With a mere three months left until the new year, we urge you — don’t wait in anticipation for 2024; join us in going out with a resounding bang! The moments leading up to Sydney’s grand finale are set to well and truly dazzle and we’re here to fill you in. From Solange‘s upcoming Grammy-worthy performance to an exclusive look at Brett Whiteley’s dreamy landscapes the EOY line up will have you grooving, moving and daydreaming all the way into January. And the best part? We’re conveniently just a stone’s throw away from all the action. First things first, pack your bags, secure your room, and then — showtime:
When: 22 September — 8 October 2023
Where: Art Gallery of NSW (AGNSW)
What: This is a big one and only on for a short time, so get in quick! Volume is the first of its kind and one of the biggest events since the unveiling of the Sydney Modern Project: an innovative festival celebrating the cutting edge of experiential music, film, and performance. Over 17 vibey days, the Art Gallery of New South Wales will be buzzing with the sounds of experimental techno, indie rock, hip-hop, soul, and pop, accompanied by boundary-pushing cinematic experiences and performances from global trailblazers like the Grammy Award winning, Solange and Sampa The Great (performing in the Sydney Modern’s repurposed World War II oil tanker!) This is a must for music aficionados. Attendees can expect both ticketed experiences and a plethora of free events — there’s something extraordinary for everyone to savour.
Brett Whitely: Chapters 1959–69 — AGNSW presents works made by famed Australian artist Brett Whiteley between the ages of 20 and 30 during an intensive period of travel and artistic experimentation.
When: Now — 2024 (TBC)
Where: Art Gallery of NSW (AGNSW)
What: Step into the dreamy world of Brett Whiteley, a luminary in Australian art history whose paint brush endeavours in the late 1950s and 60s left an indelible mark on the nation’s creative landscape. His work — bright, sensuous and lyrical — marries influences from Francis Bacon and Van Gogh, illuminating the raw and wild beauty of Australia’s landscape, from iconic landmarks like the Sydney Harbour Bridge to native bushland: a vivid awakening of sorts to the overlooked beauty of the everyday. This exhibition in particular marks a pivotal moment in Whiteley’s journey, sparked by a 1959 scholarship that unleashed a whirlwind of international exploration alongside his wife, Wendy (Hot Tip: Don’t miss a visit to her ‘secret garden’ with breathtaking harbour views). Their travels, from Europe to New York, India, and Morocco, imbued Whiteley’s art with newfound inspiration. And so! The AGNSW will be unveiling artworks inspired from these journeys — many of which have been unseen since the 1970s.
A must see if you’re hoping to dive a little deeper into Australia’s art history.
Liveworks Festival: featuring a program of performance, installation, dance, music, screen and conversation.
When: 19 October 2023 – 29 October 2023
What: Performance Space is a renowned, avant-garde creative collective — it was established in the 1980s to help artists push the boundaries of contemporary performance practice. This year is their 40th and to celebrate, they’re hosting a festival, Liveworks! Think of this as an invitation to dive into the living history of radical local and international artistry, centering around the profound impact of time on art, actions, and ideas in Sydney. The centrepiece program brings together visionary artists like Rainbow Chan, Brooke Stamp, Latai Taumoepeau, and Rosanna Raymond, along with resurrected legendary programs, archival treasures, and moving image retrospectives. If you’re hoping to learn more about the Sydney art scene and glimpse into its future — this one’s for you!
Sydney Opera House: Summer Program
When: December 31st — 9 February 2023
Where: Sydney Opera House
What: Calling all drama queens! The Sydney Opera House has announced their summer program and it’s plump with all the big themes; passion, villains, lovers, and liars — with a side of Australian talent. First, dive into Orpheus & Eurydice: (feat. the virtuosic performers of Circa, one of Australia’s greatest cultural exports) one man’s quest to the underworld to rescue his true love. Then, a major classic, La Traviata: a passionate tale of love and sacrifice set in 19th-century Paris. Followed by Mozart’s eerily whimsical The Magic Flute, exploring how music transcends human fear and hatred and THEN, Sydney debut of Handel’s Theodora, following a gripping story of courage and faith in the face of tyranny. Plus, it kicks off on New Years Eve so you’re set for two kinds of performances — que Sydney’s famous NYE fireworks on the harbour. See — dramatic! Set to hit all the high notes.
When: January — February 2024 (Dates TBC!)
What: As The New York Times aptly put it, Sydney’s OpenAir Cinema is “The perfect marriage of art and nature” — an epic cinematic spectacle set beneath Sydney Harbour’s star-studded summer sky. The three month program tends to lean towards Hollywood. It’s topped to the nines with a generous mix of hefty classics and award winning indie hits — those new to the screen and familiar favourites, too. 2024 marks OpenAir’s 26th year running and though the lineup is yet to be announced, if it was anything like last summer (Barbie, Titanic, Fire of Love, Triangle of Sadness) we anticipate one hell of a roll out. The Opera House, the Harbour Bridge, the big screen — summer’s big three all in one hit. Not to mention, the cinema’s played host to hundreds of thousands of guests over the years, including the likes of Danny Boyle, Nicole Kidman, and Simon Baker. A fact that’s got us hungry for the program’s big reveal.