How it All Began
The Festival of Sydney was first established in 1977 by the Sydney Committee, the NSW State Government and the City of Sydney. This festival lasts for about 3 weeks in January and is attended by hundreds of thousands of people, sometimes reaching 500,000 with non-ticketed events.
When it was first starting out, the festival brought out random and entertaining shows/activities like car racing, face painting, dog obedience tournaments and the like. In the more recent years, the festival became more organized and focused in the variety of activities they present to the visitors. There are several theatre plays, musical acts, dance numbers and cultural productions that are scheduled and put up in the weeks of the event.
Festival of Sydney as it is Today
On average, there are around 400 performances that are presented in various venues that are made available specifically for the festival. Some of the venues include Sydney Theatre, Carriageworks, City Recital Hall and the famous Sydney Opera House. Smaller productions are also set up in community halls and parks all over the city.
These events are popular for locals and tourists alike. Residents of Sydney and the surrounding suburbs brace themselves for the onslaught of visitors who come each year. The festive atmosphere and culturally rich presentations that come up during this time ensures that most hotels and inns and fully booked at this time. It is wise to plan beforehand and reserve flights and hotel rooms months ahead of the festival.
While some popular artists fly in to perform in the much anticipated Sydney Festival, most of the performers are local artists themselves. Part of the vision and mission of Sydney Festival is to nurture these artists and give them a platform for other people to see and appreciate their work.
Most of the shows come out at night, but there are many things that one can do during the day. Sydney streets are lined up with interesting restaurants and cafes, quaint shops, and galleries that showcase unique art and architecture. You will definitely not get bored when going out during this time of the year.
Over all, the Festival of Sydney is a celebration of Sydney, its people and its culture. It is an opportunity for the rest of the world to experience the heart of the city in a short amount of time. If there was a time to visit Sydney, this would be it. It would be well worth the trip.