THIS IS OUR CITY IN SUMMER
THREE WEEKS EVERY JANUARY
Sydney Festival is an annual three-week arts Festival celebrating Sydney in summer. Every January, the Festival brings the harbour city to life with an explosive array of theatre, dance, music, visual arts, film, talks and genre-defying events, with something for everybody.
Sydneysiders and visitors know Sydney Festival is one of the most wonderful summer festivals in the world – a claim underpinned by the city’s lustre and charisma, making it an ideal showcase for the world’s great artists.
In its 37th year, under the leadership of new Festival Director Lieven Bertels, Sydney Festival presents 25 Australian exclusives, 10 world premieres and 3 Australian premieres. The 2013 program presents 92 events and 360 performances in total, with more than 18 events being free.
Over the last five years, Sydney Festival has almost doubled in size, operating on an AUD20 million dollar annual budget, and boasting Australia’s largest free outdoor program of concerts and events. The Festival attracts audiences of more than half a million people to its free and ticketed events.
On January 5 2013 the festival opened with a trilogy of free outdoor spectacles with Day One: An Opening In Three Acts. The day began with Fun Run, an eccentric comedic marathon, followed by The Arrival of the world’s largest and happiest Rubber Duck to Sydney’s Darling Harbour. To top off the night, 60,000 festival attendees danced and partied the night away at the Daptone Super Soul Revue in Sydney’s famous outdoor venue The Domain.
Sydney Festival 2013 welcomes works by The Royal Shakespeare Company, world-renowned composer and director Heiner Goebbels, France’s Orchestre National De Jazz, the legendary David Byrne in collaboration with St Vincent, and internationally acclaimed conductor Andre De Ridder in the revisit of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey.
One of the most anticipated works is Semele Walk, a radical retelling of Handel’s opera Semele by Ludger Engels, featuring catwalk models with attitude and outrageous couture by the queen of punk, Vivienne Westwood.
Named after Amsterdam’s iconic rock venue, Paradiso at Town Hall is Sydney Festival’s new contemporary music home for the summer, with eclectic programming in the opulent surrounds of Sydney’s Town Hall for ten back-to-back nights of international and national bands and DJs.
A perennial favourite is the Honda Festival Garden, a late night venue featuring cabaret, comedy and music, all presented in a 100-year-old Belgian Spiegeltent.
In 2012, Sydney Festival held a Festival-within-the-Festival at Parramatta in Sydney’s west, featuring free and ticketed events, as well as its own Festival Garden. In 2013, Sydney Festival Parramatta returns with an extravaganza to welcome everyone to experience some of Sydney Festival’s best shows.
Sydney Festival 2013 runs January 5-27. Further information can be found on the Festival website.
For some amazing video footage, Sydney Festival has teamed up with STUDIO to bring you Festival TV. To view videos, go here.
All this, and so much more, makes our city in summer a wonderful place to be.