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Sydney's Top 26 Festivals in 2019

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by Barry J (subscribe)
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Published January 6th 2019
The Best Things in Life are Festive
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Warm up with Vivid (by Vivid Sydney)


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 2019, 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 date order, to your diary.


Sydney Festival - 9 to 27 January 2019 Free and Ticketed Events
To celebrate the start to another year, the Sydney Festival presents visual and performing arts at our favourite spaces in Sydney City and Parramatta.

Highlights include the Symphony Under the Stars at the Crescent in Parramatta, Apollo 11 at Barangaroo and MallakhambIndia, an Indian circus act combining gymnastics, wrestling and aerial yoga.

View the program at the Sydney Festival.


Flickerfest - 11 to 20 January 2019 Ticketed Events
For almost 30 years, Flickerfest at Bondi Beach has been one of our biggest short-film festivals, hosting the best shorts from local and international moviemakers.

In 2019, themed nights will focus on local, international, comedy, environmental and documentary films will be broadcast, including world premieres and Oscar winners.

View the program at Flickerfest.


Yabun Festival - January 2019 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.

View the program at Yabun.


Sydney Lunar Festival - 1 to 10 February 2019 Free Entry
In the year of the Pig, the biggest event in the Chinese calendar fills the streets of Chinatown and Haymarket with over 80 free events and activities.

See Dragon Boat races, markets, tours and exhibitions. See the 13 spectacular giant lanterns of zodiac animals along the Opera House boardwalk.

View the program at the Lunar Festival.


Tropfest - 9 February 2019 Free Entry
The world-famous short-film festival returns with a series of free screenings, talks and awards events in Parramatta Park.

Watch the creations from our next generation of local filmmakers with the Trop Jr category, leading to the main event - the premiere of the 16 finalists.

View the program at Tropfest.


Serbian Festival - 23 to 24 February 2019 Free Entry
At Darling Harbour, the largest Serbian Festival in the Southern Hemisphere features cuisine, including pljeskavica (a ground beef/pork patty), and Krofne, doughnuts filled with custard, chocolate, cream or jelly.

Become an honourary Serbin with a sip of Rakija, a strong fruit brandy, while experiencing music and dance, exhibits and activities.

View the program at the Serbian Festival.

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Balinese dancing (by Parramasala)


Ingleburn Alive 2 March 2019 Free Entry
Along Oxford St in the heart of Ingleburn, sidle into the saddle for free camel rides.

Scan the pop-up stalls for entertainment, food and a petting zoo. Stick around as the sun sets for fireworks to light up Milton Park.

View the program at Ingleburn Alive.


International Festival of Speed 14 to 17 March 2019 Ticketed Event
In NSW's largest motorcycle road racing event, 8 of Australia's best Moto GP riders will duel at Eastern Creek on their historic, race-winning motorbikes.

As the scream of speedsters surrounds you during 54 events, browse the Show and Shine displays, chatting with car-lovers and racing royalty.

View the program at the International Festival of Speed.


Paramasala - March 2019 Free Entry
Colourful spices bring Parramatta to life as Indian culture bursts from 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.

View the program at Paramasala.


Taste of Sydney March 2019 Free Entry
In Moore Park, bring your appetite to sample over 60 tasting dishes from 15 of Sydney's top chefs.

Grab fresh local produce, sauces and treats from dozens of artisans, then conquer your kitchen with cooking workshops.

View the program at Taste of Sydney.


Sydney Royal Easter Show 12 to 23 April 2019 Ticketed Event
Every Sydneysider should experience the Sydney Royal Easter Show at least once, whether as a child or child at heart.

In Sydney Olympic Park, the outback comes to the 'big smoke', with animals, agricultural competitions, award-winning produce, preserves, pies and pastries.

Grab a swag of showbags, with options for kids of all ages and every interest, from fashion and sport, to comic book characters and confectionery.

View the program and book tickets at the Sydney Royal Easter Show.

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Matthew Harding's The Piper (Sculpture by the Sea)


Sydney Family Show 13 to 28 April 2019 Free Entry
Once you've recovered from the Royal Easter Show, get another dose of family festival fun at the Sydney Family Show in Moore Park.

Catch the Looney Tunes Show for antics with Bugs Bunny, meet the stars of the animated Cars films in the Disney Zone and try the sweet carnival comfort food before leaving with an armful of showbags.

View the program at the Sydney Family Show.


Sydney Comedy Festival - 29 April to 19 May 2019 Ticketed Events
Laugh yourself silly with hundreds of acts featuring Aussie and international comedians tickling your funny bone in theatres across Sydney.

In 2018, Stephen K Amos, Jimeoin, Arj Barker, Sarah Callaghan, Matt Okine, Dave Hughes, Akmal and Rose Matafeo took on the hecklers.

View the program at the Sydney Comedy Festival.


Sydney Writers' Festival - 29 April to 5 May 2019 Free and Ticketed Events
Catch up on this year's best books in every genre, from romantic fiction and sci-fi to children's fantasy tales and political commentary.

In a boon for booklovers, the SWF will host over 400 writers, discussing the themes, characters, plot twists and ideas shaping Sydney's lit landscape in 2019. Previous guests included Hannah Kent, Liane Moriarty, Richard Flanagan and Kate McClymont.

View the program at the Sydney Writers' Festival.


Medieval Fayre - 18, 19 May 2019 Free Entry
Return to the fair age of pageantry and chivilary, with knights, lords and ladies parading in a medieval Blacktown.

Learn the art of jousting, jewellery making and horsecraft. Dress in your favourite regal outfit or suit of armour.

View the program at Medieval Fayre.


Vivid Sydney - May to June 2019 Free Entry
Lighting up our landmark tourist sites with dynamic illumination and music, Vivid converts Sydney's cityscape into an artwork, warming us during chilly winter evenings.

View the program at Vivid.


Sydney Film Festival - 5 to 16 June 2019 Ticketed Events
Sydney's biggest silver-screen event premieres new features, documentaries, animation and short films from Australian and international artists, covering every genre.

Choose from over 250 screenings, experiencing 2019's most thought-provoking, contemporary cinema.

View the program at the Sydney Film Festival.


Bankstown Bites - July 2019 Free Entry
Join over 10,000 people enjoying the tasty treats served from pop-up stalls.

Travel on an international culinary tour in the heart of Bankstown with dishes with the world's best street food.

Sample lamb shish with spiced eggplant and yoghurt, beer-battered fish and chips, chicken dim sum, spinach and feta gozleme and Lebanese sweets.

View the program at Bankstown Bites.


Sydney Jewish Writers' Festival - August 2019 Free and Ticketed Events
Jewish culture, heritage and contemporary issues, including refugees, peace, extremism, Europe and the Middle East, are at the heart of the literature in the SJWF in Waverley Library.

Explore big ideas with award-winning journalists and writers as they discuss their latest novels, essays and nonfiction books. Previous guests have included David Gonski, Mark Tedeschi, Dov Lipman and Matti Friedman.

View the program at the Sydney Jewish Writers' Festival.


Festival of the Winds September 2019 Free Entry
Strolling along the boardwalk at Bondi Beach is delightful at any time, but during spring, the sky above Australia's most famous beach is alive with a dreamscape of kites.

Rivalling the creativity along the sands at Sculpture by the Sea, the Festival of the Winds lets artistic expression sail above the city.

View the program at the Festival of the Winds.


Sydney Fringe Festival - September 2019 Free and Ticketed Events
Push your boundaries in NSW's largest independent arts festival.

Over 300 events feature debut and controversial artists.

Previous Fringe highlights were Destructive Steps X, Australia's largest street dance festival, the Whitlams' Tim Freedman with music about Sydney's inner west, an adult retelling of the Pinocchio tale, and Alfie's Kitchen with a plant-based five course feast.

View the program at the Sydney Fringe Festival.


Sculpture by the Sea 24 October to 10 November 2019 Free Entry
During autumn, the delightful coastal walk from Bondi Beach to Tamarama is transformed into a magical outdoor gallery of artwork.

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. You'll be inspired to build your own sand castle masterpiece before the tide comes in.

View the program at Sculpture by the Sea.


Good Food Month October 2019 Free and Ticketed Events
At Australia's largest food festival, enjoy an endless menu of lunch and dinner delights in events in Sydney and regional NSW.

Choose from good pub grub, sip the ultimate high tea, prep your own culinary masterpieces in workshops and sample the savoury selection during the Night Noodle Markets.

View the program at the Good Food Month.


Norton Street Italian Festa October 2019 Free and Ticketed Events
Bravo Italiano! Over 100,000 people will descend on Little Italy in Leichhardt in a red, white and green celebration.

Revel in the best of Italian culture, enjoying pizza, pasta, tirumisu, gelato and wine. Ogle Ferraris, Lamborghinis and Alfa Romeos as they roar with delight at the attention.

View the program at Norton Street Italian Festa.


Holi Mahotsav Festival of Friendship and Harmony October 2019 Free Entry
During Holi Mahotsav, 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.

View the program at the Holi Mahotsav Festival.


Newtown Festival November 2019 Free Entry
Celebrate the dynamic culture of Newtown in Camperdown Memorial Rest Park during this annual local festival to raise funds for the Newtown Neighbourhood Centre.

Party with live music, art and food, browse market stalls for handmade clothing, jewellery and artwork and bring your dog to the pet-friendly park.

Entry is free but a gold coin donation is appreciated.

Read more at Newtown Festival.


Which Sydney festival are you most looking forward to in 2019? Please let us know with a comment.



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Why? Enjoy the best of Festive Sydney in 2019
When: All year!
Where: Throughout Sydney
Cost: Plenty of free options
Your Comment
That's a lot of festivals!
by Michael Genrich (score: 2|486) 9 days ago
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