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Sydney Solstice Is the New Winter Arts and Food Festival Popping Into Vivid's Usual Mid-Year Slot

Set to run across 13 days in June, it'll focus on dining, drinking, entertainment, arts and culture.
By Sarah Ward
March 24, 2021
By Sarah Ward
March 24, 2021

Sydneysiders, you won't be getting your fix of bright lights this June. You won't be spending a couple of weeks holed up in a cinema, either. But, while both Vivid and Sydney Film Festival have postponed their 2021 events to August, the first month of winter definitely won't be quiet.

Clearly seeing an empty slot on the city's social calendar, New South Wales Government's tourism and events agency Destination NSW is putting together a new festival that'll start the chillier season in style. Sydney Solstice is slated to take place from Tuesday, June 8–Sunday, June 20, with a big focus on dining, drinking, entertainment, arts and culture.

The fest will take up residence at four Sydney precincts across the 13-day period, delivering a program filled with live music, performances, comedy, workshops, food and drink, exhibitions and installations. So, expect to spend plenty of time in the CBD and surrounding areas (including The Rocks, Circular Quay, Walsh Bay and Chinatown), over at Darling Harbour and its adjacent spots (such as Barangaroo, Glebe, Ultimo and Pyrmont), around the Oxford Street area (including Paddington, Darlinghurst, Surry Hills, Rushcutters Bay, Woolloomooloo, Elizabeth Bay, Kings Cross, Potts Point and Entertainment Quarter) and in the vicinity of Newtown (plus Enmore, Erskineville, Alexandria, Chippendale, Darlington and Redfern).

As with most big events announced at the moment, Sydney Solstice is driven by a desire to get more folks out and about around town — and spending money supporting the economy. Destination NSW is particularly focusing on boosting the city's arts and culture, music and entertainment, and food and beverage industries, and also placing a big emphasis on NSW talent.

Exactly what's on the lineup hasn't yet been revealed, with Destination NSW currently calling for expressions of interest from businesses interested in taking part — including restaurants and bars, entertainment venues, promoters, and arts and cultural organisations — until early April. The agency is specifically eager for big drawcards that are either completely new, or substantially reimagine or enhance existing activities, as well as other relevant events that can fall under the festival's umbrella.

For now, until the program hits, you might want to block out your diary in advance.

Sydney joins Melbourne in getting a new winter festival this year — although the Victorian capital's new event, Rising, was originally slated to launch in 2020, but was delayed due to the pandemic.

Sydney Solstice will take place from Tuesday, June 8–Sunday, June 20. We'll update you with further details when they're announced — and you can keep an eye on the festival's website, too.

Published on March 24, 2021 by Sarah Ward
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