Sydney doesn’t have a reputation for being the most fun place to be in winter, but you don’t need to look far to see the harbourside city offers much more than meets the eye. From ice skating over Sydney’s most famous beach and learning about the world’s longest-living culture during NAIDOC Week, to running up a hill dressed as Kate Bush, Sydney’s got something for everyone this July. Here’s what’s on offer.
Multiple venues | July 1 – July 17 | Tickets free-$75
Sydney’s most Instagrammable ice rink is back for another round of winter festivities as part of the Bondi Festival, which celebrates all things play and fun in the beachside suburb. Featuring the famous ice skating rink, a walking tour created by local kids, and an array of comedy and live performances, there’s sure to be something to keep you warm.
The Rocks | July 14 – July 17 | Tickets free-$200
Raclettes, mulled wine, and Christmas in July celebrations: with the amount of delicious treats promised by the organisers of the French celebration at the Rocks, you’d be forgiven for thinking you were being transported to a European Christmas market. Just what you need to get out of the winter rut.
NAIDOC in the City
Hyde Park | July 9 | Entry is free
Celebrating the world’s longest-living culture, NAIDOC in the City kicks off the week with a Welcome to Country and call of clans, followed by performances, games and markets. It begins at 10am.
Silent Film Festival
Multiple venues | June 30 – August 21 | Tickets $15-25
What’s better than a modern movie with world-class graphics and surround sound? The Silent Film Festival might yet convince you that silent films have a special role to play in our loud, shouty world. It will feature classics including the The Hunchback of Notre Dame, The Apartment, and (of course) Charlie Chaplin, and they’ll all be shared at the stunning State Library and St Matthew’s Anglican Church in Manly.
Judith Lucy and Denise Scott: Still Here
Enmore Theatre | July 10 | Tickets $70
The Australian comedians are back on stage and they’re back together. Lucy, well-known for her appearances on The Weekly since 2019, and Scott, who has most recently featured on Studio 10 and Logie-winning Travel Guides, first teamed up for a critically acclaimed show in 2017 – or as they call it, “simpler times”. They’re starring in “what could loosely be called a play”.
Secrets of the Underworld Live Dinner Show
Wildfire Lounge | July 8 | Tickets $35-116
What would the former bodyguard of infamous Sydney figure John Ibrahim know about the Sydney underworld? As it happens, enough to fill a show and podcast. Neil “The Muscle” Cummins, who protected Ibrahim in King’s Cross for more than a decade, is set to reveal what life in that world is like. You’ll definitely be in safe hands.
Sydney Lyric Theatre | May 15 – September 25 | Tickets from $110
This supercalifragilistic show hasn’t been in Sydney in over 10 years, which means there’s a whole generation of people ready to take their spoonful of the most delightful performance you’ll find. (And if the price is a bit steep, you can have a go at the lottery for $45 tickets.)
Cruel Intentions: The ’90s Musical
State Theatre | June 30 – July 17 | Tickets from $89
Based on the film starring Sarah Michelle Gellar and Reese Witherspoon, the performance is driven by musical hits including Christina Aguilera’s Genie in a Bottle, *NSYNC’s Bye Bye Bye and Britney Spears’ Sometimes. Be transported to Manhattan’s world of manipulation and watch as revenge and passion play out.
Jagged Little Pill
Theatre Royal | July 9 – August 22 | Tickets from $65
The jukebox musical inspired by Alanis Morissette’s iconic tracks is having its second outing in Sydney, after its initial success in the US (including winning a Grammy for best musical theatre album). Featuring a cast led by Natalie Bassingthwaighte as a drug-addicted mother, the musical is separate to Morissette’s initial album.
Moulin Rouge! The Musical
Capitol Theatre | May 28 – October 23 | Tickets from $70
Still in its opening days in Sydney, the musical based on Baz Luhrmann’s revolutionary film will feature hits from the original movie as well as songs from Adele, Beyonce, Sia and more. It’s won 10 Tony Awards and played around the world, including on Broadway and at the Piccadilly Theatre in London.
National Indigenous Art Fair
Overseas Passenger Terminal | July 2 and July 3 | Gold coin donation
First Nations artists from art centres and Sydney’s Blak Markets are coming together as NAIDOC Week begins, to sell jewellery, art, homewares and more. There’s also a smoking ceremony, music performances, cooking demonstrations and some children’s workshops.
Daniel Boyd: Treasure Island
Art Gallery of NSW | June – January | Free
More than 80 works of Daniel Boyd, one of the country’s most significant artists, make an appearance in this free exhibition at the Art Gallery. With a renowned style, the Aboriginal and Pacific Islander artist, now based in Marrickville, reflects on colonial history and the nature of resistance.
Archibald, Wynne and Sulman Prizes
Art Gallery of NSW | May 14 – August 28 | Tickets free-$22
See the finalists of some of the country’s most significant art awards. The Archibald Prize is awarded for the best portrait, the Wynne Prize for the best Australian landscape painting and the Sulman Prize for the best subject painting, genre painting or mural project. Visit the exhibition before the end of the month to vote for your favourite portrait.
2022 Salon des Refuses
S. H. Ervin Gallery | May 14 – July 24 | Tickets $4 – $12
They may not have been selected for display in the official exhibition but these Archibald Prize entries have found their home in this exhibition’s “alternative” selection. The gallery’s panel has gone behind the scenes to choose works that rival those in the official exhibition, displaying quality, diversity, humour and experimentation.
State Theatre | July 26 | Tickets from $95
If there’s ever a time to be Caught in the Crowd, we’re sure it’s July 26. Miller-Heidke is set to take to the stage to highlight her latest album, Child in Reverse. She’ll be joined by 26-year-old Warnindilyakwa singer and songwriter, Emily Wurramara.
Hordern Pavilion | July 17 | Tickets $89
They’ve had sold-out shows in the UK and Europe, but in Australia the indie rock band’s prominence really took off after stealing the top spot on Triple J’s Hottest 100 in 2021. Now, they’re venturing Down Under (with appropriately tattooed buttocks featuring a map of our great land) to perform.
Tyler, the Creator
Qudos Bank Arena | July 29 and July 30 | Tickets $110-170
One of only a handful of Grammy Award winners with a comma in their name (it’s trendy, we promise), Tyler, the Creator is performing in the country for the first time in eight years as he tours across Australia and New Zealand.
Blue: The Songs of Joni Mitchell
Hayes Theatre | July 19 – July 24 | Tickets $49-55
“A soundtrack for the Woodstock generation” is quite the claim, but we reckon Joni Mitchell’s work is worthy of it. In this performance, which sold out last time it was done in 2017, Australian cabaret star Queenie van de Zandt will take to the stage to revive some of Mitchell’s greatest hits, including A Case of You, Big Yellow Taxi and Little Green.
Sexual Misconduct of the Middle Classes
Belvoir Theatre | June 2 – July 10 | Tickets $45-$80
Hannah Moscovitch’s award-winning play, Sexual Misconduct of the Middle Classes, first premiered in Melbourne last year, and now is set to play in Sydney. A first-year university student and senior university lecturer fall into an affair. The show’s power “exists in the space between the words,” our reviewer wrote. “The end of the play is not an ending. It is just the start.”
The Tenant of Wildfell Hall
Sydney Theatre Company | June 21 – July 16 | Tickets $57-$104
Starring Tuuli Narkle (Black Is the New White) and Remy Hii (Crazy Rich Asians), the play is a modern interpretation of Anne Bronte’s classic of the same name. And when a show promises to take inspiration from both Fleabag and Pride and Prejudice, you know you’re in for a treat.
A Doll’s House
Ensemble Theatre | June 10 – July 16 | Tickets $38-$80
What does it feel like to look perfect on the outside and have life crumble on the inside? Nora (Chantelle Jamieson) provides a glimpse of that feeling in A Doll’s House. Our reviewer gave it three and a half stars.
Ensemble Theatre | July 22 – August 27 | Tickets $38-$80
Delving into the complexities of Eurasian identities in Australia, this new family comedy follows lead Mel (Gabrielle Chan) as she attempts to, well, survive (if not thrive).
Sydney Theatre Company | June 25 – August 6 | Tickets $49-74
Michelle Law’s comedy about a manicure gone wrong turns into the story of a body swap between a Chinese-Australian manicurist and a high-flying TV exec. It’s an irreverent satire of Australia’s media landscape, and audiences can be guaranteed to laugh – and think.
NAIDOC Up Late
Barangaroo Reserve | July 2 | Entry is free
NAIDOC Week, from Sunday, July 3 to Sunday, July 10, stems from the 1938 Day of Mourning and is now seen as a week-long commemoration of loss and a celebration of Indigenous culture and identity. NAIDOC Up Late is an evening of free music “around the fire pits and beautifully lit trees of Barangaroo Reserve’s Walumil Lawn”, featuring Aria-nominted Mo’Ju and Ziggy Ramo, among others.
Fourth of July Celebrations
The Chippo Hotel | July 2 | Tickets $22
Don’t be deceived! The all-American celebration of the country’s day of independence is not on the day its name suggests – rather, you’ll get to party in the USA the Saturday beforehand. In addition to the chance to win return flights to the US, the organisers are promising a “unique and authentic American menu”. Delicious!
The Most Wuthering Heights Day Ever
Sydney Park | July 30 | Free
Kate Bush already had enough fans to fill a field with copycats before a lethal mix of Stranger Things and TikTok pulled her hit Running Up That Hill to the top of every chart imaginable recently, but this event is set to go next level this year. Attendees will wear red dresses, dance to Wuthering Heights and celebrate all things Bush. Running up a nearby hill not compulsory but encouraged.
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