Sydney Festival

January 9th to 26th


The whole of Sydney has festival fever in January, as the official Sydney Festival runs for almost an entire month. It is a mish-mash of different festivals and parties throughout the city. Not only is it a music festival, but there are artistic and visual performances which attract the attention of international stars. There are diverse programs that are kaleidoscopic in nature and conducted during this time. These include the international theatre, late-night burlesque and dancing. Different types of world and indie music can be heard along with classical concerts and opera. The Sydney Festival caters to every taste and style imaginable, and the majority of entertainment is suited to a low budget.

The 2013 lineup has been announced for the Sydney Festival featuring and extensive list of bands and artists in an elaborate program. Local favorites will take part alongside internationally renowned acts and stars. Expect to attend events where you recognize half of the acts but not the other half, although you should be pleasantly surprised by the quality of local talent. Dress appropriately for your planned event; do not show up to the opera dressed for a mosh pit. Similarly, a monocle and white satin gloves won’t last long at an indie session.

Lee Ranaldo from Sonic Youth and vocalist Mike Patton are among the top artists who will perform and are the most eagerly anticipated act. They will appear alongside 14-piece classical band “Song Company”. Patton will perform acclaimed artistic musical piece “Laborintus IIIm” which was composed by Luciano Berio. The piece is created from several video clips, the spoken word and electronic instrumentation. Ranaldo will debut his new work “Hurricane Transcriptions”.

Special free performances are interspersed between shows, but these should not be ignored in favor of the more expensive performances; some artists performing for free at the Mailan theatre are Chaka Khan and cabaret queen Amanda Palmer. Saxophone prodigy Matmos, who is a member of rock band “Arcade Fire”, is expected to draw a large crowd. Bon Iver is arguably the most famous of stars attracting attention at the festival, so grab your tickets quickly before they sell out! Former “Battles” front man Tydonai Braxton will perform in a special event next to Bon Iver.

“Laneway” star Kurt Vile, post-punk icon from “Orange Juice” Edwyn Collins, “Czar” star John Grant and “Niger” guitar wiz Bombino will make guest appearances at several venues throughout the festival. “Bad Seed” star Mick Harvey will also perform.
This year organizers have arranged a tribute to be paid to cult rock bad “Big Star”, The tribute ensemble includes the bands only surviving member Mike Mills, former R.E.M bassist Jody Stephens, The solo artist of the Posies, Ken Strinfellow and Mitch Easter from “Let’s Active”. They will perform numbers from the band’s album “Third”.

This festival takes place in more than 30 venues across Sydney. The venues range from intimiate hipster bars and theatres, to more popular and larger venues. The Sydney Theatres, Sydney Opera House, the City Recital Hall and Carriageworks are among the top venues that host paid performances from top artists. Those who love to a more relaxed atmosphere should visit Festival Garden and the Festival Bar for more casual drinks and events. Paid performances vary in costs but average at AUS$25. Tickets can be purchased on the door, but there is no guarantee they will be available: they are prone to selling out so representatives recommend purchasing tickets in advance. Some free events also require ticketed entry. With everything sprawled across the city plan your routes in advance. Public transport is the easiest and most affordable way to make your way from venue to venue, but it can get congested.