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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Sydney Summer Gigs and Parties That You Won't Want to Miss Out On This Year

From sweaty car park gigs to huge one-day festivals, these music events will get you dancing.
By Emma Joyce and Concrete Playground
November 25, 2019
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Sydney Summer Gigs and Parties That You Won't Want to Miss Out On This Year

From sweaty car park gigs to huge one-day festivals, these music events will get you dancing.
By Emma Joyce and Concrete Playground
November 25, 2019
  shares

SYDNEY SUMMER GIGS AND PARTIES THAT YOU WON'T WANT TO MISS OUT ON THIS YEAR

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From sweaty car park gigs to huge one-day festivals, these music events will get you dancing.

You know the feeling when your colleagues roll into work on a Monday morning with tales of their weekend adventures and you wish you'd been at that hip hop gig, or dancing till dawn at that techno party? Well, don't feel sorry for yourself — Sydney has heaps of live music events each summer for you to play catch up. You've just got to decide which one suits your music tastes.

With a little help from our friends at Sunglass Hut, we've picked out eight FOMO-inducing gigs and parties coming up this summer, from festive singalongs in the Domain with Paul Kelly to Australia's clash-free, one-day summer festival in Parramatta (aptly named for those who fear missing out). There are also international artists on some of the lineups, from avant-garde acts at Sydney Festival to "the world's greatest boyband". Whatever genre you worship, get out and enjoy it before summer's over.

  • 8
    Festival X
    The perfect pairing:

    Australia’s launching into summer with the help of a huge new music festival. The brainchild of industry big guns Onelove (Stereosonic), Live Nation (Splendour in the Grass, Falls Festival) and Hardware (Piknic Electronik, Babylon), Festival X will hit Sydney on Saturday, November 30.

    The large-scale music party is pulling no punches when it comes to its debut lineup, headlined by international heavyweights including Scottish DJ Calvin Harris, the Grammy-nominated Armin van Buuren, Steve Aoki and our own Alison Wonderland.

    Spanning multiple stages, it’s set to deliver a world-class serve of hip hop, pop and electronica. US rapper Lil Pump will make his Aussie debut, joined on the all-star bill by the likes of British DJ duo CamelPhat, Ohio-based rapper Trippie Redd, Denmark’s Kölsch and German techno king Paul Kalkbrenner. Meanwhile, there’ll be plenty flying the flag for the local scene, with sets from favourites including bass and dubstep star Godlands, Australian-raised trance DJ MaRLo, Sydney act Sunset Bros and singer-songwriter Thandi Phoenix.

    Face summer head on with: Versace ($319.95).

    READ MORE BUY TICKETS
  • 7
    Maximum Joy 2019
    The perfect pairing:

    Not all Sundays need to be a chill one. If you’re keen to take the last licks of the weekend to a whole new level, then look no further than Maximum Joy. This one-day music festival will return for its second year, this time taking over Marrickville’s Factory Theatre on Sunday, December 1 from 2.30pm until the wee hours of the morning.

    The massive DJ lineup features both local and international heavy hitters in house, techno and electronica. They’ve got Amsterdam’s Italo-disco king Young Marco and Denmark’s techno queen Mama Snake, France’s off-kilter electro artist Simo Cell and Dublin rave act Saoirse. Not to mention Sydney favourites Kali, Adi Toohey and Ben Fester. In the venue’s courtyard, you’ll find Melbourne’s CC:DISCO! rocking a replica of her Club Coco stage.

    Alongside the dance party, expect fashion and hospitality greats to be in the house, too. Last year featured Maurice Terzini’s label Ten Pieces, as well as drag performers, visual artists and dedicated creative spaces.

    Face summer head on with: Prada ($550).

    READ MORE BUY TICKETS
  • 6
    She Sessions Vol 2
    The perfect pairing:

    Point yourself at the dance floor and throw yourself in as Melbourne-based musician Kira Puru (of ‘Tension’ and ‘Molotov’ fame) is performing a free gig in Public House Petersham’s car park this summer.

    The afternoon set on Saturday, December 7 is the final 2019 event in a series of female-led concerts called She Sessions. Also performing on the outdoor stage will be Triple J Unearthed artist Moody Beach with her indie-electronic tracks like ‘Slave’, and Sydney’s Erthlings, who recently supported Amy Shark on tour, with their bright and poppy hit ‘Bridges’.

    As always, Public House fires up the spit and there are Wild Yak beers for sale (Wild Yak are the main supporters of this event, helping make it all possible).

    Face summer head on with: Ray-Ban ($225).

    READ MORE BUY TICKETS
  • 5
    One Day Only 2019
    The perfect pairing:

    Having long proved itself as the master of the block party, the crew at hip hop and events collective One Day is heading back to its inner west home and inviting Sydneysiders to launch into summer at its second One Day Only festival.

    It’s the main throwdown in the four-city One Day Summer Solstice national tour, and this one’s set to take over both levels of University of Sydney’s heritage-listed Manning House to deliver a hip hop-soaked celebration.

    With local hip hop at the forefront, you’ll catch live shows from the likes of Haiku Hands, Mike Akox, Youngn Lipz and Rebecca Hatch, while favourites like Joyride, Klasik, Shantan Wantan Ichiban, Captain Franco and Half Queen grace the decks. Throw in a sprinkling of food stalls, pop-up bars and chill-out zones and you’ve got a recipe for one heck of a summer-starter.

    Face summer head on with: Ray-Ban ($245).

    READ MORE BUY TICKETS
  • 4
    Paul Kelly: Making Gravy 2019
    The perfect pairing:

    Songwriting legend Paul Kelly’s Making Gravy tour is becoming a bit of an Aussie Christmas tradition. Back for a second year in Sydney, the outdoor concert is kind of the perfect opener to the festive season — time to start thinking about getting the tinsel and ugly jumpers out of storage.

    As in 2018, you can expect to hear a stack of songs from Kelly’s four-decade long career. Listen out for all the hits, from ‘Dumb Things’, from the album Live, May 1992, to ‘Love Never Runs On Time’ from Wanted Man (1994). Of course, the Christmas classic ‘How To Make Gravy’, first released in 1996 on an eponymous EP, is on the menu, too.

    Kelly won’t be hitting the road alone, either. He’ll be joined by ARIA Award-winning rocker Courtney Barnett, Aussie Eurovison finalist Kate Miller-Heidke, NZ singer Marlon Williams and Gamilaraay songstress Thelma Plum.

    Face summer head on with: Ray-Ban ($285).

    Image: Cybele Malinowski.

    READ MORE BUY TICKETS
  • 3
    Ultimate Power
    The perfect pairing:

    Don’t think about it too much. Hold your air guitar with pride and belt out ‘Livin’ on a Prayer’ like you were born in the 80s. This power ballad party is throwing it back to cocktails at noon, boxy pinstripe suits and cans of hairspray longer than your forearm. There’ll be epic singalongs to Toto’s ‘Africa’, Journey’s ‘Don’t Stop Believin’’ and Whitney Houston’s ‘I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)’. Don’t cringe — it’ll be fun.

    The December 21 party takes place at the Metro, where the space will be filled with closeted Aerosmith fans and out and proud Queen tragics. Expect emotions to run as high as Houston’s top notes — and Bon Jovi’s best to be blasted maximum volume.

    Ultimate Power is a UK/Ireland export and the nostalgic night has been rocking rooms since 2006. It’s even wooed Glastonbury’s crowds, so you’re in for a festival-tested treat.

    Face summer head on with: Valentino ($500).

    READ MORE BUY TICKETS
  • 2
    FOMO 2020
    The perfect pairing:

    Australia’s clash-free, one-day summer festival is back for a fifth year at Parramatta Park. This year, it’s bring out flute-playing babe Lizzo (‘Truth Hurts and ‘Juice’) plus Texas-via-California rap collective Brockhampton.

    If you missed out on tickets to US rapper Lizzo’s Sydney Opera House gig (which sold out in minutes) you can still catch her singing tracks from her album Cuz I Love You at the January festival.

    Modern-day boyband Brockhampton headline the bill, bringing their troupe of rappers, directors, photographers, engineers, producers, graphic designers and DJs to Sydney once again with their catchy pop-led tracks ‘Sugar’, ‘No Halo’ and ‘Bleach’.

    Joining Brockhampton and Lizzo is Canadian producer Kaytranada, who’s set to drop a new album any day now. Other big names on the lineup include French singer Madeon, UK rapper Octavian and, from the local contingent, hip-hop artist Chillinit and Sydney producer Ninajirachi.

    Face summer head on with: Burberry ($319.95).

    READ MORE BUY TICKETS
  • 1
    Holly Herndon
    The perfect pairing:

    Seekers of the avant-garde will want to check out Tennessee’s Holly Herndon at Sydney Festival. She’s received universal plaudits over the last decade for her forward-thinking, boundary-pushing take on sound creation. The musician uses code to create unique, custom-made digital instruments, and she’ll be in the Magic Mirrors Spiegeltent off the back of her latest full-length, Proto.

    The Berlin-based US musician has developed an AI program called Spawn, that she duets with — collaborating with her AI baby to make music. Human melodies meet synthetic sounds in this scientific and dizzying performance.

    Face summer head on with: Ray-Ban ($245).

    READ MORE BUY TICKETS

Face your summer head on with new shades from Sunglass Hut and get tickets to their exclusive summer experiences here.

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