Every January, Sydney Festival enlivens and transforms Sydney with a bold cultural celebration based on the highest quality art and big ideas.
The program is kaleidoscopic in its diversity, from burlesque, cheeky cabaret and circus, to high energy jazz, indie rock and theatre; from contemporary dance to family programs to Indigenous arts practice. In 2017, Sydney Festival's program presented over 450 performances and 150 events performed by over 1,000 artists at more than 46 venues across theatre, dance, music, circus and art. Inclusive programming, a broad range of free events and accessible pricing policies for the ticketed shows meant that Sydney Festival was open to all, welcoming Sydneysiders and visitors from wherever they live.
More than any other cultural event, Sydney Festival defines Sydney's personality. For over four decades we have presented international artists who guarantee headlines, and whose presence in Sydney adds to the Festival's buzz and prestige. Names like Björk, Brian Wilson, Grace Jones, Manu Chao, Elvis Costello, AR Rahman, Cate Blanchett, Ralph Fiennes, Robert Lepage, The Flaming Lips, Peter Sellars, Sir Ian McKellen and David Byrne & St. Vincent alongside some of the world's great companies - Wayne McGregor's Random Dance, Cheek by Jowl, Gate Theatre and the Schaubühne Berlin to name only a few - share the Festival with the most exciting artists and companies in Australia.
Sydney Festival's audacious contemporary programming positions it at the forefront of arts practice in Australia and up there as one of the most wonderful festivals in the world.