Need a hand navigating the Sydney Festival program for the second weekend? It’s time to ramp things up a bit and enter full flight festival mode – and here are our suggestions on how to do it…


5.15pm – Mother’s Ruin: An Ode to Gin at Meriton Festival Village

7pm – Szun Waves at St Stephen’s Uniting Church

8.30pm – Dinner at Chophouse on Bligh St

9.30pm – Briefs: The Second Coming at Meriton Festival Village


2pm – iD at Riverside Theatres, Parramatta

4.30pm – Kaleidoscope at Riverside Theatres, Parramatta

From 12pm – Food, drinks and free DJs at Meriton Festival Village

6pm – Anthologies Imaginaires at the Seymour Centre

8pm – Symphony Under The Stars at The Domain


9am for ticketed/10am general entry – The Beach at the Cutaway, Barangaroo Reserve

2pm – Spectra at Seymour Centre

5pm – Ladies in Black at Sydney Lyric, The Star Sydney

From 4pm to 8pm – Sky Terrace DJs at The Star Sydney

From 5pm to 11pm – Glitterbox at Sky Terrace, The Star Sydney

The working week is over, and the weekend can start the second you step out the office doors. Considering it’s a Friday afternoon, what better way to kick it off than the hilarious, soulful, song-filled ode to gin that is Mother’s Ruin: An Ode to Gin in Meriton Festival Village.

Re-fuel with a festival feast at the fabulous Chophouse on Bligh St and then head over for the avant-garde excellence of Szun Waves, performing their textured works in the stunning acoustics of St Stephen’s Uniting Church. Then to really round out the night, come back to our village where Briefs: The Second Coming are awaiting with inappropriate bananas, glitter and cabaret in what’s been called Ru Paul’s Drag Race meets Cirque du Soleil.

Hop on the train on Saturday with family or friends, and head west to Parramatta, where Cirque Eloize await with their new show iD. It’s a high-energy fusion of circus, acrobatics and urban dance featuring 15 performers – a Saturday matinee like no other. Go for the circus double and follow it up with the amazing Kaleidoscope at 4.30pm. Take your time to enjoy a meal at The Emporium or El-Phoenician, before heading back into the city.

Laze around Meriton Festival Village, before walking to St Stephen’s Uniting Church, where Moses Sumney is delivering ghostly and soulful tunes that touch on the styles of Nina Simone and Prince.

If that’s not enough music for you, you can always make a stop at Symphony Under The Stars in The Domain. It’s a stalwart Festival event and this year will be as entertaining as always. Bring your pals and a picnic blanket, lie back and let the sounds wash over you under the night sky. A perfect end to the evening!

But the weekend isn’t over yet so conserve your energy for all the Sunday adventures that await. Plunge into a white ocean of over a million balls at The Beach at the Cutaway Barangaroo Reserve – you can even book a ticketed session to skip the queues and get your dive in before brunch.

For something completely different, follow it up with an afternoon performance of Spectra – a fusion of contemporary dance, Japanese butoh and digital sculpture that explores the interconnectedness of the universe.

The sun is still beaming after that, so why not head down to The Star and sip a drink on Sky Terrace while the DJs keep the vibe upbeat.

You can then easily walk over to the Sydney Lyric to see Tim Finn’s smash hit musical, Ladies in Black.

Once you’ve taken in all the shine and sparkle of this uniquely Australian fairytale, you can channel your inner stage star in Glitterbox. A glowing cube that sits on Sky Terrace, it’s a sensory-overloading, colourful glitter trip that lets you have your own mini private dance party, in public.

Considering you would’ve started off your weekend with a song and dance, it seems right to end it the same way, don’t you think?