Ten days of the Sydney Festival

We know getting organised after Christmas and new year celebrations can be difficult, so we’ve done it for you. Here’s a quick and easy guide to the 10-day Sydney Festival Parramatta. Cut it out, stick it to your fridge and have your summer all set and sorted.


■ Parramatta Opening Party 

Sydney Festival Parramatta will kick-off with a POP with the Parramatta Opening Party on Friday, January 10. Cardboard-clad warriors will stage an epic battle as part of Boxwars, Bella Kalolo will take to the stage in her only Sydney performance and Hot Dub Time Machine will get revellers moving.

Giant illuminated jellyfish will hover above the festivities while a five-storey high and five-storey wide rubber duck floats on the Parramatta River. Not a dull moment. The free event will run from 6pm to 11pm at Church and Market streets and Prince Alfred Park.

More information: sydneyfestival.org.au/pop


■ Bombino

Hailing from Niger, electric guitar firebrand Omara ‘‘Bombino’’ Moctar is plugged into the sound of the Sahara and driven by the politics of his people. Rolling Stone magazine even dubbed him ‘‘your new guitar hero’’.

Details:  Riverside Theatres, 7pm, January 11, $25.


■ Amadou and Mariam  

Grammy Award-nominated Amadou and Mariam met at the Bamako Institute for the Young Blind in the ’70s and have been creating blues-infused Afro-pop ever since. They’ve circled the globe, collaborating with Manu Chao, Santigold and Damon Albarn. 

Details: Riverside Theatres, 5pm, January 12, $25.


■ Band of Magicians

The four faces of modern magic have combined to form Band of Magicians, the world’s first magic supergroup. Working together they have created an act loaded with outstanding illusions, dazzling deceptions and astounding artistry.

Details: Riverside Theatres, January 10-19. Tickets: $50.


■ Project 28: Roman Ondak

Parramatta Town Hall will host a brand new installation by Slovenian artist Roman Ondak as well as his performative works Swap and Measuring the Universe.

Details: Parramatta Town Hall,  10am-10pm, January 10 and 10am-6pm, January 11-24, Free


■ Rubber Duck 

A five-storey high and five-storey high rubber duck will make Parramatta River its bathtub. The art installation by acclaimed Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman has floated in  Hong Kong, Sao Paulo, Osaka, Pittsburgh, Auckland and Baku.

Details: Parramatta River in Parramatta Park between Pavilion Flat and Government Farm, January 10-19. Free.


■Chris Thile 

Mandolin virtuoso, composer and vocalist Chris Thile of Punch is a singer for the acoustic trio Nickel Creek and bluegrass quintet Punch Brothers. In 2007, he was named the BBC Folk Musician of the Year and in 2013 won the Grammy Award for Best Folk Album.

Details: Riverside Theatres, 7pm, January 16. Cost : $25.


■ John Murry

Born and raised in Mississippi, John Murry’s debut solo record The Graceless Age received critical acclaim and won a spot in the American Songwriter’s top 5 of 2013.

Details: Riverside Theatres, 7pm, January 17, $25.


■ La Orquesta Tipica Fernandez Fierro 

Responsible for blasting traditional acoustic tango into the 21st century, La Orquesta Tipica Fernandez Fierro’s high-energy performances have turned tango on its head in Buenos Aires and around the world. This 12-piece band from Argentina is the liveliest force in tango.


■ The Calling

Hop aboard an inter-faith mini bus tour that explores the built and aural architecture of selected mosques, churches and temples in Auburn, Granville and Parramatta.

Details: Information and Cultural Exchange Parramatta, 5.30am, January 11, 12, 18,19, $49.

Tablet - Narrow
Tablet - Wide