PLAYMAKER
The Playmaker
Let's play
PLAYMAKER
  • It's Thursday
    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?
  • LET'S PLAY
32° & SUNNY ON THURSDAY 17 JANUARY IN SYDNEY
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Five Things You Can Do for Free at Sydney Festival 2019

You don't need cash to see a symphony, dance to disco or jump on giant 'moon drops'.
By Concrete Playground
January 08, 2019
  shares

Five Things You Can Do for Free at Sydney Festival 2019

You don't need cash to see a symphony, dance to disco or jump on giant 'moon drops'.
By Concrete Playground
January 08, 2019
  shares

FIVE THINGS YOU CAN DO FOR FREE AT SYDNEY FESTIVAL 2019

You don't need cash to see a symphony, dance to disco or jump on giant 'moon drops'.

Each January, as we recover from the chaotic buzz of the holiday season and the temperatures hit record highs, the city comes into its most vibrant, colourful form with the three-week carnival that is Sydney Festival. The country's biggest annual arts fest transforms our city into a creative playground, filling the summer days and nights with a generous helping of culture — from innovative dance shows to mind-blowing circus and thought-provoking theatre.

The best bit? Getting your culture on at Sydney Festival doesn't have to put a dent in the old wallet. With a panoply of offerings that are absolutely gratis, there's bound to be a free event that's right up your alley. To help you make the most of what's on offer, we've highlighted ten of the best free events — from talks and workshops to art exhibitions — on the 2019 program. While all of these events are delightfully cost-free, some require online registration, so hurry on over to the festival website to guarantee your spot. If you can only squeeze in a few shows this summer, make sure at least one of these is on your list.

  • 5
    Symphony Under the Stars 2019

    This Sydney Festival favourite returns for another evening of gorgeous music by the Sydney Symphony Orchestra under the open night skies. Grab your friends, family, or current flame, pack a picnic basket and a blanket, and relax into the summery dusk for a night of music that will make you feel a bit like you’re living in a film. No picnic? No problem: there will be food stalls aplenty on site. It’s BYO so, if you’re feelin’ thirsty, remember to pack a bottle of something chilled. 

    READ MORE
  • 4
    Nick Cave: Until

    Carriageworks is currently housing one of the most vibrant exhibitions you’ll see anywhere this summer with Until by American artist Nick Cave. A play on the phrase ‘innocent until proven guilty’ — or, rather, ‘guilty until proven innocent’ — Until addresses topical issues of gun violence, gender politics and race relations in America. It represents the largest solo presentation for both Nick Cave professionally and for Carriageworks to date. Carriageworks joined creative forces with the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art and the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art to ensure this exciting — and completely free — exhibition became a reality for Australian audiences after four years in the making.

    The unmissable centrepiece is the dazzling suspended installation ‘Crystal Cloudscape’, a five-tonne feature that combines an eclectic mix of crystals, beads and found objects. For audiences to get a better look at the American culture references peppered throughout this massive work, including black-faced lawn jockeys and vintage whisky decanters, four nearby ladders lead to the gallery’s ceiling. Moving further through the exhibition, there’s a diverse array of immersive spaces to explore with all manner of kinetic installations. These include a dreamlike 14-channel video work, a towering wall of iridescent metallic party streamers thrust into life by fan blowers and the ‘Beaded Cliff Wall’ — a soaring work assembled with millions of plastic hair pony beads.

    READ MORE
  • 3
    Always

    With a trio of skyscrapers already erected and a casino on the way, it’s hard not to wonder what Barangaroo’s namesake would have made of Sydney’s new financial district. Barangaroo was a fisherwoman for the Cammeraygal people who apparently deplored the excesses of the British settlers, so it’s a stretch to imagine her embracing the economic opportunities of the rejuvenated docklands. For 2019’s Sydney Festival, Bangarra’s Helpmann Award-winning head of design Jacob Nash will be out at Barangaroo crafting a large-scale public sculpture spelling ALWAYS. Using the phrase ‘Always was, always will be’ as an impetus, the work will serve as a reminder that Sydney’s newest development is taking place on Aboriginal land.

    READ MORE
  • 2
    Moon Drops

    It’s hard to watch footage of astronauts gallivanting on the moon — with their lack of surefootedness and giddy delight — and not want to have a go. Unfortunately, there’s a decided lack of accessible planetoids for us non-astronauts to do it on. But, in good news for earth dwellers, we’ve found an experience that will get you kinda close.

    Moon Drops is like NASA’s version of a jumping castle: humongous black bouncy globules that allow you to feel what it would be like to run across a droplet of water, which we imagine feels a lot like the moon. NZ architecture firm Jasmax has collaborated with Alt Group and the Auckland Council Public Arts to bring the joys of space to Sydney — five drops will pop up around Darling Harbour for for the duration of Sydney Festival. Don’t forget to take off your shoes and play The Police’s hit ‘Walking on the Moon’ to get you prepped for your moonwalking debut.

    READ MORE
  • 1
    Disco in the Mirror Ball

    Shows at Sydney Festival’s Magic Mirrors Spiegeltent are always special. But they almost always cost money. So you should stop counting your pennies and make a beeline to the festival village venue when it opens its doors for a series of Friday and Saturday night parties. After the last show wraps up (around 10.30pm), the doors to the Spiegeltent will open for an end-of-night party for all. Sydney DJs The Dollar Bin Darlings will be filling the tent up with spicy disco, the bar will be in full swing and you will be expected to dance.

    READ MORE
Tap and select Add to Home Screen to access Concrete Playground easily next time. x