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Travel for Australia’s Top Festivals & Cultural Events in 2024

BLOG | Australia’s jam-packed festival and cultural events calendar draws visitors from near and far throughout the year. Discover our selection of the best Australian and international acts in 2024 that weave a rich tapestry of culture, art, music, dance, and beyond
Adelaide Fringe seen from outside

Australia is a melting pot of cultures and experiences, with diverse communities and regions offering their own unique and compelling takes on Australian lifestyle, culture, and artistic expression. As a result, the country boasts a diverse festival calendar that ranges from weekends organised by local communities celebrating their crafts to high-profile festivals drawing big-name international acts.

Whether you’re travelling to Australia for a specific event or seeking to elevate your adventures across the country with exciting and memorable experiences, our specialist Travel Designers can customise a five-star journey with premium access. Upgrade your journey with exclusive event upgrades like VIP seating and meet-and-greets, while also enjoying a bespoke touring program and five-star accommodation.

February

Sydney WorldPride

Location: Sydney

Sydney Opera House displaying pride flags
Credit: Australia on Instagram

With over 100 events across 17 days, Sydney WorldPride is a global festival celebrating the diverse LGBTQIA+ community. Over two exciting weeks, revellers can celebrate their pride with the beloved Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade alongside a broad selection of arts, sport, theatre, concerts, parties, First Nations programming, and a human rights conference. As a thriving hub of luxurious experiences, a WorldPride experience can easily be teamed with Sydney’s exceptional city accommodation, premium upgrades, luxury yachting, and much more.

Sydney Lunar Festival

Location: Sydney

Usher in the Year of the Dragon with Sydney’s Lunar New Year celebrations. A 16-day festival kicking off on 10 February, the laneways of bustling inner-city Sydney suburb Haymarket turn into a week-long street party. Feast with banquet menus and street eats, marvel at traditional Chinese Lion Dances, and enjoy a range of dance, music, and art performances that celebrate the diverse cultures of the Asian continent and beyond.

Adelaide Fringe

Location: Adelaide

Adelaide Fringe Festival, Adelaide, SA
Credit: Tourism Australia

Australia’s biggest arts festival held between 16 February – 17 March, the Adelaide Fringe is an iconic staple that transforms Adelaide and greater South Australia into a month-long summer festival. Its enormous range of eclectic and vibrant events cover cabaret, theatre, comedy, music, circus, visual arts, workshops and more. This internationally renowned festival seamlessly weaves into a journey exploring Adelaide’s exceptional food and wine experiences, boutique accommodation, and the renowned WOMADelaide festival to showcase Adelaide at its very best.

Perth Festival

Location: Perth

A thriving multi-arts festival held between 9 February – 3 March, the Perth Festival brings world-class performance, film, visual arts, and literary events to the foreshore of the scenic Swan River every summer. This ‘festival for the people’ champions local talent, rich Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander traditions and contemporary arts practice, and a selection of the world’s most exciting international acts, making it the perfect time to enjoy vibrant, laidback, beachside Perth in the heart of summer.

MONA FOMA

Location: Hobart & Launceston

MONA FOMA, Hobart, TAS
Credit: MONA

The summer-equivalent of the renowned Dark Mofo festival, MONA FOMA’s influence is felt across Tasmania from 15 to 3 March. Held between Launceston and Hobart, big-name international acts, large-scale free parties, art installations and everything in-between are on offer. Combine your travels throughout the regions with interactive workshops and late-night parties, and enjoy fascinating insights into the quirky arts scene of Australia’s island state.

March

Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour

Location: Sydney

Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour, Sydney, NSW
Credit: Opera Australia

The renowned West Side Story returns to the picturesque Sydney Botanic Gardens between 22 March – 21 April. Dine with uninterrupted harbour views, watch fireworks sparkle against the backdrop of the renowned Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge, and take in an exquisite performance set within an outdoor paradise of bamboo groves, a giant moon and a rising sun floating on the harbour. With easy access in the heart of the city, team your experience with VIP access, five-star accommodation, and bespoke Sydney touring.

Melbourne International Comedy Festival

Location: Melbourne

Credit: Tourism Australia

The chic and happening city of Melbourne is the home of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, drawing top international performers and up-and-coming local talent over one hilarious month between 27 March – 21 April. Treat yourself to late-night, side-splitting events after days of tailored touring into Melbourne’s chic laneways with expert local guides while staying in the city’s most outstanding hotels.

Byron Bay Bluesfest

Location: Byron Bay

Bluesfest, Byron Bay, NSW
Credit: Tourism Australia

The long-standing Byron Bay Bluesfest is a highlight of the Easter Long Weekend, this year held between 28 March 28 and 1 April. Hosting incredible big-name acts, Bluesfest is a family-friendly music event held in the serene surrounds of Byron Bay’s Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm. Discover food and market stalls that celebrate the region’s local bounty, watch remarkable performances, and discover insight into the popular region that draws travellers near and far for surfing, sightseeing, and more.

April

Parrtjima – A Festival in Light

Location: Alice Springs

Credit: Tourism Australia

The only Aboriginal light festival of its kind, Parrtjima lights up Mparntwe / Alice Springs over 10 nights between 12-21 April at the tail-end of summer. Light installations, art exhibitions, live talks, music performances and more are on offer, led by a host of local and national musicians. This exciting festival is the perfect accompaniment to travels in the culturally-rich Red Centre and offers a historical context, remarkable sightseeing, and authentic, memorable engagement with Australia’s First Nations communities.

May

Tasting Australia

Location: South Australia

The Host transferring wine between glasses during Riedel Masterclass at St Hugo Winery, Barossa Valley, SA
Credit: St Hugo

For people with a passion for food and drink, Tasting Australia, is a must-do event in 2024. The 10-day festival, held between 3 – 12 May, is a showcase of South Australia’s produce, people and places. Indulge in long lunches and masterclasses, visit Town Square for a casual drink with friends or enjoy a meal in the Town Square Kitchen where top chefs collaborate to create one-of-a-kind dining experiences. You can also board a private flight to discover the sights and flavours of destinations further afield like the Flinders Ranges and Kangaroo Island.

Brisbane Street Art Festival

Location: Brisbane

Discover the heart of Brisbane over its bustling Street Art Festival that celebrates the city’s hundreds of creatives across all artistic disciplines. Celebrate the old and the new with a range of exhibitions and performances while exploring the city’s best restaurants and bars, and enjoy easy access to South-East Queensland’s scenic beaches, national parks, and remarkable wildlife encounters – perfect for a bespoke outdoor tour. Running from 6 – 21 May.

Vivid Sydney

Location: Sydney

Vivid Festival, Sydney, NSW
Credit: Tourism Australia

Heralding the beginning of the Australian winter, kicking off on 24 May, Vivid Sydney is a three-week festival of light, music, colour, and big ideas held on the harbour shore. Watch the city be transformed into a nightscape filled with light artists, music makers, thought leaders and food creatives, and discover an innovative edge to a city already bustling with innovation and world-class experiences.

June

Barunga Festival

Location: Top End

Barunga Festival, NT
Credit: Tourism Australia

Hosted in Central Arnhem Land of the Northern Territory, the Barunga Festival celebrates Indigenous community life over a long weekend in mid-August during peak Dry Season. Discover a line-up of Aboriginal art, a didgeridoo competition, sporting endeavours in popular local sports like AFL, softball and basketball in a culturally-rich region, and discover the festival’s emphasis on Cultural exchange and collaboration that compels travellers of all ages.

July

Darwin Fringe Festival

Location: Darwin

Darwin, Northern Territory
Credit: Tourism Australia

Darwin Fringe is a popular open-access festival supporting the diverse and exciting local arts sector in the Top End. It is the biggest independent arts platform in the Top End with 10 days of unique, accessible experiences in the peak of the Dry Season from 12 – 21 July. With Darwin as a gateway to the Top End’s National Parks, outback lodges and cultural touring, a visit during Fringe Season will brighten your stay in this already bustling city hub.

August

Cairns Indigenous Art Fair

Location: Cairns

Held on the Traditional Lands of the Gimuy Walubara Yidinji and Yirrganydji peoples from the 25th to 28th of July, Cairns Indigenous Art Fair is Australia’s premier Indigenous arts festival offering music, exhibitions, fashion performance, comedy, talks and symposiums, and more. Discover a fascinating insight into Australia’s First Nations Cultures and learn about new futures and ongoing traditions in a region rich with natural beauty, fascinating history, and two World Heritage-listed natural sites.

Horizon Festival

Location: Caloundra, Sunshine Coast

Food and wine festival
Credit: Tourism Australia

The Sunshine Coast’s leading contemporary multi-arts festival, Horizon Festival offers 10 days and nights of interpretive art, music, theatre, dance and beyond that celebrate the beauty and natural abundance of the Sunshine Coast. Discover the region at its best and learn more about the Traditional Custodians of the region, the Kabi Kabi and Jinibara Peoples of the coastal plains and hinterlands that encourage outdoor activities and scenic sightseeing.

September

Desert Festival

Location: Alice Springs

An award-winning annual arts and culture festival in the heart of Alice Springs / Mparntwe, the Desert Festival in late September draws upon a community-minded history to celebrate Central Australia’s innovative art and culture. Celebrate the Red Centre in bloom with an exciting 11-day program of local music, arts exhibitions, dance performances, kid-friendly experiences, and more in the temperate evenings of late Dry Season.

October

South by Southwest (SXSW) Sydney

Location: Sydney

The beloved South by Southwest SXSW festival will have its Southern Hemisphere return between 14 – 20 October in Sydney. Marvel at the vanguards and passionate creatives who lead the way in tech, gaming, music, screen, and culture innovations, and enjoy the innovative hub of Australia’s largest city.

November

Always Live

Location: Melbourne

A state-wide celebration of contemporary music, Always Live cements Melbourne and Victoria as the home of live music in Australia. The first – and largest – event of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere, Always Live highlights live contemporary music from home and abroad, catering to big names and rising stars in arena-style shows to intimate rooftop performances that team easily with Melbourne’s innovative restaurant and bar culture and trendy laneway touring.

December

NYE on the Harbour

Location: Sydney

Fireworks exploding over Sydney Harbour. Credit Daniel Tran.
Credit: Destination NSW

Experience the thrill of the world’s best New Year’s Eve celebrations on Sydney Harbour. Marvel at the spectacular firework display from the deck of your own luxury yacht or dine at one of Sydney’s top restaurants and then watch the harbour light up from the comfort of your high-end suite overlooking the festivities. The end of year festive period is always busy, as travellers from all over the world make their way to Australia to enjoy the sights and experiences on offer. It’s never too early to start considering your festive season arrangements and enquiring with the five-star luxury and experiential travel experts at The Tailor.

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