Another of the reasons I love living in Sydney is that there are events here all year round, many of them free to attend. If you are visiting the city this spring, there are some events on the calendar that you just can’t miss. You will have a fantastic time if you schedule your trip around one of these, though make sure you book your tickets in advance so you can definitely get a place!


Let’s start off with a new festival which I love. Antidote is all about art and social change and takes place over two days at the iconic Sydney Opera House in early September. There are free art performances, installations, talks, debates, and even interactive pieces which allow you to get involved. It’s a lot of fun and doesn’t take itself too seriously.

Surry Hills Festival

Taking place this year in this central neighbourhood on September 23, this one (top) has been going on for over 15 years already, so the word has spread and it’s very popular. The whole day of entertainment is free and it’s great for families, so everyone can come along. My favourite part is the live music, but a close second is the street food and market stalls which are packed with local produce. If you have kids they will have plenty to get up to as well.

Sydney Fringe

Taking place throughout the month of September, this is one of the biggest events of the year, and so many people flock here to see it – you might have trouble deciding where to stay around Sydney at this time because hotels get booked up quickly. Comedy, theatre, art installations, a circus, and parties across the city will be part of this fantastic event. It is very well-established and there were over 300 different productions in various venues last year, so you can expect this year to be on the same or an even larger scale.

Sydney Underground Film Festival

Film festivals usually showcase the best of the newest films out there, and the underground festival now underway (Sept. 14-17) here  is all about indie productions which can’t quite make it to the bigger events. There’s never any telling what kind of films you’ll be able to see as all genres are welcome. I love it when you find a real gem that no one else knows about – and the Sydney Underground Film Festival is definitely the place for that!


Festival of the Winds

used to love flying a kite when I was a kid, and that’s why the Festival of the Winds really captures my imagination. It’s one of the most colourful events that Sydney puts on, with kites flying high over Bondi Beach (this year, Sept. 10). You can buy spectacular handmade kites, join a workshop to make your own, or just watch the international kite flyers with their most spectacular creations.

Cabramatta Moon Festival

Cabramatta is an area of Sydney where many Vietnamese families have settled, and on Sept. 24 the Moon Festival celebrates their culture and cuisine in a street festival which draws up to 100,000 attendees. The party starts on John Street on the spring equinox, where daylight and darkness are at equal lengths. It’s a truly special day and night, with gourmet food, market stalls, parades, and a fireworks finale.

Sculpture By The Sea

This installation lasts from October 19 to November 5, bringing more than 100 sculptures to the coastal walk which joins Bondi with Tamarama, just as it has done for over 20 years. The line-up includes both local and international artists, with a generous prize available for those whose work is exhibited. You just have to go for a walk along Bondi when this is in place!

Newtown Festival

Its 39th edition being held this November 12th, this is all about celebrating this bohemian little slice of the city southwest of Darling Harbour, with around 90,000 people coming down to enjoy it – including me! There will be live music, street food, markets, and a park venue which makes the whole atmosphere relaxed and fun. It’s a day of love and embracing the local culture, which is a really nice way to spend the day. I never miss it when I’m in Sydney!

I can’t recommend any of these events enough – they are all a great part of life in Sydney and attract huge amounts of visitors to spend the day or night in celebration. Don’t miss out on any of them if you’re around when they happen!

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