Sydney @ Night

People viewing the EORA - Dark Emu light projection on the Sydney Harbour Bridge south pylon during Vivid Sydney 2018, Photo Credit: Destination NSW, Photographer: Anna Warr, 2018

People viewing the EORA – Dark Emu light projection on the Sydney Harbour Bridge south pylon during Vivid Sydney 2018, Photo Credit: Destination NSW, Photographer: Anna Warr, 2018

Get an extra dose of art and culture at night in Sydney over the summer. From local artists to international stars, check out these after dark offerings across the city.

Regular offerings

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UNSW Art and Design Galleries, Cnr of Oxford St and Greens Rd, Paddington
First Friday of each month, until 9pm
First Fridays

First Fridays is a relaxing and stimulating way to participate in UNSW Galleries program of exhibitions, events, screenings and performances. Once a month we stay open after hours with a series of lively events engaging ideas in contemporary art and culture. Held on the first Friday of each month, join us for a changing mix of music and performance, ideas and debate, food and wine, and first-hand conversation with artists, makers, designers and creators.

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Museum of Contemporary Art, 140 George St, The Rocks
Every Wednesday night, until 8.30pm
Lights on Later

The MCA stays open until 8.30pm every Wednesday night – perfect for those who can’t visit the gallery during working hours. Lights on Later is a spontaneous and ever-changing event. Enjoy MCA exhibitions alongside hands-on workshops and talks by MCA tour guides. Hear informal talks by curators, artists and other creative thinkers on curious, sometimes controversial, topics. Wander up to the Sculpture Terrace overlooking Sydney Harbour and wind down with live music, a glass of wine and a bite to eat at the MCA Cafe.

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Art Gallery of New South Wales, Art Gallery Rd, Sydney
Every Wednesday, from 7pm until 10pm
Art After Hours

On Wednesdays the Gallery stays open late for Art After Hours, courtesy bus runs every 15 mins from 7pm until closing from the Gallery to various locations in the city with proximity to public transportation.

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Sydney Opera House, Bennelong Point, Sydney
Every day, 7pm to 7.15pm
Badu Gili

Badu Gili, meaning water light in Gadigal language, is a free daily experience that celebrates the ancient stories and rich contemporary culture of Australia’s First Nations. Tuesday 24 July 2018 to Sunday 30 June 2019. Screening times change with the sunset and season. See website for latest screening times.

FREE
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Sydney Observatory, 1003 Upper Fort Street, Millers Point
Nightly, 6.30-8.00pm, 8.30pm-10.00pm
Sydney Observatory Night Tours

Explore the highlights of the southern sky on a night tour at Sydney’s oldest observatory. Use the telescopes to see the stars, Moon, a nebula, Mars or the planets during this quintessential Sydney experience.

Tickets required

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December 2018

State Library of NSW, Level 1, Macquarie Street building, Macquarie Street, Sydney
29 September 2018 – 24 February 2019, 9am-8pm
The Magic Pudding: Celebrating 100 years

In October 2018 we celebrate the 100th anniversary of one of Australia’s best-known children’s books, The Magic Pudding by Norman Lindsay. This display includes reproductions of original drawings from the book’s first edition in 1918, alongside watercolours produced in 1959 for The Magic Pudding puppet show.

FREE

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Carriageworks, 245 Wilson Street, Eveleigh
29 November – 8 December 2018
New Breed

Carriageworks and Sydney Dance Company present the fifth edition of New Breed, commissioning Australia’s most innovative new choreographers to create works with members of the Sydney Dance Company. The 2018 featured choreographers are Prue Lang (Melbourne), Katina Olsen (Sydney/Sunshine Coast), Holly Doyle (Sydney) and Janessa Dufty (Yamba).

Tickets Required

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Sydney Theatre Company 22 Hickson Road, Walsh Bay
13 Nov – 15 Dec Roslyn Packer Theatre
The Wharf Revue, 2018, Deja Revue

Written and created by Jonathan Biggins and Drew Forsythe
Join us as we sort the wets from the dries, the leaks from the fakes, and the factions from the fictions in this bigger, better and wharfier Revue than The Wharf could ever handle.

Tickets required

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Museum of Contemporary Art, 140 George St, The Rocks
Daily, Open late Wednesdays
Primavera 2018

Primavera is the MCA’s annual exhibition of young Australian artists aged 35 years and under. Primavera 2018 will bring together eight of the most exciting young artists working in Australia. This year’s exhibition asks, ‘Why is identity important today?’ The participating artists consider, explore and re-examine the politics of identity, visibility and representation. Working across a range of media, they highlight and counter the complex social, political and cultural frameworks that underpin the construction and interpretation of personal and collective identity.

FREE

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Woolloomooloo Gate, Royal Botanic Garden Sydney
14 December, 11 January, 8 February 2019, from sunset
Ghostly Gardens

Take a twilight adventure through the Royal Botanic Garden in this spine-tingling storytelling event. In a rare opportunity to come within the Garden Gates after hours, you’ll journey along shadowy tree-lined paths, creep past gloomy ponds and tiptoe through eerie grottos. You’ll hear spooky and kooky stories of the Garden’s past — tales of people long-since dead — as bats flit above your head and night-creatures stare from the treetops on this unforgettable tour of the ‘ghostly garden’.

Tickets required

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City Recital Hall, Angel Place, Sydney
10-11 December 2018
Voices of Angels: In the Land of Silent Night, Gondwana Choirs

Be transported to an Alpine Christmas by the magical sounds of Sydney’s finest young voices. Gondwana Choirs has enthralled Sydney audiences at City Recital Hall with Voices of Angels for the past 12 years. Join over 300 of the country’s most exciting young musicians in a performance that will inspire captivate and transport you.

Tickets required

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Sydney Opera House, Bennelong Point, Sydney
12 December 2018, 8.00pm
Panda Bear

Animal Collective co-founder Noah Lennox aka Panda Bear, makes his highly anticipated Australian and Opera House debut in the intimate Studio this December. In the Studio.

Tickets Required

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Hyde Park Barracks, Queens Square, Macquarie Street, Sydney
13 December 4.00pm-9.00pm
Christmas Fare 2018

For one evening only, Sydney Living Museums is hosting Christmas Fare at the Hyde Park Barracks Museum. Step through the gates for an evening of festive shopping and entertainment with a star-studded line-up of 40+ stalls featuring Sydney’s finest artisan producers, makers and ready-to-eat gourmet food vendors.

Gold coin entry

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Carriageworks, 245 Wilson Street Eveleigh
6-8 December, 2018
Dubboo – Life of a Songman

Presented by Bangara Dance Theatre, Dubboo – life of a songman celebrates this incredible artist. Featuring a notable cast of David’s collaborators, including acclaimed Indigenous artists Archie Roach, Ursula Yovich and Djakapurra Munyarryun, this one-off celebration will be a heartfelt response to his lasting creative legacy and music. Composer and arranger Iain Grandage will respond to David’s music, animated by a string quartet and performances by Bangarra Dance Theatre’s dancers.

Tickets required

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Sydney Opera House, Bennelong Point, Sydney
31 December 2018
La Boheme, The Opera

With the flickering of a candle, love sparks. Two hands meet in the dark and four friends’ lives are changed forever. Gale Edwards’ glittering production is set among the fishnets and fairy lights of 1930s bohemian Berlin.

Tickets required

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Sydney Harbour Foreshore
31 December 2018, 9.15pm-11.30pm
Harbour of Light Parade

The captivating Harbour of Light Parade takes place on Sydney New Year’s Eve.
This illuminated parade of vessels glides across Sydney Harbour, enchanting adults and children alike. Each vessel is outlined with cool white rope light to enhance its form, adding to the unique choreography that lights up the harbour. The parade takes place shortly after the 9pm fireworks display.

FREE

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Sydney Harbour Foreshore
31 December 2018, 11.59pm-12.15am
New Year’s Eve in Sydney

At the stroke of midnight, we celebrate the start of another new year! We do this in our usual outstanding style with a spectacular 12-minute fireworks display. Our famous Sydney New Year’s Eve fireworks display is viewed by millions around the world, on television and online. The midnight fireworks display will feature an array of pyrotechnic effects fired from across the harbour, all synchronised (simulcast on KIIS FM) with a new music track created.

FREE

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January 2019

Various locations around Sydney
9 – 27 January 2019
Sydney Festival

Every January, Sydney Festival starts the new year with a bang, transforming the city with a bold cultural celebration based on critical ideas and cutting-edge art and performance.
More than any other cultural event, Sydney Festival defines Sydney’s personality. For over four decades we have presented international artists who guarantee headlines, and whose presence in Sydney adds to the Festival’s buzz and prestige.

Some free events, some tickets required

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Sydney Observatory, 1003 Upper Fort Street, Millers Point
Nightly, 6.30-8.00pm
Sydney Observatory Family Friendly Twilight Tours

Explore the highlights of the southern sky on a night tour at Sydney’s oldest observatory. Use the telescopes to see the stars, Moon, a nebula, Mars or the planets during this quintessential Sydney experience.

Tickets required

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Carriageworks, 245 Wilson Street, Eveleigh
18 January 2019 – 23 January 2019
The Weekend

Presented by Moogahlin Performing Arts, Lara, a Sydney mum working interstate as a dancer, receives a distress call from her youngest son. Dad hasn’t been seen for days and they are out of food. Lara has the weekend to track him down. Henrietta Baird’s debut play – first showcased in development at the Yellamundie National First Peoples Playwriting Festival in 2017 blends laughter, love and loss in a family’s search for a new beginning.

Tickets Required

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Sydney Opera House, Bennelong Point, Sydney
27 January 2019, 8.00pm
Nigel Kennedy, Bach, Kennedy, Gershwin

Virtuoso violinist and living legend, Nigel Kennedy, returns to Australia this January to perform works of his much-loved Johann Sebastian Bach and George Gershwin, including the immortal “Summertime” “Porgy and Bess” and “Rhapsody in Blue” as well as Kennedy’s own composition “The Magician of Lublin.

Tickets Required

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Australian Museum, 1 William Street, Sydney
23 January 2019, 6.30-7.30pm
Broriginals Live At The Museum

Two successful Aboriginal bros answer questions on how to be better Aboriginals in this live recording of the satirical podcast, Broriginals.

Tickets required

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State Library of NSW, Level 1, Macquarie Street building, Macquarie Street, Sydney
11 January 2019, 18 January 2019 (All Ages), 25 January 2019, 7.00pm – 9.00pm
Silent Disco

It’s a party in the library – put on some headphones, turn up the music and dance like no librarians are watching.

Tickets required

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February 2019

Haymarket, Sydney
1 February – 10 February 2019
Lunar Festival

Lunar New Year is one of the world’s most celebrated festivals. It’s an event that has been embraced by Sydneysiders with over 1.3 million people attending festival events this year alone.
City of Sydney presents the Year of the Pig. These cultural events are a cornerstone of the festival and are enjoyed by many members of the community.

FREE

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Sydney Opera House, Bennelong Point, Sydney
2 February 2019
An Evening with Nigella Lawson

She is one of the most successful food writers of all time, having sold more than ten million cookbooks worldwide, teaching us How To Eat and How To Be A Domestic Goddess. Now it’s time to meet the woman behind the cookbook.

Tickets required

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City Recital Hall Angel Place Sydney
2 -13 February 2019
Arvo Part & JS Bach

Australian Chamber Orchestra presents the famed Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, joining Richard Tognetti and the Orchestra for a concert that will reach celestial heights.

Tickets required

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Sydney Opera House, Bennelong Point, Sydney
23 February 2019
Music of Count Basie and Duke Ellington

The Sydney Symphony presents Jazz at Lincoln Centre Orchestra in Concert
Count Basie and Duke Ellington are jazz royalty. So is Wynton Marsalis, leading one of the great bands in a celebration of swing. Basie and Ellington were bandleaders, colleagues, composers and celebrities who wrote dozens of timeless standards and elevated jazz to the position of high art.

Tickets required

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The Calyx, Royal Botanic Gardens, Morhead Fountain Gat, Shakespeare Place, Sydney
20-22 February 2019, 6.00pm-8.30pm
Murder in the Garden

There’s been a crime committed and we need your help to solve the mystery!

Tickets required

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