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It's that time again. The sky has been yielding rain for days now, and the ground at the Domain has been destroyed by the excesses of Homebake, Carols by Candlelight, an Al Green fiesta and the Hottest 100. That's right, it's time for Tropfest once more.

Surviving Tropfest is equal parts luck and practice. Every year is punctuated by tittering at Tropfest Newbies, who have worn seriously inappropriate clothes, are trying to eat wildly difficult food, or have some misguided faith that using the toilet will require less than an hour.

While characterised by floods or heatwaves, Tropfest is an event of great excitement. What can be better than an evening spent with friends being alternately amazed, moved or amused? Here's how to get the most out of your Tropfest experience.

Come rain or shine

The weather will be intense, whether warm or raining. It's a Tropfest tradition. Bring something for all eventualities; garbage bags to create ponchos, sunscreen and hat for the sub-Sahara temperatures. Do not bring: expensive electronics that can be easily damaged or nice clothing that will be destroyed by copious amounts of mud.

Dress for the occasion

Everyone loves a pretty dress but this is a day-long picnic, not a red carpet. Wear comfy clothes, you will be sitting outdoors for a significant period of time. Thongs are probably an essential Tropfest investment.

Bring essentials

Relying on stalls for victuals is not the greatest idea for Tropfest. After all, there are 20 000 people also vying for a place in the line. Bringing your own food (and grog) is a fantastic way to have a day out cheaply, without having to miss 10 films because you were in a line for churros. Information on attending is here.

Get there early, and pull up a pew to enjoy the best of Australia's short films in a perfect Sydney setting.
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Why? It's cheap, it's fun and you can brag about having known the next Weir, Beresford or Perkins when they were just starting out.
When: February 21st, from 12pm
Where: The Domain, Sydney
Cost: Free
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