Things to Do in Sydney, June

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June comes with the best festival of all, the luminous one, with bright nights and lots of colour on iconic buildings. There are some great things to do in Sydney during June.

The night comes alive with lights on the sails of the Opera House for the Vivid festival. But wait...there's more...There are movies galore at the Sydney Film Festival.

Plus fireworks in Darling Harbour.

So quite a packed program for one month, there's something new and exciting to do almost every day.

And some days you would really have to choose where to go with many events overlapping.

Vivid Sydney Festival

sydney vivid 2017 festival in June

This year marks the ninth anniversary of the Vivid festival. It is on between 26 May and 17 June 2017, with lights projected on the Opera, the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Harbour Bridge and many buildings in the City every night.

Every year design teams get the hard job of coming up with increasingly innovative shapes and colours to feature on the sails of the Opera House.

sydney vivid 2017 colour on the sails of the opera house

The special effects used make the lighting of the opera sails one of the most interesting tourist attractions in the capital of New South Wales. And the beauty of it is that many of the stunning programs that come with this festival are free and family friendly.

sydney vivid 2017- opera illuminated

Things to Do in Sydney June - The Film Festival

The Film Festival is running every year since 1954, and while it started very small with screenings at the University of Sydney, it has grown to be a powerful event. Heaps of movies from lots of countries. Among them latest releases, new and older pictures, short films, documentaries.

There are many venues for screening the films or for catching up before and after the screening for a glass of wine, snack or dinner or simply for sharing your experience or listening to film experts.

things to do in sydney june - event cinema

So the places to be between 7 - 18 June 2017 are:

  • cinemas:
    • Event cinemas on George Street,
    • Dendy Opera Quays;
    • Dendy Newtown;
    • Cremorne Hayden Orpheum
    • The Ritz Cinema - Randwick
    • the Skyline drive-in, Blacktown

  • theatres and art centres:
    • the State Theatre;
    • Casula Powerhouse in Liverpool

  • the Town Hall, which hosts the Sydney Film Festival Hub with many free performances, live music, exhibitions, talks.

  • museums:
    • the NSW Art Gallery,

  • open spaces - The Pitt Street mall with a big outdoor screen;

state theatre

The beautiful State Theatre foyer

The festival opens and closes at the State Theatre and is followed by an aferparty.

The closing night will also host the awards ceremony.

The public can enjoy lots of movies from all the world, spanning across a wide range of types and genres.

The festival includes an Akira Kurosawa retrospective.

Things to Do in Sydney from Past Years

The Winter Festival

Held in June - July, near St Mary's Cathedral, the winter festival included an ice rink, mulled wine to keep you warm, live music, fresh food and a beer garden to keep the thirst away.

things to do in sydney 12 - vivid lights 2012 customs house blue

things to do in sydney 12 - vivid lights 2012 customs house blue things to do in sydney 12 - vivid lights 2012 customs house things to do in sydney 12 - vivid lights sydney 2012 things to do in sydney 12 - vivid lights museum of contemporary art sydney 2012 things to do in sydney 12 - vivid lights museum of contemporary art sydney 2012

Below are two images of Opera, featuring colorful geometry, during the Vivid 2011 festival.

vivid festival 2011 - geometrical shapes on opera
vivid festival 2011 - icy blue opera

Here's where to read more about the 2012 and 2011 editions of Vivid Sydney.

Jazz and Blues Festival

jazz and blues festival darling harbour

The Darling Harbour Jazz and Blues Festival went on for 22 years till 2012 with great international and Australian musicians and a jazz parade. You could join the professionals and play or dance along.

Local and international jazz heavy weights such as James Morisson, Trevor Watts, Tina Harrod, The Crusty Suitcase Band, Geoff Bull's New Orleans Jazz Band were just some of the artists that participated. It is a shame the festival is not on in 2013.

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2016 Festival of lights


Vivid Nights 2014

Vivid Pictures 2013

Vivid Festival 2012

Opera Lights in 2011

2009 Lighting

More Things to Do in Sydney

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