It’s no secret that Sydney has a bustling live music scene, boasting countless talented bands, awesome venues, and eager fans, it’s time to celebrate what makes Sydney such a great Australian music destination with the latest instalment of Sydney Festival.

Every January, Sydney Festival transforms the NSW capital into a living, breathing celebration of its own cultural scene, with a diverse program of music and art, including everything from theatre, to contemporary dance. The music program is of particular note, featuring some of the most buzzed-about alternative artists both local and from abroad.

Courtyard Sessions At The Seymour Centre

Where? Seymour Centre Courtyard Corner City Road and Cleveland St Chippendale
When? 6pm, Friday 16, Saturday 17, Sunday 18th January
Why? This awesome concert series lets punters enjoy great tunes from a range of Sydney’s best up-and-coming musicians over the About an Hour weekend. Best of all, it’s completely free, with performances kicking off from 6pm under the trees in the dappled sunshine of the courtyard, offering punters the perfect spot to relax and enjoy a refreshment between shows. Artists lined up for the Courtyard Sessions include acclaimed singer-songwriter Caitlin Park, the ethereal sounds of Maples, and the inimitable Leah Flanagan, who are sure to put on some unforgettable shows.
Entry & Info: FREE,

Ben Frost & Tim Hecker

Where? Joan Sutherland Theatre Bennelong Point East Circular Quay
When? 9:30pm, Sunday 11th January
Why? This unique co-headlining performance sees two of the Commonwealth’s most talented noise-makers coming together for a performance that fans will remember for years to come. Reykjavík-based Australian composer and producer Ben Frost is best known for his violently beautiful pieces that live at the intersection of structured sound art and post-classical electronic music, while Canadian native and 15-year music veteran Tim Hecker will be bringing his trademark eerie soundscapes, which rest on an ambient, droning axis of noise, dissonance, and melody.
Entry & Info: $49-69,

Lace Curtain

Where? The Famous Spiegeltent, Hyde Park North, Sydney
When? 5:45pm, Sunday 25th January
Why? This acclaimed project will see Melbourne favourites Mikey Young and David West taking a moment out from their highly praised work in Total Control, Rat Columns, and Eddy Current Suppression Ring to explore the vibrant world of electronic music as Lace Curtain. Forging a mesh of synth pop, krautrock, new wave, and Italo disco, the pair’s recorded output to date consists of three impressive EPs released on heavyweight labels DFA Records and Mexican Summer. While it’s a far cry from their previous work, there’s a distinctly punk quality to the unique sounds of Lace Curtain.
Tickets & Info: $29,


Where? The Aurora, Hyde Park North, Sydney
When? 5:15pm, Wednesday 14th January
Why? Though you may know him best as a member of the imperishable collage pop duo The Books, the talented Nick Zammuto’s progressive approach to life and music has now carried over into his latest project, which sees him writing, recording, and mixing records in a converted woodshed deep in the mountains of Vermont, which he designed and built himself. Having released his debut album locally via fanboy Gotye’s Spirit Level label, Zammuto brings his isolated recordings to life on stage with a full band, propelling them with pulsing electronic rhythms and skilled musicianship.
Tickets & Info: $39,

Omar Souleyman

Where? The Aurora, Hyde Park North, Sydney
When? 11:45pm, Friday 16th January
Why? Omar Souleyman is best known as the creator of one of the most singular brands of modern dance music. The Middle Eastern native fuses the traditional sounds of Dabke folk dancing with Arabic pop melodies and blazing synths to bring a Syrian street party to any venue he inhabits. If you’re prepared for a dance experience you’ll be talking about for years, don’t miss Omar Souleyman, as he brings his relentless beat and powerful vocals to Sydney Music Week. He’s poised to whip crowds into a frenzy with his blistering, club-friendly brand of Arabic techno.
Tickets & Info: $39,

Tiny Ruins

Where? The Aurora, Hyde Park North, Sydney
When? 5:15pm, Friday 16th January
Why?  The haunting sounds of this New Zealand folk trio saw them make their way into our countdown of The 17 Best Albums Of 2014 You May Have Missed last month and it’s not hard to understand why. The incredible vocals and diary-like lyrics of front woman Hollie Fullbrook made for one of the best folk records of the year and having spent much of 2014 on the road in support of their second release, the band is poised to wow Sydney audiences with what is sure to be an exquisite night of antipodean folk music
Entry & Info: $29,

The Clean

Where? The Aurora, Hyde Park North, Sydney
When? 5:15pm, Tuesday 20th January
Why? If our recent interview with these influential New Zealand rockers, this may be your last chance to catch them live. Speaking to Tone Deaf as they prepared for their upcoming national tour of Australia, which will also include their first Perth performance ever, guitarist and vocalist David Kilgour revealed to us, “I think this will be the last Clean tour as I feel its just time to stop, I’m runnin’ outa gas for it!” Make sure you don’t miss your final opportunity to see one of New Zealand’s all-time greatest and most influential musical exports in the flesh.
Tickets & Info: $49,

Symphony In The Domain

Where? The Domain, Art Gallery Road Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney
When? 8pm, Sunday 18th January
Why? Conducted by Johannes Fritzsch, Symphony In The Domain is set to be a classical music experience unlike any other. Featuring ARIA award-winning performer, composer, and didgeridoo player William Barton, the Sydney Symphony Orchestra will perform Peter Sculthorpe’s Beethoven Variations for didgeridoo and orchestra and Barton’s own Birdsong at Dusk. These performances will be juxtaposed alongside poetry and prose readings by Anita Heiss, offering punters a chance to experience an evening of classical music and the sounds of contemporary Indigenous Australia.
Entry & Info: FREE,

For more info and to check out the full line up visit

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