Five free arts events & performances you can’t miss at Sydney Festival 2017

Tomorrow the Sydney Festival officially kicks off – with some events, including the Meriton Festival Village in Hyde Park, launching today. Among the incredible three weeks of entertainment are a slew of totally free arts events and performances. Here are our picks of just a few of them…


The Hair Salon is the headline resident house show produced by Art Engineers in the heart of Hyde Park. It is described as being “a show-stopping, eclectic mix of live performance and art” that will running from Wednesday through to Sunday for the duration of the Festival.


Starring Bob Downe, Lisa Fa’alafi and Leah Shelton, The Hair Salon features The Big Hair Show – a nonstop variety show with a range of guests, The Perm Set – a curated live music program of disco, funk and Latin, and Spanish hair sculptors Osadia.

For more information regarding The Hair Salon please head HERE.


In this installation, audiences wear goggles and headphones that alter and restrict light and sound, and through intensified touch and tactile communication, will experience the artists’ stories in a profoundly different sensory environment and explore Heather and Michelle’s stories through an imagined touch of the senses.


This one is taking place at Carriageworks Track 8 from 7-15 January. For more information please head HERE.


The annual Opera in the Domain will once again take place on the 21st of January at 8pm. The stars begin to twinkle as daylight fades, and the picnic blankets are spread with good fare.


From the stage, the sound of the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra fills the night, and some of the most famous arias are performed under the stars. This year you’ll enjoy Beethoven, The Barber of Seville Rossini, Tosca Puccini and more. Bars and stalls will be available on site to purchase food and drinks. Head HERE for more details.


At The Cutaway at Barangaroo Reserve is The Beach – a monochromatic installation of 1.1 million recyclable white polyethylene balls that make an ocean without sharks, gently lapping against a 60-metre wide shoreline free of sand.


The Beach will be open (and free!) daily (except Mondays) between 10am and 5pm (last admission for free entry at 4pm), with tickets available for 9am and 5pm sessions. For more information regarding The Beach head HERE.


Running from 5pm to 11pm on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays during the festival at The Star Sydney is a new interactive installation by Sydney-based performance art powerhouse zin.


Put simply: Giltterbox is a colourful glowing cube on the Sky Terrace of The Star Sydney that you can dance in; a sensory-overloaded glitter trip of colour and light – your own mini private dance party, in public.

For more information please click HERE.

Sydney Festival runs until 29th January. For tickets to other events, and for more details, head to their official website.


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Larry Heath

Founding Editor and Publisher of the AU review. You can follow him on Twitter @larry_heath or on Instagram @larryheath.