Darlinghurst Arts and Culture


Arts and Culture in Darlinghurst

From cutting-edge music and plays to the world-famous Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, Darlinghurst has an exciting calendar of events to enjoy and celebrate. The glittering Mardi Gras Parade is held every March. You can also explore Darlinghurst’s fascinating history on tours, browse in commercial art galleries and visit the Sydney Jewish Museum.

  • Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parade 2014
  • Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Harbour Party 2014

Museums, galleries and performing arts

Discover a thriving arts and cultural scene on your visit to Darlinghurst, and explore the fascinating history of this inner-city neighbourhood. The highlight is the world-famous Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade, held every March on Oxford Street. It's a glittering cavalcade of colourful floats and gorgeous costumes. If there's one parade that promises much to write home about, it's this one.

Darlinghurst is also home to various commercial galleries. The Artery, on Darlinghurst Road, sells Aboriginal art. Gallery 9, in Darley Street, was recognised by Contemporary Magazine, London, in 2007 as one of the 50 emerging galleries in the world. He Made She Made is a concept gallery on Oxford Street and promotes emerging Australian artists.

Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parade 2014

Day or night, you'll find many opportunities to enjoy Darlinghurst's ever-changing arts and cultural scene. Take a tour with Two Feet and a Heartbeat or Ketel One Bar Tours and learn about the infamous razor gangs of the early 20th century. Stop in for a drink at Love, Tilly Devine, a small bar named after the notorious madam Matilda Tilly Devine, who fronted a razor gang.

The historic Darlinghurst Gaol, now the National Art School, is worth a visit for the insight it gives into the lives of the convicts who lugged the sandstone to build the walls in the early 1800s. The famous Australian writer Henry Lawson penned the poem One Hundred and Three while incarcerated here. Art exhibitions are held in the former prison.

For live performances, cabaret lounge Slide creates an alluring atmosphere where you can enjoy cocktails, dinner and amazing fire breathers, aerialists, acrobatic artists, singers and a magician in various themed shows. Nearby is the edgy Oxford Art Factory, a live music venue. Some of the bars, pubs and restaurants put on live music, such as The Commons and Ginger's in the Oxford Hotel.

For theatre lovers, reserve your tickets for plays by Griffin Theatre Co. at SBW Stables Theatre, in Nimrod Street, and by Darlinghurst Theatre Co. at the Eternity Playhouse, in Burton Street. A short walk east from the Eternity Playhouse is the Sydney Jewish Museum, on Darlinghurst Road. The museum has a permanent Holocaust exhibition and free guided tours Monday-Friday and Sunday.

  1. Australian Design Centre

    Through visionary exhibitions, education programs, publications and retail activities, the centre strives to make connections between creative minds across Australia, heightening awareness of outstanding design, and...

  2. Black Eye Gallery

    Black Eye - a gallery for contemporary photography, is committed to representing the photographic art form from established and emerging artists both in Australia and abroad. They also stock publications by Australia...

  3. Darlinghurst Theatre Company

    Darlinghurst Theatre Company develops, produces and presents outstanding professional artist-driven theatre. Since 2001, it has staged over 200 productions in collaboration with more than 1000 artists....

  4. Vernon Ah Kee: not an animal or a plant

    Saturday 7 January to Saturday 11 March 2017, Darlinghurst

    Presented in association with Sydney Festival, this solo exhibition by internationally renowned Australian artist Vernon Ah Kee is a thought-provoking portrait of black and white political issues, attitudes and...

    07 Jan -11Mar
  5. A Strategic Plan

    Friday 27 January to Saturday 11 March 2017, Darlinghurst

    A Strategic Plan is Geelong-based playwright Ross Mueller’s contemporary satire about office life, arts funding and the perils of following your heart. Hilarious, pointed and painfully observant, it’s sure to cut...

    27 Jan -11Mar
  6. Sydney Mardi Gras Parade

    Saturday 4 March 2017, Darlinghurst

    There is no more perfect combination of passion and people than The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade. Every year, hundreds of thousands of spectators from all over the world bring the city to a standstill as...

    04 Mar

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