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Sydney's Bastille Festival Returns This Winter for Four Days of French Celebrations by the Harbour

Sydney’s annual Bastille-inspired celebration is back with mulled wine, raclette, snow, a 1.4-kilometre vino-tasting walk and a Christmas in July village.
By Sarah Ward
May 20, 2022
By Sarah Ward
May 20, 2022

Every city has its traditions, but one of Sydney's midyear mainstays since 2012 takes its cues from the other side of the globe. The event: the Bastille Festival that livens up Circular Quay and The Rocks each July, serving up French celebrations without the plane fare to Europe.

Food, wine, art: if any of these pique your interest, then this four-day French fest is for you. Uniting people in the spirit of Bastille Day, the popular event is back again in 2022 — and it's always huge.

Running from Thursday, July 14–Sunday, July 17, this year's street fest will serve up everything from 100 performances to a 1.4-kilometre wine-tasting walk around the harbour. Expect a big emphasis on vino in general, of course — and food, too. All that wandering and watching is hungry (and thirsty) work, after all, so there'll be a heap of pop-ups keeping attendees fed and watered.

Highlights include four villages, each with their own festivities, making it a choose-your-own-adventure kind of setup. At Customs House, you'll dive into all things Parisian, for instance. Here, fresh raclette, crepes, saucisson, baguettes and cheese will be on the menu in a big way.

Food is also the attraction over at First Fleet Park, which has been dubbed the 'chef village'. In a festival first, this space will bring together Sydney's best chefs and eateries, who'll all be whipping up new dishes with a French twist — at the event and in the participating restaurants for a week beforehand.

If you like making the most of winter, then the MCA lawn is your destination. Think: fire pits, igloos that'll change colour as the night goes on, melted cheese, roasted marshmallows and mulled wine.

And, finally, the Christmas in July village will take over The Rocks with wood huts, snow, European-style Christmas markets, gingerbread houses, cheese stations, and crepes and waffles. There'll be more mulled wine, too, because no one can get festive midyear without it.

Entry is free, but you'll be paying for whatever you'd like to eat and drink as you go. And if previous years are anything to go by, Bastille Festival is set to be an epic showcase of food, wine and art — and you're likely to have a heap of company.

Sydney's Bastille Festival runs from Thursday, July 14–Sunday, July 17 in Circular Quay and The Rocks. For more information, head to the event's website.

Published on May 20, 2022 by Sarah Ward
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