The tree has been collected, the decorations cast aside and the sales pillaged.
Having successfully navigated the stressful Christmas period, the second month in summer is a great time to rid yourselves of any festive hangover by indulging in some unique art and culture activities.
Below we’ve put together a shortlist of the best festivals worth venturing away from home for.
New South Wales
If there’s one thing Sydneysiders are known for, it’s their ability to start the new year with a bang. Taking place between the 8th and 26th January, the 2020 event marks the 43rd staging of the Sydney Festival and the fourth under the guidance of director Wesley Enoch.
This year the festival features more than 100 events from local and international artists showcasing an eclectic list of contemporary and classical music, dance, drama, visual arts and artist talks.
Highlights of this year’s instalment includes performances by Indigenous theatre company Ilbijerri alongside Maori performance group Te Rēhia Theatre company in a show all about the coming together of First Nations cultures and communities, as well as ‘Time Flies’ a production by youth circus group Flying Fruit Fly, which commemorates the 40th anniversary of the country’s national youth circus. Explore all events on offer and ticket information at sydneyfestival.org.au
There can be few greater ways to relax and unwind in the sun than with some of the country’s best live music acts among the delightful surrounds of Churchill Island. This is the scene that will greet those attending the Ocean Sounds Festival, a family friendly all-day concert taking place on the 18th January.
In addition to a stellar line up of musical talent, the event will also serve as a showcase for a range of local produce with wines from Dirty Three, Fleet, The Purple Hen and The Gurdies on offer alongside delectable food offerings from innovative companies such as Fleming Berries, the Twisted Fisherman and Sticks & Stones BBQ. Attendees are encouraged to bring their picnic rugs as well as their friends to the event with the line-up including performances from The Bamboos, REMI, Ash Grunwald and Kyle Lionheart, among others.
Celebrity chefs, craft beers and all things gourmet are on the menu during the Gold Coast’s annual Food and Wine Festival. Launching on January 10, the three-day festival takes place inside the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre and offers something for everyone with free cheese, liqueur and beer classes and aims to explore the evolution of the city’s culinary landscape.
In addition, the expo boasts a number of presentation and promotions of new kitchen items, smart kitchen tools and practical kitchen tips while the highlight is an exclusive dining area for 40 guests only that offers a selection of wines alongside local oysters.
If bucking bulls, a mobile zoo and live music are your thing then the foreshore in front of Kingston SE’s iconic Cape Jaffa Lighthouse is the place you want to be on January 4. Staged on the beachfront overlooking Lacepede Bay, family friendly Kingston SE Foreshore Festival 2020, is headlined by Australian rock legend Diesel, with a musical line-up that includes The Happy Leonards, Squirrel Grip, Shaun Brown and Revive. In addition, ticket admission includes unlimited children’s zone activities, and a fireworks display.
Best of all the organising committee are committed to ensuring everything is as sustainable as possible and as such have repurposed pallets into festival furniture, recycled all bottles and cans and introduced reusable beer steins and wine cups to minimise the amount of single use plastic.
The Falls Festival offers those aged 18-plus a brilliant way to let off some steam in the first few days of the new year. A rolling event staged across four different places, the Freemantle instalment is the final event of the festival series that has long been at the forefront of the Australian festival scene.
Staged on Jan 4 and 5, the two-day event features an impressive bill of musical talent with the likes of Peking Duk, Vampire Weekend, John Farnham and Scottish showstopper Lewis Capaldi taking centre stage.
If you’re planning a getaway, consider letting your neighbours know and provide them with your mobile number… just in case. The beauty of apartment living is you can just lock and leave, and not have to worry about who will put your bins out on bin night, mow the lawn, clean the pool or water your garden… it’s already taken care of.