12 Cultural Offerings Taking Place This Summer In Sydney Including Art, Opera, Music, Food And More

Marco Ruiz Marco Ruiz - Sponsored SMN Writer (APAC) - Staff Writer (Aus)

audience view of art performance

What a winter and what a year. Well, almost two years really where we’ve had to suffer postponements and cancellations to shows, exhibitions, performances and festivals we’ve had our eye on or had already bought tickets to. It hasn’t been great but the tide is turning and Sydney is going all in this summer with a whole heap of cultural offerings. From live performances to art and writers festivals as well as music and food events, Sydney this summer is looking 100.

Take a look below at the range of cultural offerings taking place over the next few months.

1. The Other Art Fair

The first weekend of December is all about art, but The Other Art Fair is more than just paintings on walls. Audiences at The Other Art Fair will this summer get to experience two phenomenal art installations which were forced to postpone their Sydney debut earlier in the year, as well as a pop-up Bombay Sapphire bar with a curated cocktail-tasting quiz, late-night art sessions with DJ sets and, of course, more than 100 emerging or underrepresented artists showcasing their work, which you can buy.

When: 2-5 December 2021

Where: The Cutaway at Barangaroo

Tickets: $20

The Other Art Fair

2. Word Travels Story Week

man picking up a landline telephone

Not quite summer but close enough, Word Travels Story Week is Australia’s annual celebration of performed writing. The festival is spreading its wings post-lockdown to find us at home, in our hood, in venues and all around Sydney.

There are private calls with Poets, Stop Signs and cash that comes to life, hidden capsules across the Botanic Gardens or strolls with TEDx Speakers—there’s so much secret goodness coming to life this Story Week – see the website + USE CODE: STORYWEEK21 to book your own free adventures.

When: 22–28 November 2021

Where: Various Locations

Story Week 2021

3. BAD Sydney Crime Writers Festival


If you enjoy all things crime, you’ll be happy to know that the BAD Sydney Crime Writers Festival is back in person this December.

There is heaps to look forward to this year including 40 different sessions, panels and special events with some of the most coveted names in crime fiction, true crime and social justice. All events will be livestreamed as well.

When: 2-5 December 2021

Where: State Library of New South Wales

BAD Crime Writers Festival

4. King Street Carnival

three women on lawn at a festival

Horrorshow, You Am I, Middle Kids, Confidence Man And Hiatus Kaiyote headline a massive line-up For January’s King Street Carnival. But look out, because we’ve heard there’s another special announcement in the pipeline.

In any case, the Inner Wests live music and art offering has been transformed into a behemoth three-day open-air festival with some of the country’s top musical talent and best up-and-comers.

When: 14-16 January 2022

Where: Inner West

Tickets: From $50

King Street Carnival

5. Nature Illuminated

garden path with magical fairy lighting

Although originally slated to premiere in mid-2021, Nature Illuminated was affected by lockdown measures across the state, but now new dates have been set and we cannot wait for this sparkling display of light and colour to arrive.

Sydney’s Chinese Garden of Friendship will be transformed into a wonderland with theatrical lighting reflecting the four seasons of the year, interactive forest sprites that keep a watchful eye over nature and an augmented reality treasure hunt that will explore the flora and fauna of this fabled realm.

And don’t forget that you can use your NSW Discover voucher to save money on the ticket price.

When: From 11 January 2022

Where: Chinese Garden of Friendship

Tickets: From $50 for adults

Nature Illuminated

6. Sydney Festival


The festival, with its massive 133-event program, aims to revive the devastated art sector and breathe fresh life into it. The highly-anticipated festival is set to expand to areas such as Mosman, Penrith, Cronulla, Manly and Bankstown, apart from its traditional CBD and Parramatta bases.

Some highlights to look forward to include an epic art installation titled Thaw, which consists of a 2.7 tonne sculpted ice block hoisted 20 meters above the Harbour from the foot of the Sydney Opera House; The Cat Empire will take the stage at Parramatta Park hosting over 12,000 people while the Bangarra Dance Theatre and Sydney Theatre Company are gearing up to showcase a huge contemporary corroboree.

When: 6-30 January 2022

Where: Across Sydney

Sydney Festival

7. Dîner en Blanc

Dîner en Blanc

Chic, spectacular and very unique, the Dîner en Blanc is as exclusive a party as it gets. For the uninitiated, this elegant large-scale picnic spans six continents and sees multitudes of people dressed in head-to-toe white clothing.

Curious to know what all the fuss is about? You’ll either need to be invited by an attendee from a previous event or get on the waiting list.

When: 26 February

Where: ?

Dîner en Blanc

8. The Little Prince


After a massive sell-out season earlier this year, the iconic story will return to warm our hearts once again. The Little Prince on stage adaptation features elements of dance, acrobats and new technology to replicate a magical world for the audience.

When: 1-23 January

Where: The Sydney Coliseum Theatre

The Little Prince

9. Wonderdome


The Wonderdome is a 360-degree pop-up cinema built at the Entertainment Quarter in Moore Park. It promises a cinematic experience like no other thanks to its immersive visuals and cutting-edge technology. The dome will use 12 projectors and a surround sound system that’s been in play at Coachella and Burning Man.

When: 4 December – 30 January 2022

Where: The Entertainment Quarter

The Wonderdome

10. Greek Island


An ode to Greece, the three-day festival, dubbed Greek Island, will see Sydney’s Clarke Island transformed into all things blue and white with Greek food, music and dancing.

When: 25-27 March 2022

Where: Clarke Island, Sydney Harbour

Greek Island

11. Opera Australia

actors on stage playing La Traviata

Opera Australia has embraced the new normal by announcing a return to regular programming with a massive line-up of events.

As has been tradition for nearly ten years, Gale Edward’s glorious production of La Bohème will kick off the summer season on New Year’s Eve. Other highlights include La Juive, a co-production with Opera de Lyon, the much-awaited return of The Marriage of Figaro and Otello among others.

When: Summer and beyond

Where: Sydney Opera House

Opera Australia

12. Live At Yours

live at mecca event

Sydney has no shortage of talented, award-winning and world-renowned musicians but with the lack of opportunities to perform over the past couple of years, they’ve done it tough. However, Live At Yours found a way for the show to go on and the intimate events are continuing throughout the summer with shows at Mecca Cafe and Roastery, The Independent Theatre and The Great Synagogue.

When: Summer

Where: Various Locations

Live At Yours

Live at Independent: Daniel Rojas and Ensemble Apex

January 14, 2022 5:00 PM
Camperdown Memorial Rest Park
From A$50.00
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