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Uncover the ultimate creative playground in Sydney

Vivid Sydney 2023Credit: Destination NSW

Views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Harbour during Vivid Sydney 2023, from the View Hotel in North Sydney.

#feelnewsydney #vividsydney

Uncover the ultimate creative playground in Sydney

Vivid Sydney 2023 Credit: Destination NSW

Views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Harbour during Vivid Sydney 2023, from the View Hotel in North Sydney.

#feelnewsydney #vividsydney

Hashtags #feelnewsydney #vividsydney

With its innovative spirit, the Harbour City has long been the epicentre of all things creative, sending waves of inspiration across the globe. In Austin, Texas, festival organisers felt its call and now, the world’s most pioneering thinkers are uniting for eight days of innovation, games, music and film at SXSW Sydney from 15-22 October. Here, we explore why Sydney is the ultimate creative playground...

The city inspires the world’s disruptors

The only place outside of Austin to host SXSW, Sydney is welcoming a stellar line-up of perspective-shifting festivals, parties, an expo and conference with more than 700 speakers, including thought leaders Paul Tollett, Amy Webb, Chance the Rapper and Layne Beachley. But, meander harbourside and you’ll see why the city is a magnet for inspired thinkers. At the lauded Museum of Contemporary Art, the Sydney International Art Series showcases art’s trailblazers; the annual festival Vivid Sydney transforms the city into a multi-sensory playground of light, music, art, food and ideas; and an Architecture Walk decodes the artistry of an iconic skyline where avant-garde design meets colonial ingenuity.

It levels up the art experience

At SXSW Sydney’s Screen Festival, ground-breaking visual storytellers will showcase their ideas in a place where art’s immersive all year round. Here, the moving image ignites the screen as events like the Sydney Film Festival, FlickerFest, and the OpenAir Cinema bring the city together. And at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, the inspiration leaps off the walls, refreshing your perspective in dynamic spaces, eateries and iconic events.

Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, The Rocks Credit: Destination NSW

Friends arriving outside the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia in The Rocks, Sydney.

#feelnewsydney

Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, The Rocks Credit: Destination NSW

Friends arriving outside the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia in The Rocks, Sydney.

#feelnewsydney

Art Gallery of New South Wales’ new building Credit: Iwan Baan

Aerial view of the Art Gallery of New South Wales’ new SANAA-designed building, 2022

#feelnewsydney

Art Gallery of New South Wales’ new building Credit: Iwan Baan

Aerial view of the Art Gallery of New South Wales’ new SANAA-designed building, 2022

#feelnewsydney

There’s legendary shows and music to move you

Around 300 rapidly-rising pop, hip-hop and indie-rock artists will bring the noise to SXSW Sydney’s Music Festival, enticed to perform on revered stages like The Landsdowne and Hotel Hollywood. Afterwards, Sydney’s beat goes on as summer’s hottest shows pump up the volume, with festivals like Ridin’ Hearts and Good Things, and concerts from R&B legends and Taylor Swift to look forward to. Up for a singalong? Be inspired by an impressive line-up of theatre and musicals, including Tina: The Tina Turner Musical, WICKED the Musical and Beauty and the Beast the Musical.

Its fearless imagination is iconic

Since the 1970s, the Sydney Festival, Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras and the Biennale of Sydney have cultivated a culture where freedom of expression reigns supreme. So too has the Sydney Opera House, which burst onto the global stage in 1973 to become World Heritage-listed as a masterpiece of human creative genius, and is celebrating its 50th birthday with a landmark festival. Spark your own ideas with art challenges, music workshops and poetry; and savour live performances from classical choirs to Vance Joy and more. Between experiences, step behind its iconic sails on an exclusive tour, and bask in its inspiration over a fine-dining feast at Bennelong and drinks at Opera Bar.

Innovation charges through Sydney’s neighbourhoods

SXSW Sydney’s Tech & Innovation events will challenge your perspective as you learn from tech pioneers and party alongside kindred game-changers. Ground-breaking thinking is embedded in the very fabric of Inner Sydney, where cultural diversity is the perfect incubator for creative ingenuity. In buzzing Chippendale, visit the mould-shattering White Rabbit Gallery, immerse yourself in bold design at The Old Clare Hotel; let loose on The Abercrombie’s dancefloor, catch a cutting-edge show and take a walking tour. In nearby Eveleigh, Carriageworks has a jam-packed multi-arts calendar and a commitment to challenging the status quo that continues in the creative spaces of nearby Newtown, Surry Hills, and Paddington.

Wicked the musical Credit: Joan Marcus

Glinda, Morrible, Fiyero and the Cast of the Broadway Production of WICKED!

#feelnewsydney

Wicked the musical Credit: Joan Marcus

Glinda, Morrible, Fiyero and the Cast of the Broadway Production of WICKED!

#feelnewsydney

Ten Thousand Suns, 24th Biennale of Sydney 2024 Credit: Image by Document Photography

Ten Thousand Suns, 24th Biennale of Sydney 2024. Caio Reisewitz, MUNDUS SUBTERRANEUS, 2022. Commissioned by the Biennale of Sydney with assistance from the Consulate General of Brazil in Sydney. Courtesy the artist & Bendana Pinel Art Contemporain, Paris. Installation view, 23rd Biennale of Sydney, rīvus, 2022, Museum of Contemporary Art Australia.

#feelnewsydney

Ten Thousand Suns, 24th Biennale of Sydney 2024 Credit: Image by Document Photography

Ten Thousand Suns, 24th Biennale of Sydney 2024. Caio Reisewitz, MUNDUS SUBTERRANEUS, 2022. Commissioned by the Biennale of Sydney with assistance from the Consulate General of Brazil in Sydney. Courtesy the artist & Bendana Pinel Art Contemporain, Paris. Installation view, 23rd Biennale of Sydney, rīvus, 2022, Museum of Contemporary Art Australia.

#feelnewsydney

Mystery, history and the future converge here

Part of what makes Sydney so innovative is its insatiable curiosity – as you’ll see in its museums. Walk along The Goods Line to the Powerhouse, where you’ll discover an extraordinary collection of 500,000 arts, science, technology and design artefacts, and the 1001 Remarkable Objects show which takes your senses on a surprising trip through time in 25 rooms. The wonders continue at the Australian Museum’s exhibition, Ramses & the Gold of the Pharaohs, with an exclusive collection of priceless artefacts as well as a virtual reality tour of ancient Egypt with temples, sandstorms and mummies!

It’s ‘game on!’ around the clock  

The SXSW Sydney Games Festival will upgrade your playtime with live challenges, talks, demos, parties and 150 brand new, independent games. Much of the action will take place at Fortress Sydney – the city’s year-round gaming haven with arcades, PC gaming, tabletops and consoles, as well as the Southern Hemisphere’s largest fixed e-sports arena. Battle your crew in a VIP booth before kicking on with a late-night feast at Spice Alley. Or, rock on in the neon of Chinatown’s Dixon Street before exploring Haymarket, Darling Harbour and Barangaroo, and clinking glasses in the YCK Laneways’ cosy speakeasies.

Melbourne artist JACOTÉNE performing at SXSW Sydney launch party Credit: Jess Gleeson

Melbourne artist JACOTÉNE performing at SXSW Sydney launch party. @sxswsydney, @jessgleeson, @jacotene

#feelnewsydney

Melbourne artist JACOTÉNE performing at SXSW Sydney launch party Credit: Jess Gleeson

Melbourne artist JACOTÉNE performing at SXSW Sydney launch party. @sxswsydney, @jessgleeson, @jacotene

#feelnewsydney

Spice Alley, Chippendale Credit: Destination NSW

Couple enjoying food and drink in Spice Alley, Chippendale.

#feelnewsydney

Spice Alley, Chippendale Credit: Destination NSW

Couple enjoying food and drink in Spice Alley, Chippendale.

#feelnewsydney

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