Summer Events Diary: Australia

  • A scene from the Berliner Ensemble's staging of The Threepenny Opera, on the program at the Perth International Arts Festival 2103.

    A scene from the Berliner Ensemble's staging of The Threepenny Opera, on the program at the Perth International Arts Festival 2103.

  • Vivienne Westwood meets Handel in a production of Semele Walk for the Sydney Festival.

    Vivienne Westwood meets Handel in a production of Semele Walk for the Sydney Festival.

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By Natasha Dragun

With the summer heating up in Australia, we take a look—state by state—at the the country’s most exciting events over the next few months.

NEW SOUTH WALES More than 1,000 artists will sing, dance, and DJ their way around Australia’s largest city for the Sydney Festival (Jan. 5–27), kicking off with a fun run, free concert, and oversize inflatable duck on the harbor. If that sounds eclectic, wait until you see Semele Walk, a production that pairs costumes by Vivienne Westwood with a 1743 Handel opera.

• Australia’s premier short-film festival, Flickerfest (Jan. 11–20) offers Bondi Beach screenings of films from domestic and global talent. Look for local director Damian Walshe-Howling’s Suspended.

• The town of Tamworth, 420 kilometers north of Sydney, sets the stage for the annual Tamworth Country Music Festival (Jan. 18–27), featuring Australian bluegrass, rock, folk, and country performers; stars in 2013 include Amos Morris and Melissa Bajric.

• Celebrating 35 years, the Sydney Mardis Gras (Feb. 12–Mar. 4) is one of the biggest gay and lesbian celebrations in the world. The event culminates with a parade of lavish costumes and over-the-top-floats followed by an up-all-hours party; “drag” races on Bondi Beach are another highlight.

QUEENSLAND Expect reggae, rock and readings at the Woodford Folk Festival (Dec. 27 –Jan 1), held 70 kilometers north of Brisbane. Festivalgoers pitch tents on “Woodfordia” campgrounds, ringed by stages and lounges where music provides a backdrop for workshops and wellness seminars.

SOUTH AUSTRALIA Unlike most curated arts festivals, the Adelaide Fringe (Feb. 15–Mar. 17) will see as many as 900 events take over the entire city, with comedy, cabaret, circus, and more hosted in pop-up venues alongside theaters and galleries.

• Time your visit for March and you’ll also catch world music events at WOMADelaide (Mar. 8–11), plus dance and visual arts performances at the Adelaide Festival (Mar. 1–17).

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