The Playmaker
Let's play
  • It's Wednesday
    What day is it?
  • Now
    What time is it?
  • Anywhere in Sydney
    Where are you?
  • What do you feel like?
    What do you feel like?
  • And what else?
    And what else?

Seven Sydney Events Happening in Early 2020 that Every Culture Vulture Should Add to Their Calendar

Fulfil your New Year's resolution to get more culture into your life with these buzzing events.
By Marissa Ciampi
December 17, 2019

Seven Sydney Events Happening in Early 2020 that Every Culture Vulture Should Add to Their Calendar

Fulfil your New Year's resolution to get more culture into your life with these buzzing events.
By Marissa Ciampi
December 17, 2019


in partnership with

Fulfil your New Year's resolution to get more culture into your life with these buzzing events.

Summer in Sydney isn't just about the beaches. It's also the time of year when our city's arts and culture calendar really booms. From an emerging art fair and a short film fest to Solange at the Opera House and the absolutely massive Sydney Festival program, the early months of 2020 are looking like an impressive bunch. It's time to start sorting through the lot and filling up your days with all things culture, instead of just all things sun and sand.

To help you out, we've teamed up with our mates over at inner city-inspired brewer Atomic Beer Project to bring you seven events happening in 2020 that every Sydney culture vulture should add to their calendar ASAP.

  • 7
    Two Crews

    As part of Sydney Festival’s return this January, director Nick Powers will take over Carriageworks from January 8–12 with his latest show, Two Crews — it brings together two globally renowned hip hop crews for one serious dance-off. The two groups approach the craft from very different angles. First up, you have Lady Rocks, who hail from France and are known for sharpness and a combative dance approach. The second group is local Sydney talent Riddim Nation, which takes a fluid approach to its dance moves. Powers worked with the crews both separately and together, so the audience will get to see the groups perform individually before an epic dance-off commences. Tickets will cost you $45 and are still available here.

  • 6
    Rebecca Baumann: Radiant Flux — POSTPONED

    Two Crews is just one part of the massive Sydney Festival program happening at Carriageworks in 2020. And if you’re having trouble narrowing down your options, or if you’re still recovering from the summer holiday spending spree, here are two of our top free picks for you. Start by marking your calendar for the Rebecca Baumann: Radiant Flux exhibition, which opens on January 8 and runs through June 14. It’s expected to be one of the most talked-about visual arts installations of the festival and will use the distinctive architecture of Carriageworks in its design. Every glass surface and skylight of the building’s exterior will be covered in dichroic film, which will change colour when viewed from different angles.

    You should mark down to see Daniel Boyd: Video Works as well, which also opens on January 8 and will remain on display until March 1. A Sydney-based Kudjala-Gangalu artist, Boyd has created an immersive exhibition which includes three large-scale video installations: A Darker Shade of Dark #1-4 (2012), History is Made at Night (2013) and Yamani (2018). These videos will be projected across the walls of the gallery and set to a score by DJ duo Canyons.

  • 5
    Flickerfest International Short Film Festival Sydney 2020

    The internationally lauded Flickerfest Short Film Festival is set to return to Bondi Pavilion from January 10–19. It’s a ten-day festival which celebrates some of the most talented filmmakers from around the globe. A record 3500 entries from over 100 countries were submitted for consideration in 2020, with over 200 shorts making the cut — many of which are world premieres. The program is divided into categories by genre, including comedy, romance, LGBTQI+ and documentary. Audiences can also nab tickets to Flickerfest’s opening and closing night galas, which take place at a pop-up festival bar that overlooks Bondi Beach and will feature starring talent from some of the films. Once the festival wraps up, the top films will begin an annual five-month tour to 50 destinations across Australia. To see the full Flickerfest 2020 program, head to the website.

  • 4
    Louis Theroux: Without Limits

    Intrepid BBC filmmaker Louis Theroux is headed to Aussie shores for a second tour this summer with his latest on-stage show, Without Limits. And, as always, you can expect big things from the ‘king of documentaries’. He’ll hit the stage at the State Theatre for three shows over two days from January 17–18. Theroux will be joined by local media personality Julia Zemiro, and the two will embark on a two-hour discussion that provides insight into Theroux’s life — as well as behind-the-scenes ‘secrets’ from over two decades of his work. Those have included topics like the opioid epidemic, the San Fernando Valley porn industry and the Church of Scientology, to name a few. While you wait for his arrival, check out a preview of the new show here.

  • 3

    International superstar Solange will make her epic return this January. Once again, the Grammy Award-winning artist will light up the Sydney Opera House, and Sydneysiders will have four chances to see her perform between January 27–31. Expect a 360-degree stage, a crew of dancers and, of course, a live band. This time around, Solange will perform her latest album, When I Get Home, for the first time on Aussie shores. A homage to the artist’s hometown (Houston, Texas), it features collaborations with the likes of Pharrell, Sampha, Gucci Mane and Tyler, the Creator. The album was released alongside a 33-minute art film, which you can watch on YouTube in preparation for the concert. Fans can also head to Solange’s Instagram to get a sneak peek of the choreography. Tickets are $129 a pop, and you can grab yours here — last year’s shows sold out, so best get on it.

  • 2
    The Other Art Fair 2020 — POSTPONED

    Art aficionados and novices alike should make tracks to The Cutaway at Barangaroo Reserve this March when The Other Art Fair returns. The highly lauded international event showcases the work of 130 emerging artists and will take place from March 19–22. Each artist is selected by a panel of distinguished industry experts, and all artists will be present, so you can chat with the maker behind your selected works.

    For those new to art-buying, there will be artworks starting from just $100, and you can check out these handy buying tips on the OAF website. Alongside the perusing and purchasing opportunities, the event also features immersive performances, activations and workshops, along with food stalls and DJ sets. Full details are still to be released, but you can mark the dates down now and keep an eye on the website for when tickets go on sale — typically it’s $25 to the opening night party, $20 online or $30 on the door.

  • 1
    Festival of Dangerous Ideas 2020 — CANCELLED

    After a two-year hiatus, Sydney’s signature thought-provoking festival will return for its tenth anniversary in 2020. From April 3–5, the festival will again bring together creative thinkers and thought leaders for a weekend of challenging discussions around the most important global issues of today — some of which are deemed to be taboo. Founded by Sydney Opera House in 2009, FODI 2020 will be presented by The Ethics Centre and UNSW Centre for Ideas. While the 2020 program has not yet been announced, the previous festival in 2018 included critical discussions on sex robots, the Australian media, nationalism and whether or not inequality is always bad. Next year aims to prepare audiences for the conflicts in the decade ahead. If you want to be the first to get your hands on these tickets, you can sign up here to receive full details and early access.


Step outside your comfort zone and celebrate creativity with Atomic Beer Project’s hop-driven brews. To see the full range, visit the website

Top image: The Other Art Fair 2019.

  •   shares
Tap and select Add to Home Screen to access Concrete Playground easily next time. x