Our top 10 picks for Sydney Festival 2020

Sydney Festival 2020 is back and better than ever! Here's our guide of the must-see shows

Our top 10 picks for Sydney Festival 2020

The Christmas craziness and New Year’s frenzy have finally come to a close – the '20s are here (again)! Sydney Festival is back and better than ever, so get ready to kick off the decade with a little bit of  art, music, dance and so much more. There’s really something for everyone, no matter where you are in Sydney.

Sydney Opera House



Get ready for SIX, a musical inspired by the likes of Beyoncé and Adele, that also happens to feature beheadings. What more could you ask for? This hilarious new hit tells the stories of Henry VIII's six wives, featuring witty lyrics and dazzling costumes. SIX has taken the West End by storm and with the show running until March you really have no excuse to miss its Australian debut. Get tickets to this all-female pop musical!

I’m a Phoenix, Bitch


Performance artist and playwright Bryony Kimmings brings her hilarious yet heartbreaking new musical to the Sydney Opera House. This show doesn't hold back, diving into the worst year of her life, when Kimmings lost her mind, her partner and almost lost her child. I'm a Phoenix, Bitch will make you laugh one minute and take your breath away the next. After playing to rave reviews at Edinburgh Fringe Festival, this thought-provoking production is sure to wow Sydney audiences.

Laser Beak Man


At first glance this may seem like a simple kids show, but Laser Beak Man has reached cult-classic status among kids and grown-ups alike. First developed by Tim Sharp when he was just 11 years old, this colourful superhero will be brought to life more than 20 years after its creation. The show will be spectacularly staged by Dead Puppet Society and features music by Sam Cromack (frontman of Ball Park Music). If you want to take the kids to something that the whole family will enjoy then this is the show for you. Honestly, even if you don't have kids this show is definitely worth seeing.

The Metro Theatre

Sydney Festival Bushfire Appeal Concert


Local artists Dan Sultan, Polish Club, Art vs Science and more, are coming together on 11 January to do their part for the bushfire crisis. All ticket proceeds will be donated to the Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery Appeal and WIRES. These organisations provide support for the countless people and wildlife currently affected by the New South Wales and Victorian bushfires. So get among some great live music and help out those in need this weekend at The Metro Theatre.

City Recital Hall

Sydney Rococo: Steve Kilbey & The George Ellis Orchestra


Continuing the Aussie music theme, Steve Kilbey will be wowing audiences for one night only with his latest album Sydney Rococo, backed by The George Ellis Orchestra. Kilbey solidified his place in the music world as frontman of the iconic alt-rock band The Church and has since gone on to release a slew of successful solo albums. Sydney Rococo pays tribute to Kilbey's adopted home of Sydney, and is a collection of "songs for a banker or for a tramp, songs about seediness and the sea . . . the summers, the dreams, the vegetation". Don't miss this world premiere, as Kilbey pays homage to the Harbour City that we call home.

Riverside Theatres

Bran Nue Dae


What do you get when you bring together a spunky runaway teenager, two hippies, a wily Uncle and a German priest and send them on a road trip? A hilarious and unforgettable musical! The first-ever Aboriginal musical, Bran Nue Dae returns after its success in 1990. Be transported to 1960s Western Australia, as young Willie hitchhikes his way back the heart of the girl he left behind. This semi-autobiographical show is packed with humour, hope and a little bit of rock 'n' roll. Save 40% with tickets now from just $35.90.



Immerse yourself in a live music experience like no other. Hailing from Singapore, SAtheCollective will be premiering their latest album for one night. Experimenting with traditional and modern practices, the five-piece ensemble combines instruments such as the Chinese zither and flute with contemporary electronics. Although based in Singapore, SAtheCollective have collaborated with artists around the world.

Darling Harbour

Dodecalis Luminarium


Wander through a labyrinth of dazzling colour in this inflatable maze of radiantly lit tunnels and arches. UK based Architects of Air took inspiration from natural forms and Islamic and Gothic arches to create the spectacular installation. Their official website describes their luminariums as "somewhere between a womb and a cathedral", which describes the unique experience rather perfectly. This is their fifth installation in Sydney since 1996 and is definitely not one to miss.


Daniel Boyd: Video Works


Much like Dodecalis Luminarium, Daniel Boyd's Video Works is an unmissable immersive experience. The Kudjala/Gangalu artist has created a cosmos of colour with his three dynamic video installations. Boyd's signature style is a cross between Aboriginal dot-painting and impressionist pointillism, with dots appearing in the vast majority of his work. Lose yourself in the dreamlike world that he's created, running until March.



Would you take a lie detector test in front of an audience? The award-winning TRUTHMACHINE is a theatre piece like no other. With an audience of just twelve people, one volunteer will take a polygraph test as an interrogator probes for the 'truth'. Director Nathan Sibthorpe describes this show as "part theatre, part social experience" and quite frankly it sounds interesting (or terrifying, if you're the one being probed).  So gather 12 of your most trusted friends and seek the truth in what's sure to be a unique experience.

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