Cast away the frosty shackles of Winter and embrace the coming of Spring in Sydney. September brings not only the promise of warmer days and nights but an awakening of the city's festival heart. Step into the pulse of Sydney and let the rivers of energy take you to the nodes of excitement each week - discover the local quirkiness and unknown at the Fringe; take a visual trip to Latin America; celebrate local art and artists; experience traditional Japanese theatre; embrace new fashion styles; relive the story of love and joy in ancient Siam; and look into the eyes of nature's majestic creation. Whatever you choose, make your September the best ever with these top picks of not-to-be-missed festivals and cultural events.
Take a step outside of your everyday and embrace the cultural heart of Sydney. Celebrate that which is fun, inspiring, quirky. local, unknown and exceptional with the Sydney Fringe Festival, the largest independent arts festival in New South Wales. Throughout September, your senses will be intoxicated by incredible entertainment, street activations, artist workshops, public forums and family events presented by some of the best professional and emerging artists and arts organisations the city has to offer.
Take a trip into the bold, dark, quirky and unique world of Latin America with up and coming and young film makers at the Sydney Latin American Film Festival. From 3 to 10 September, you and enjoy a curated selection of new-release features, documentaries and award-winning short films from South America including Brazil, Cuba, Uruguay, Costa Rica, Colombia, Argentina, Peru, Venezuela, Mexico and Puerto Rico. There are also films from Haiti, Jamaica, USA and Australia.
Photo courtesy of Sydney Latin American Film Festival
Some highlights include 'El Mudo' by Cannes award-winning Peruvian siblings Daniel and Diego Veg, a winner at Tribeca and Sundance Film Festivals, 'Stones in the Sun' and 'Anina',a multi award-winning animation film for families and Uruguay's submission to the Best Foreign Language Film, Oscar Academy Awards 2014. The movies will be screened at Event Cinemas on George St and accompanied by FREE before and after-movie music performances with selected screenings. So visit the website the grab your tickets before they are all gone.
Instead of your high profile and big gallery production, the annual Glebe Art Show takes you to the grassroots. Held from 5 to 13 September at the Glebe Library and adjoining building, the Show provides a community gallery for artists living or working in the Glebe area and neighbouring suburbs including the City of Sydney and Leichhardt Council municipalities. It also encourages local emerging artist to show their work and learn how to stage an exhibition.
The Show will be opened on 5 September by Lord Mayor of Sydney, Clover Moore between 6pm to 8pm. The exhibition is open FREE to the public between 10am to 6pm on weekdays and 10am to 4pm on Saturday. All the displayed artworks are available for sale. There will also be an Art Walk, Art Talk and Craft Market as part of the Show. For further information, check out the website
While there are several cultural exhibitions in the city, this is the only opportunity to feast your eyes on the ingredients of the ancient Japanese theatre art of nō in Australia. Referred to as 'Japanese opera' by the Western world, nō is the oldest and most complex form of theatre in Japan with a history spanning over 600 years. Dating back to the age of the samurai, its plays combines drama, music and dance with themes drawn from folk tales and everyday life.
Entitled 'Theatre of Dreams, Theatre of Play', you will see 165 works that have never been exhibited together outside of Japan. Each is produced by master artisans for their samurai patrons. Handed down through the generations, these rare works are only available from the most prestigious Japanese collections. They include dazzling costumes, enigmatic masks, finely crafted instruments and paintings that collectively bring the ancient nō performance to life. Organised by the Art Gallery of New South Wales, the Agency for Cultural Affairs of the Government of Japan and the Japan Arts Council, this exhibition runs till 14 September. For more details, check out the website.
From 24 to 27 September, Sydney will be transformed into a fashion hive buzzing with top name designers and models gathering for the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Festival. You can enjoy front row seats with fashionistas and flashbulbs at the runway which is Sydney Town Hall.
Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Festival Sydney
You can enjoy collections from well-known labels like Alannah Hill, Camilla, Dion Lee II, We Are Handsome, Romance Was Born and Alex Perry, as well as private backstage sessions, beauty workshops, designer discounts, freebies and access to a party at the VIP bar. For a fashion event like no other that turns heads and click cameras, grab your tickets to the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Festival in Sydney today before they leave the runway.
If you're searching for a musical with stunning costumes, magnificent staging, popular scores and well-known performers to enjoy in September, 'The King and I' at the Joan Sutherland Theatre in Sydney Opera House tops them all. This time-honoured classic of love and joy, set in dynastic Siam is given a fresh look with a stellar cast consisting of Lisa McCune, the first lady of Australian musical theatre; internationally acclaimed baritone Teddy Tahu Rhodes; Australian 70s pop legend Marty Rhone and Chinese opera star Shu-Cheen Yu, all of whom lend their new voices to unforgettable scores like 'Getting To Know You', 'I Have Dreamed' and 'Something Wonderful'.
23 years after its Australian premiere, Christopher Renshaw's triple Tony Award-winning production finally returns to Sydney on 7 September. And winning 3 Helpmann Awards, including Best Musical, Best Costume Design and Best Sound Design at the recent 14th Annual Helpmann Awards reaffirms that The King and I is a performance not to be missed. Check the website for more details on the schedule and tickets or phone: 02 9318 8200
While there are several photographic exhibitions occurring in the city, nothing comes close in terms of scale to that of Bryant Austin. This American photographer and conservationist is the only in the world who produces high-resolution, life-size photographs of whales. He spent weeks and months photographing humpback, minke and sperm whales off Tonga, Dominica and the Great Barrier Reef.
Photo courtesy of Australian National Maritime Museum
The 'Beautiful Whale' exhibition at the Australian National Maritime Museum will showcase Bryant's library of incredible whale portraits. Open daily from 9.30am to 5pm for the whole month of September, you will see photographs the size of the huge mammals' bodies as well as detailed shots of their faces and eyes. These powerful images filled with expression and intelligence will totally change the way you think about whales. For more information, check out the website or phone: (02) 9298 3777.
RICHMOND JUBILEE Come ride a steam train on 20-21 September between Richmond & Windsor, see unique shops, fascinating art and craft, Hot Rods, SES rescue display, storytelling & games, stalls and much more.