Sydney Festival Is Back With A Mammoth 133-Event Line-Up Featuring Concerts, Art Installations, Theatre And More

Ria Lawrence Ria Lawrence - Staff Writer


Sydney Festival is back. And it’s primed to take over the city like never before. The festival, with it’s massive 133-event program aims to revive the devastated art sector and breathe fresh life into it.

From January 6-30, Sydney is set to burst into a kaleidoscope of colour and activity and help us shake off the monotony of the last few months. And they’re pulling all the stops this year.

Set to be the first Sydney Festival programmed by new art director Olivia Ansell, you can look forward to illuminated art installations, glittering musicals, live performances and so much more.

Sydney Festival 2022

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.

Ansell spoke about the role of Sydney Festival in reviving the city’s struggling cultural sector.

“We are thrilled to reunite artists with audiences this summer, unleashing a compelling and diverse line-up of world class performing and visual arts experiences to be enjoyed outdoors, indoors and online. Sydneysiders and visitors alike can rediscover their city differently, through a contemporary, immersive, irreverent and imaginative lens. Sydney Festival’s 2022 program will play a crucial role in restoring culture safely to our city,” she said.

Over 133 events are in the offing — including 33 world premiers and 52 brand new commissions, spread out over 25 days in the month of January.

Sydney Festival 2022 highlights

2022 is primed to start on a great note with some truly exceptional highlights on the program. Some to look forward to include an epic art installation titled Thaw. A 2.7 tonne sculpted ice block will be hoisted 20 meters above the Harbour from the foot of the Sydney Opera House. A solo artist will perform atop the structure as it slowly melts away making a strong statement about the impact of climate change.

One of Australia’s most legendary live performers, The Cat Empire will take the stage by storm 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. 

Another highlight is the Airship Orchestra — a vivid, towering art structure by ENESS studio which comes with a choir score.


Meanwhile, the Hordern Pavilion is set to transform into a theatrical extravagance with Qween Lear — a queer take on Shakespeare’s King Lear.

Explore the hidden nooks and crannies of Sydney’s harbour with Acoustic Life of Boatsheds in a special maritime experience by
Big hART — one of Australia’s leading arts and social justice companies.


In exciting news indeed, the annual tradition of Sydney Symphony Under the Stars will be returning to Parramatta Park. Take in Sydney Symphony Orchestra’s free concert this Summer in all its spectacular beauty.


Musical Girl From The North Country is set to be one of Sydney Festival’s biggest shows and features music by Bob Dylan. Even better — you can experience it at the newly restored Theatre Royal.

Theatre lovers can also look forward to Darlinghurst Theatre Company’s powerful new production of dance musical A Chorus Line featuring some truly phenomenal choreography by Australian dance superstar Amy Campbell.

Also mark your calendars for Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? by First Nations director and actor Margaret Harvey.

Art enthusiasts can look forward to exploring the magic of Matisse at the Art Gallery of New South Wales through over 100 works of art at the Matisse: Life and Spirit exhibition, or head over to one of the festival’s most popular events The Vigil: Song for Tomorrow led by talented Aboriginal artists.

There is a lot more to look forward to. Head over to the festival’s website for all the details and to purchase your tickets.

(All images: Supplied/ Sydney Festival)


What: Sydney Festival
When: 6-30 January, 2022
Where: Venues spread across the city



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