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Sydney Festival 2013
What's on at the Sydney Festival? The top things to do and see at the Sydney Festival - Saturday, 5th January to Sunday, 27th January
What is the Sydney Festival?
Rian at the Sydney Festival 2013 (hopefully not a bad omen )
You might think that, after all the Sydney New Year's celebrations and world famous fireworks, things might calm down a little bit in Sydney. Well, you'd be right, they do, but not for long. The Sydney Festival takes a hold of Sydney on 5th January and doesn't let go until the Australia Day long weekend.
The Sydney Festival - The most popular cultural festival in Australia
The Sydney Festival draws in around a million people from far and wide making it the most popular cultural festival in Australia. Many top Australian and International artists will attempt to dazzle and mesmerize you with an array of high quality offerings of dance, theatre, music and visual art.
The Sydney Festival is not what is was?
In the past, much of the Sydney Festival was free, then we went through a period where it was more about making money, then we switched back to the free stuff, particularly with the Festival First Night.
The Compact Sydney Festival
David Byrne and St Vincent (see below)
The 2013 edition of the Sydney Festival is a little more compact (i.e. smaller), a little less free and accessible, but still well worth picking out the things you want to do and see. It's more of a 'cherry picking' exercise than last year.
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Sydney Festival Highlights
Cantina at the Sydney Festival
The big drawcards include "Rian" at the Theatre Royal, "Cantina" at the Spiegeltent Rokia Traore, Dance Donke and Semele Walk at Sydney's Town Hall, the Water Boys, David Byrne (ex Talking Heads) and St Vincent at the State Theatre.
2001: A Space Odyssey with the Sydney Symphony and Sydney Philharmonica Orchestra
Listen to the Sydney Symphony and Sydney Philharmonica play the soundtrack to 2001: A Space Odyssey whilst you actually watch the film. Should be out of this world.
The Free Sydney Festival First Night has been replaced by this:
The Sydney Festival Rubber Ducky
Apparently, the demise of the very popular Sydney First Night was due to cut-backs by the NSW Government. "We were 'taking a bath' with the cost of the Sydney Festival's First Night" said an unknown spokesperson with a rubber ducky "and we would have been quackers to continue to fund it" .
Daptone Super Soul Revue
All is not lost, there will still be a super free concert in the Domain. A Daptone Super Soul Revue no less including Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, Charles Bradley, The Budos Band, Menahan Street Band and Sugarman 3, with the super cool Binky Griptite from the Dap-Kings as MC for the evening. If that doesn't grab you, have a look at the big rubber duck thing in Darling Harbour. It doesn't do anything, but its big and the kids might like to see it.
Sydney Festival Free Stuff
There is more free stuff to go to, not as much or as interesting as last year, but we can hardly complain as it is free after all. See what you think:
Sydney Festival For Kids
The Sydney Festival appears a little light this year on children's entertainment. We have Lah, Lah on Australia Day at the Parade Ground, and in Parramatta on the 19th January. Melbourne’s Listies are back for another year at the Spiegeltent and Honda Festival Garden from the 15th to 19th January.
Urban Colombia in Parramatta
Professional skaters and BMX riders periodically spin into action at Dulwich Hill Skate Park from 9th to 19th January. They will no doubt be 'wheely' good (but a little expensive). Urban, the edgy street performers from Colombia, will be performing at the Riverside in Parramatta from January 15th to 27th, but not for the under 10s.
Sydney Festival Stage Highlights
Murder, at the Sydney Festival
'The Secret River' - Sydney Theatre Company is said to be well worth seeing as is 'The Rape of Lucrece' by the Royal Shakespeare Company. If you like Nick Cave, contemplate 'Murder' by the visual theatre magicians Erth, who were strongly influenced by Nick's bloody song writing. For a little light relief, go on a blind date with Bojana Novakovic and have some fun with her numerous potential soul mates, or not, as the case maybe.
The Art Gallery of NSW
The Art Gallery of NSW likes to play it's part in the Sydney Festival. This year they will host the first major Australian exhibition of Francis Bacon's work in Australia. Over 50 paintings are up for your viewing pleasure as well as archival material from his studio, films and photographs. "I've made images the intellect would never make." says Mr Bacon
Sydney Festival's Program
The best way to approach this is to flick through the program (link below). If you intend to see a few different things make use of the planner on the Sydney Festival website.
I Love the Nightlife - Honda Festival Garden in Hyde Park
As you might have guessed, Sydney will be alive and buzzing during the festival and it doesn't stop till..well I'm not sure it does stop actually. Anyway, the Sydney Festival has it's own bar in Hyde Park complete with all kinds of entertainment to keep you in a Sydney Festival mood including "The Famous Spiegeltent".
During the day, "The Famous Spiegeltent" is family friendly with "The Listies" entertaining the kids. After dark, however, it is a different story, time for the grown ups to have some fun.
Paradiso at Town Hall
Richard Hawley at Paradiso
The Paradiso at Town Hall is open for ten nights straight with performances from international and Aussie bands. Once the performance is over, you can keep on dancing to two in the morning.
As well as hosting events, Sydney Town Hall boasts the Paradiso Bar on the terrace. The intention is to feed you, as well as ply you with alcohol. The bar opens at 5.30pm.
Parramatta Festival - 19th to 26th January
Parramatta hosts it own opening party on 19th January with 'free events galore' including a free concert featuring Kashmere Stage Band and Rokia Traoré. Maybe Parramatta is taking over the festival as there appears to be some pretty cool things happening in Sydney's heart.
Top 100 Plus Sydney things to do
There are a myriad of things to do in and around Sydney which are not officially part of the Sydney Festival. Once you have planned your Sydney Festival outings, fill in the gaps with some top things to do in Sydney: