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Arts and Culture Summer Events in Sydney


Summer events in Sydney

Sydney’s arts and culture summer line-up is one not to be missed. With international exhibitions, performances, and cultural festivals, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

Must Do

Sydney International Art Series

Two local art powerhouses - the Art Gallery of NSW and the Museum of Contemporary Art - join forces to present two remarkable exhibitions. Pop to Popism showcases an extensive array of pop art, while the Chuck Close exhibition highlights the work of this inventive visual artist. 

Dirty Dancing - The Classic Story on Stage

Nobody puts Baby in the corner! Following its 2004 sell-out world premiere in Sydney, and after wowing critics and fans around the globe for a decade, Dirty Dancing will return to the harbour city under the helm of famed Australian theatre producer John Frost.

Sydney Mardi Gras

Sydney’s Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras is an iconic drawcard with its universal message of gay pride, diversity, equality, love and acceptance. The three-week event culminates in the Mardi Gras parade featuring a stunning assortment of lavish floats, eye-popping costumes and vibrant colour. 

Sydney Festival

Showcasing the best in performance, art and music from across Australia and around the world from 8 - 26 January. The program is kaleidoscopic in its diversity, from late night burlesque and international theatre, to dance, indie and world music, the festival offers something for a wide range of audiences.  

Australia Day

Join the locals and celebrate Australia Day on January 26. Sydney observes the holiday in style with a host of events taking place around Sydney Harbour and throughout the city centre. Many spend the day on Sydney’s beaches and flock to Darling Harbour to continue the party after sunset.

Chinese New Year Festival

Welcome in the Year of the Sheep during Sydney’s Chinese New Year Festival from 13 February to 1 March. More than 80 events will transform Sydney's streets - many of them free - including exhibitions, night markets, restaurant banquets, the spectacular Twilight Parade and lively dragon boat races. 

Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour

Enjoy a night of entertainment in the outdoors watching world-class opera with the iconic Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge as your backdrop. This year’s program features the dramatic Aida, an epic story of a royal love triangle set in Egypt at the time of the pharaohs.

New Years Eve

Summer is a time of celebration in Sydney and New Year’s Eve is among the biggest of them all. Welcome in 2015 with one of the world's most impressive fireworks displays and join the 1.6 million along the Sydney Harbour Foreshore and filling the city's streets, bars and gardens. 


The much-loved children's book by Roald Dahl makes its Australian stage debut at the Sydney Lyric Theatre in 2015 after highly acclaimed seasons at Broadway and in London's West End. The Royal Shakespeare Company production tells the story of a small girl with a big imagination who learns she has special magical powers.