Weekends are an adventure, inspired to create grin-inducing memories, new friendships and captivating stories. Every weekend deserves a Weekend Note.
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As Sydney's events calendar bursts with activity, festivals have become a great way to binge on the best of a theme – cinema, literature, music, art, dance, food, history and culture. Throughout 2017, festivals offer enough WeekendNote-worthy adventures for the young or old thrill-seeker. Don't miss out on the fun - add these festivals, listed in chronological order, to your diary.
Flickerfest - Friday 06 January to Sunday 15 January 2017 – Ticketed Events
For 2 decades, Flickerfest at Bondi Beach has been one of our biggest short-film festivals, hosting the best shorts from local and international moviemakers. In 2017, 60 films will be broadcast, including 22 world premieres.
Sydney Festival - Saturday 07 January to Sunday 29 January 2017 – Free and Ticketed Events
Yabun Festival - Thursday 26 January 2017 – Free Entry
The cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders are showcased at Yabun in Broadway, Glebe with music and dance. Talent from previous festivals includes Jessica Mauboy and Archie Roach. Enter the Speakout Tent for compelling discussions with Aboriginal themes.
Chinese New Year Festival - Friday 27 January to Sunday 12 February 2017 – Free Entry
The biggest event in the Chinese calendar fills the streets of Chinatown and Haymarket with over 80 free events and activities, including Dragon Boat races, markets, tours and exhibitions.
Serbian Festival - Saturday - 04 February to Sunday 05 February 2017 – Free Entry
At Darling Harbour, the largest Serbian Festival in the Southern Hemisphere features cuisine, including pljeskavica (a ground beef/pork patty) Krofne, doughnuts filled with custard, chocolate, cream or jelly, and Rakija, a strong fruit brandy, music and dance, exhibits and activities.
Tropfest - Tuesday 07 February to Saturday 11 February 2017 – Free Entry
The world-famous short-film festival returns with a series of free broadcasts in Parramatta Park for its 25th anniversary. The theme for this year's 7-minute entries is 'pineapple'.
Paramasala - Friday 10 March to Sunday 12 March 2017 – Free Entry
Colourful spices bring Parramatta to life as Indian culture fills Prince Alfred Square and Harris Park. Sip Chai Tea while watching street parades, practising yoga, haggling at the spice market, listening to traditional music and watching Bollywood blockbusters.
Taste of Sydney – March 2017 – Ticketed Event
In the Centennial Parklands, bring your appetite to sample over 60 tasting dishes from 15 of Sydney's top chefs. Grab produce, sauces and treats from dozens of local artisans then master your kitchen with cooking workshops.
Matthew Harding's The Piper (Sculpture by the Sea)
Holi Mahotsav Festival of Friendship and Harmony – March 2017 – Free Entry
Make a fresh start in 2017 at Darling Harbour. In this ceremony, old animosities are left behind, regrets are forgotten and new hope, joy and friendship is encouraged. Indian artists will perform throughout the festival as vegetarian dishes are served from pop-up stalls.
Sydney Comedy Festival - Monday 24 April to Sunday 21 May 2017 – Ticketed Events
Sydney Writers' Festival - Monday 22 May to Sunday 28 May 2017 – Free and Ticketed Events
Catering for every genre, including romantic fiction, sci-fi, children's fantasy tales and political commentary. The SWF is a booklover's favourite time of the year. Over 400 writers will discuss the themes, characters, plot twists and ideas in 2017's latest book releases. Catering for every genre, guests in 2016 included freestyling UK poet Kate Tempest, Stan Grant, Sarah Ferguson and Hanya Yanagihara.
Vivid Sydney - Friday 26 May to Saturday 17 June 2017 – Free Entry
Blending our landmark tourist sites with dynamic illumination and music, Vivid converts Sydney's cityscape into an artwork, warming us during chilly winter evenings.
Medieval Fair - Saturday 20 May to Sunday 21 May 2017 – Free Entry
Return to the fair age of Knights, Lords and Ladies as the pageantry and tradition of Britain's chivalrous history comes to life in Blacktown. Discover the painstaking arts of jousting, jewellery making and horsecraft, dressed in your regal costume (or full suit of armour).
Sydney Film Festival - Wednesday 07 June to Sunday 18 June 2017 – Ticketed Events
Sydney's biggest silver screen event premieres new features, documentaries, animation and short films from Australian and international artists, exploring every genre. Check the program to choose from over 250 screenings.
Bankstown Bites - Saturday 29 July 2017 – Free Entry
Join over 10,000 people enjoying the tasty treats served from pop-up stalls. The range of international flavours includes lamb shish with spiced eggplant and yoghurt, beer-battered fish and chips, chicken dim sum, spinach and feta gozleme and Lebanese sweets.
Sydney Jewish Writers' Festival - Sunday 27 August to Monday 28 August 2017 – Free and Ticketed Events
Jewish culture, heritage and contemporary issues, including refugees, peace, extremism, Europe and the Middle East, are explored with award-winning journalists and writers discussing their latest novels, essays and non-fiction works. Previous guests have included David Gonski, Mark Tedeschi, Dov Lipman and Matti Friedman.
Good Food Month – October 2017 – Free and Ticketed Events
Australia's largest foodie festival features events throughout Sydney and regional NSW. Events, tastings and workshops celebrate our love of food with popular picks, Night Noodle Market, Good Pub Grub and Ultimate High Tea, returning in 2017.
Sculpture by the Sea – October 2017 – Free Entry
The delightful coastal walk through Bondi Beach to Tamarama is transformed into a magical outdoor gallery of art. The largest free-entry outdoor sculpture exhibition in the world presents over 100 works from local and international artists using metal, wood, plastic, glass and sand, putting my childhood sand castles to shame.
Norton Street Italian Festa – October 2017 – Free and Ticketed Events
Bravo Italiano! Over 100,000 people will descend on Little Italy in Leichhardt to enjoy pizza, pasta, tirumisu, gelato, wine as Italian Ferraris, Lamborghinis and Alfa Romeos roar with delight at the attention.
Which Sydney festival are you most looking forward to in 2017? Please let us know with a comment.