The Festival Village offers both free and ticketed events for young and old, with family performances kicking off at 10am and licensed bars and adult shows igniting from 5pm. And did we mention you can bounce on a giant inflatable Stonehenge
?! And the special Gelato Messina pop-up
serving a menu of ice-cream hot dogs and pluto pups?
But you want to know about the music, right? OK...
The Spiegeltent and Circus Ronaldo Tent in Hyde Park will be home to a dazzling array of incredible music, dazzling theatre and unending surprises from Jan 9-26.
Leading the theatre charge is Scotch and Soda (Jan 10-26),
a cocktail of performers from previous Sydney Festival-hits Cantina, Smoke & Mirrors
and La Clique
, with members of Circa and Tom Tom Crew and Ben Walsh's Crusty Suitcase Band. Then there’s the punk princess Amanda Palmer
, rampaging through glam rock and Weimar cabaret (Jan 9-19
) and Limbo
, dirty cabaret circus as you’ve never seen it, fresh from a sold-out season in London and here staged “between heaven and hell” aka The Spiegeltent(Jan 9-26).
, the Memphis-drenched soul-stirrer will perform two special sets with full band in the intimate surrounds of the Circus Ronaldo Tent (Jan 24, 5.30pm & 11.59pm
, guitarist in Australia’s own Dirty Three, will perform his extraordinary new album Don’t Tell the Driver
at Circus Ronaldo in a one-off gig (Jan 23, 5.45pm
Elsewhere, you’ll find foot-stomping blues balladeer Ben Caplan and the Casual Smokers (Jan 8, 5.15pm), electric guitar firebird Omara ‘Bombino’ Moctar (Jan 9-10) or mind-blowing American trumpet prodigy Ambrose Akinmusire (Jan 12).
If that’s too strange a brew, kick back to classical hero Chris Thile who cut his first album aged 12 and who brings to the Festival Village his chart-topping Bach Sonatas and Partitas Vol 1 (Jan 14-15) or bask in the ambience of Samaris, an Icelandic trio who specialise in otherworldly electronica and percussive beats (Jan 16-17).
Music’s new wave couldn’t have broken without legends like Edwyn Collins
, ex-frontman of the post-punk Orange Juice and elder statesman of indie music (Jan 19 & 21
). The Staves
know it. The British sisters’ sound is '70s folk, West Coast pop and vintage sounds, with soaring voice and intricate orchestrations (Jan 22-23
Back at the Circus Ronaldo Tent there’s more music bubbling from harmonica-toting beatbox poet CR Avery and the Sojourners
), black-string band folklorist and multi-instrumentalist Dom Flemons (Jan 11-12
), slow-burning slacker-rock icon Kurt Vile
) and sax experimentalist Colin Stetson
Plus, one for the bibliophiles: the Lawn Library
is a space where you can kick back with kids' rhymetime, twilight storytime or some late-night readings and get involved with workshops. There will be bookshelves groaning with hundreds of books free for you to loan, keep or share.
Access Festival Village is a licensed venue from 5pm (closed Mondays). All minors must be accompanied by a responsible adult. A selection of food and beverages is available.