Sydney Festivals & EventsVivid Sydney

Christmas at the QVB NSW
Christmas at the QVB NSW

Sydney offers many exciting annual festivals and events throughout the year, with many one-off events held in some of Sydney’s iconic locations and institutions, including Sydney Harbour, Royal Botanic Garden and Art Gallery of NSW.

Whether it is an art and cultural exhibition, theatre, opera, musical, there is sure to be something for everyone to enjoy. Many of the big ticketed events will usually be well promoted, but for the smaller festival and events, it can sometimes be word-of-mouth from family and friends who live here, or if you are a member of the local organisation or have registered to be on their mailing list.

When visitors to Sydney will often plan their visit, to coincide with the festival/event.

Christmas is of course one of those times, when the city is adorned with Christmas decorations. Places like the Queen Victoria Building, often have amazing Christmas displays.

Boxing Day brings us the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race, which starts of in Sydney, New South Wales, and finishes in Hobart, Tasmania. The length of the race is approximately 630 nautical miles.

Whilst New Years Eve is celebrated everywhere, there is festivities over the Harbour City, with a big focus on the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House.

With fireworks becoming less popular with environmentally conscious people, drone and light shows have already started to overtake for entertainment value and may we say, the wow factor.

The annual Vivid Sydney has become one of those spectacular shows that has grown and spread across more and more areas of Sydney since its beginning.

Vivid Sydney NSW © Zain Dom
Vivid Sydney NSW © Zain Dom

Sydney of course has protest marches and parades, including the Mardi Gras, that started in the form of protest and activism, a solidarity of pride and diversity, that has now evolved into the internationally renowned period of celebration, bringing together thousands of visitors from around the world.

There is also a big emphasis in Sydney on sporting fixtures such as cricket and football (soccer, NRL, AFL, Rugby Union). When the sporting fixture is a grand final, special guests are often put on as the opening and half-time entertainment.

Sydney Swans AFL, Sydney NSW
Sydney Swans AFL, Sydney NSW

Another annual event that has grown in popularity is the City2Surf, a charity fundraising event, that is promoted as “Be Part of the World’s Largest Fun Run”. A race for serious runners, it is also enjoyed by those just out to have a fun day out, dressing up, walking with family and friends.

Sydney City 2 Surf (2003), NSW
Sydney City2Surf (2003 Archive), NSW

Sydney is also filled with art and culture, with some amazing exhibitions held in galleries and exhibition spaces around the city.

Walking men 2018-22, bronze (on loan from the Nock Art Foundation), artist Laurence Edwards (England b1967)
Walking men 2018-22, bronze (on loan from the Nock Art Foundation),
artist Laurence Edwards (England b1967), Sydney Modern Project NSW

One of the important traditions across Australia and in Sydney is the Anzac Day Service, that starts at the Cenotaph in Martin Place from 4.20am. The annual Anzac Day March takes place along Elizabeth Street in the Sydney Central Business District, and will end near the Anzac Memorial in Hyde Park.

The Cenotaph "Less We Forget", Martin Place, Sydney NSW
The Cenotaph “Less We Forget”, Martin Place, Sydney NSW
ANZAC Memorial, Hyde Park, Sydney NSW
ANZAC Memorial, Hyde Park, Sydney NSW

Footnote & References

  1. What’s On, City of Sydney,
  2. Events Guide, City of Sydney,

Sydney Festivals & EventsVivid Sydney

NSW Festivals & EventsSydney Festivals & Events

Festivals & EventsNSW Festivals & Events NT Festivals & Events Australia Festivals & Events

New South WalesBarunguba Montague Island Bourke Blue Mountains Bundeena Central Coast Kosciuszko National Park Mount Kaputar National Park Lower North Shore Northern Beaches Sapphire Coast Snowy Mountains Region South Coast Stony Range Regional Botanic Garden Sydney