Sydney's cracking calendar

Back to news

Sydney's cracking calendar

Laughs and light shows, cinema and coffee, writers and winter. Sydney is bringing some of the coolest, loudest, funniest and most eye-opening events to town this season.

Sydney Comedy Festival

Sydney Comedy Festival

22 April – 17 May 2014 

The 10th annual Sydney Comedy Festival brings the freshest and funniest comedians to town. The cracking line-up includes international comedy treasure Julian Clary, ventriloquist Jeff Dunham, and irreverent Stephen K Amos, plus a juicy line-up of homegrown talent in the form of the all-female Frocking Hilarious, Gruen Nation’s Will Anderson, and The Project’s Dave Hughes.

Stay at Sydney Central YHA or Railway Square YHA

Sydney Writers' Festival

Sydney Writers' Festival 

19-25 May 2014

Readers, writers and literature lovers rejoice! The Sydney Writers' Festival returns for seven days of creativity, bringing more than 400 authors to venues across the city. Among some of the biggest names at this year's festival are creator of iconic TV series Breaking Bad, the great Vince Gilligan; author of Pulitzer Prize-winning The Colour Purple, Alice Walker; Trainspotting cult legend Irvine Welsh; and animation giant Pixar's Matthew Luhn (interviewed by The Chaser crew). The educational and enlightening program will push your buttons, make you laugh, bring you to tears and lead you to places you've never been.

Stay at Sydney Central YHA or Railway Square YHA

Sydney events vivid

Vivid Sydney

23 May – 9 June 2014

Sydney’s Vivid festival takes light shows to a new level, when the Harbour city lights up for the biggest international music, art and light festival in the Southern Hemisphere. The ever-popular Lighting of the Sails is back, along with huge 3D projections on iconic buildings, interactive light art sculptures, and the yummy Rocks Night Markets. A big hit last year, Darling Harbour will once again be transformed by dazzling water and laser shows, while Martin Place and Sydney Ferries will also be getting in on the act in 2014. Best of all, Vivid LIVE returns for 10 days from 23 May, with uber hip indie rock band The Pixies headling, and a rare performance by electronic pop legends Pet Shop Boys.  

Take advantage of Sydney Harbour YHA’s City Break Package

Sydney Biennale

Sydney Biennale

Until 9 June 2014

Held every two years, this three-month festival has grown into the Asia Pacific’s largest and most exciting contemporary visual arts extravaganza. Imaginative, surreal, emotional, and sublime artworks, many created specifically for the event, will be on display at venues and sites around Sydney. Don’t miss the life-size projection of an Icelandic waterfall at Cockatoo Island, Turner prize-winning Douglas Gordon’s dramatic Phantom, and Yingmei Duan’s forest inside the NSW Art Gallery.

Stay at Sydney Central YHA – checkout the YHA’s special offers

Sydney Film Festival

Sydney International Film Festival

4-15 June 2014

Are you a film buff? Get along to the annual Sydney International Film Festival and discover new and independent films from around the world. From star-studded red carpet premieres and forums with famous filmmakers, to animated shorts and red hot docos, this celebration of celluloid will freak you out, make you laugh, get you thinking and take you on some extraordinary journeys.

Stay at Sydney Central YHA

Strictly Ballroom The Musical

Strictly Ballroom The Musical

Tickets currently available until 6 July 2014. 

Based on the much-loved film by Australia’s famous cinema showman, Baz Luhrmann, Strictly Ballroom the musical will tango, sashay and cha cha cha its way onto the stage at the Sydney Lyric Theatre from 12 April. 

Director Luhrmann and Oscar-winning costume designer, Catherine Martin, transform the film that launched their careers into a brand new theatrical extravaganza, which makes its world premiere in Sydney. Telling the story of a championship ballroom dancer who defies all the rules to follow his heart, the show sparkles with romance, drama, humour and the sort of high-energy spectacle and style you’d expect from the team that brought us Moulin Rouge and The Great Gatsby. Visit 

Stay at Sydney Central YHA  or Railway Square YHA  

Sydney Winter Festival

Sydney Winter Festival

13 June - 13 July 2014

Get your skates on and hit the Sydney Winter Festival from 13 June to 13 July 2014 for some "cool Yule". Much missed last year, this enchanting mid-year favourite is back. Darling Harbour will be transformed into a winter wonderland, complete with outdoor ice rink, alpine huts serving winter warming goodies like bratwurst, gluwhein and roasted chestnuts, plus there's free festive entertainment including themed nights, skating performances, live music and DJs. Entry is free, however ice skating should be booked ahead online and costs from $28.50 for adults including skate hire and booking fee.

Aroma Festival

The Rocks Aroma Festival

late July - date TBC

Celebrate all things coffee, chocolate, tea and spice at this free one-day festival by the Harbour. Savour the flavours of a smooth Mayan coffee, spicy chai or a devilishly thick hot chocolate as you wander the themed areas: The Oasis, The Continent, The Orient or The Latin Quarter.  Tempt your tastebuds with traditional tucker from around the world, while your other senses enjoy free entertainment and markets.  

Stay at Sydney Harbour YHA - take advantage of the YHA's Sydney City Break deal