The har­bour city heats up

The sum­mer hol­i­days of­fer an out­stand­ing line- up of events in Syd­ney, writes An­gela Sau­rine

The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - Escape - - DISCOVER BOURTON- ON- THE- WATER -

1 Syd­ney Fes­ti­val

SUM­MER in Syd­ney is when the city comes alive. Walk­ing through Cir­cu­lar Quay on a balmy evening, there is a buzz in the air that oc­curs only a few months of the year. The sound of buskers’ mu­sic echoes across the sparkling har­bour as tourists and lo­cals alike line up for a re­fresh­ing gelato, the­atre-go­ers make their way to the Opera House and the af­ter-work crowd heads to the water­front bars.

There is also a range of events across the city as part of the many fes­ti­vals that oc­cur each year. Here are five worth check­ing out. The premier event each sum­mer, the Syd­ney Fes­ti­val runs across three weeks in Jan­uary and in­cludes con­certs, the­atre per­for­mances and fam­ily en­ter­tain­ment from the CBD to Par­ra­matta. It be­gins on Jan­uary 8 with Fes­ti­val First Night open­ing cel­e­bra­tions, which will be head­lined by Grammy award­win­ning coun­try singer Em­my­lou Har­ris at The Do­main, while US hip-hop group Ar­rested Devel­op­ment will per­form in Martin Place. Amer­i­can ac­tor, pro­ducer and di­rec­tor John Malkovich will star as Casanova in The Gi­a­como Vari­a­tions with the Syd­ney Sym­phony at the Syd­ney Opera House, while the new­est ini­tia­tive will in­clude free per­for­mances from the Aus­tralian Cham­ber Or­ches­tra and Syd­ney Dance Com­pany on out­door stages with Fes­ti­val In­side Out. Al­to­gether, about 300 per­for­mances and 80 events will be staged by more than 1000 artists in more than 25 venues. Tick­ets go on sale to­mor­row and last-minute tick­ets to all per­for­mances will be avail­able on the day for only $ 25 at the Tix for Next to Nix booth in Martin Place. The Fes­ti­val Gar­den in Hyde Park is a great place to ex­pe­ri­ence the buzz.

2 The start of the Rolex Syd­ney-Ho­bart Yacht Race

This year sees the 66th run­ning of the Syd­ney to Ho­bart yacht race and a fleet of about 100 boats are reg­is­tered to take part. The race starts at 1pm on De­cem­ber 26 as the yachts cross the start­ing line just off Nielsen Park at Vau­cluse. The best van­tage points on land are Bradleys Head, Chow­der Bay, Ge­orges Heights and Mid­dle Head on the western shore, Shark Is­land, Steele Point, Vau­cluse Point, South Head and The Gap on the east­ern shore and North Head in the north.

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