Show Me Summertime in Sydney…

GET your summertime culture fix amid the soaring temperatures as Sydney Festival returns to its city and the suburbs.

Expect a spectacular program of free and ticketed events spanning contemporary and classical music, theatre, dance, visual arts and much more.

The Parramatta program kicks off on Friday 9 January with the free Parramatta Opening Party, an open-air street celebration for the whole family based at Parramatta Town Hall from 6pm-11pm.

Headlining the event will be Australian music legend Paul Kelly performing with his star-studded new collaborative project The Merri Soul Sessions.

Pick up some delicious street stall food, listen to live rooftop performances and dance the heat away block-party-style.

As the sun sets, encounter the flickering world of Fire Garden, created by artist Mike Roberts.

Photo: Sydney Festival

Sydney Festival 2015 is comprised of 179 events, a staggering 85 of which are free.

With 495 performances across 25 indoor and outdoor venues, Sydney Festival 2015 features 974 artists from across 30 countries. There are 18 world premieres, 11 Australian premieres and 22 Australian exclusives.

Sydney Festival 2015 boasts a number of large-scale works of international reputation, bringing to Sydney some of the world’s greatest artists in theatre, dance, and music. The program will feature a variety of world premiere and Australian premiere works of cultural significance. The music program is larger than ever before and features more than 60 acts, performing contemporary, classical, experimental and world music.

Not-to-be-missed headline artist James Thierrée returns to Sydney Festival with Tabac Rouge, his largest and most extravagant work to date. Acrobat, musician, dancer, actor, and choreographer – Thierrée is recognised as one of the world’s greatest and most creative contemporary circus performers.

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A world premiere and new Australian theatre work by actress and playwright Kate Mulvany lovingly brings to life the iconic children’s book Masquerade by Kit Williams.

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Beautifully crafted by the award-winning playwright and actor, this magical tale will enchant audiences aged nine to 90yo.

An Australian exclusive, Kiss & Cry is a sweeping cinematic romance with a twist, starring a duo of dexterous, dancing hands. Moving with poetic precision, this sensual, small-scale ballet must be seen to be believed.

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The festival will also play host to a wide range of diverse cultures with artists coming to Sydney from across the globe.

From India, director Roysten Abel returns to bring us The Kitchen, a sumptuous, multi-sensory spectacle of smells and sounds, culminating in something sensational for the taste buds.

[embed\]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VyiRCq_s9Y8[/embed]

Sri Lanka’s Chitrasena Dance Company makes its first Australian visit in 40 years as the country’s oldest and most prestigious dance ensemble presents an art-form 2,500 years in the making.

The sounds of Africa will have everyone on their feet to the futuristic grooves of Nigerian synth pioneer and music legend William Onyeabor, in Atomic Bomb! The Music of William Onyeabor.

The voice of the man responsible for some of the most searing Afro-funk sounds and electro explosions of our time is brought to Sydney by a star studded line-up headlined by Gotye, Sinkane, Money Mark (Beastie Boys), Luke Jenner (The Rapture), Alexis Taylor (Hot Chip), Pat Mahoney (LCD Soundsystem) and the legendary Mahotella Queens.

“What’s really special about Sydney Festival is the diverse programming, with the best local and international artists from high arts – opera, theatre, and contemporary dance, to circus and family shows, and a whole range of free activities,” says Sydney Festival Director Lieven Bertels.

“Living up to its tag line ‘This is Our City in Summer’, Sydney Festival gives audiences the perfect excuse to celebrate the city in summer.”

In the CBD, The Domain will play host to four open air, large-scale concerts this year –  Summer Sounds in The Domain (Saturday 10 January, 8pm) featuring South American samba superstar Seu Jorge;

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Symphony in The Domain (Saturday, 18 January, 8pm) with ARIA-award winning William Barton performing on didgeridoo with the Sydney Symphony; Opera in The Domain (Saturday, 24 January, 8pm) and in a very special debut – Triple J Radio, Sydney Festival and Fuzzy present Beat the Drum: Celebrating 40 years of Triple J (Friday, 16 January). The sold-out event will mark four decades of passionate support for the brightest stars in contemporary Australian music with performances by Daniel Johns, Gotye, Hilltop Hoods, The Presets, The Cat Empire, Vance Joy, The Preatures, You Am I, to name but a few. The concert will be broadcast live on Triple J Radio.

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The very popular About An Hour program also returns but has moved to a new home at the Seymour Centre in Chippendale. With a long weekend of diverse 60-minute morsels spanning theatre, dance, cabaret, music and comedy, tickets are just $35 (or less!) giving you maximum bang for your Festival buck.

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