program.

Last updated: Tuesday, 16 September 2014