Sydney

Symphony Under the Stars – Sydney Festival

posted by Courtney Jones January 17, 2017 19 Comments
Symphony Under the Stars - Jet Set Brunette Travel Blog
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It really wouldn’t be summer in Australia without Sydney Fest and Symphony Under the Stars!

Sydney Festival 2017

Sydney Fest is a month-long celebration that showcases the best of music, theatre, visual arts, dance and family-friendly events. The tagline for the festival is ‘this is our city in summer’, which I absolutely love. Sydney is such an invigorating, amazing city in the summer, and Sydney Fest absolutely captures that concept.

I recently attended one of the bigger events, Symphony Under the Stars. Symphony Under the Stars is an annual event, dating back decades, and attracts thousands of attendees each year, both tourists and locals alike. It’s a relaxed setting, in which the Sydney Symphony Orchestra serenades onlookers seated on blankets and low lawn chairs. Pretty…freaking…fabulous.

I was a bit concerned it was going to rain; I mean, really, check out the sky in the photo below…beautiful, but not exactly promising of dry weather! We lucked out, though, and made it through the whole event without any rain!

Symphony Under the Stars - Jet Set Brunette Travel BlogGiven I’ve attended this event a few years in a row, I thought I’d throw out my two cents on everything you should know to ensure you have a great experience attending Symphony Under the Stars!

Getting There

Parking in Sydney is hard, so rely on public transit, if at all possible!

The Domain is an incredibly easy location to get to from many areas in Sydney, as there are three train stations within walking distance (Martin Place, St. James and Museum), and many buses that stop within a couple of blocks.

When to Arrive

The 2017 show commenced at 8.00pm, but the Domain filled out much earlier. If you want to get a good spot reasonably close to the front, you’ll likely need to arrive well before 7.00pm.

I arrived around 7.15pm this year, and ended up quite far back. Did it matter? Not really. The sound is great regardless of where you sit, so if you’re less bothered by the idea of being able to see the stage, the back is probably ok for you!

The good thing about arriving early (before 7.00pm) is that you get to take advantage of all the freebies. We didn’t bother this time, but other years we ended up with photo booth shots, blankets, hats, water bottles, snacks and even an inflatable airplane!

Symphony Under the Stars - Jet Set Brunette Travel Blog

What to Bring

This is my favourite part: bring whatever you want! While there are food and drink vendors onsite, you are welcome to bring your own picnic, including alcoholic beverages. I packed an antipasti board, a bottle of wine, and a picnic blanket. If you run out of food and/or drinks, there are stands set up that will gladly sell to you!

Symphony Under the Stars - Jet Set Brunette Travel BlogSymphony Under the Stars is a great event to add to your calendar. It’s fun with friends, as a couple or with family…I even saw a few people on their own, reading books and taking in the beautiful music!

Summer vibes, professional music, good food and wine and a relaxed atmosphere…it really doesn’t get much better than this.

Pin for next year!

Symphony Under the Stars - Jet Set Brunette Travel Blog

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19 Comments

Only By Land January 20, 2017 at 10:53 pm

That’s good that it didn’t rain. It was definitely 50/50 in the photo. Your picnic looked delicious, I need someone to pack food like that! I’d end up buying a burger from one of the vendors!

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Courtney Jones January 20, 2017 at 11:20 pm

A burger from the vendors sounds pretty good as well 😀

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Kelly January 21, 2017 at 1:07 am

Sydney Under the Stars sounds amazing. A picnic and the symphony, how can you go wrong with that? I love attending festivals in different countries. Makes me feel like a local and not just a tourist. Also loved the picnic idea since those food vendors can be expensive.

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Courtney Jones January 21, 2017 at 1:24 am

I agree that festivals definitely have a nice local feel!

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luxurybackpacking | Emma January 21, 2017 at 11:26 am

We currently live in Sydney, and we’ve actually never heard of this festival! We will be back in March, when does the festival start and end? Would love to go if its still on! Festivals are always a good choice in summer!

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Courtney Jones January 22, 2017 at 6:53 am

Sadly, it only happens in January! Every year though!

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Bhushavali January 21, 2017 at 12:13 pm

This sounds like an awesome event. I wanted to attend a show under the stars when I was in London, but somehow I never managed too. Sitting on the ground with your friends, sipping your fav drink, listening to great music is just a perfect evening!

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Courtney Jones January 22, 2017 at 6:52 am

It’s so perfect – so chilled, but a little bit different!

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Diana - MVMT Blog January 21, 2017 at 8:11 pm

Your picnic looks so nice! My picnics are usually just a quick sandwich – you need to teach me your skills. I love outdoor concerts like this and would love to check out Symphony Under the Stars. What a great find!

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Courtney Jones January 22, 2017 at 6:51 am

Outdoor concerts are such good fun 😀

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Aryane @ Valises & Gourmandises January 21, 2017 at 9:35 pm

This sound like so much fun! I’m down for any event you can throw a blanket on the ground on whip out the wine and snacks!
We attended something similar in Hanover last summer. They set up a stage behind the Town Hall, which is magnificent and has its own little lake, with an orchestra and opera singer. And people could just scatter around the park with blankets and watch this amazing performance for free!
I’ll have to check this one out when I finally go to Sydney!

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Courtney Jones January 22, 2017 at 6:51 am

Wow, the festival in Hanover sounds amazing! Definitely my style 🙂

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Kreete January 22, 2017 at 4:38 am

I have to admit, I have been living in Sydne since August and I am terrible when it comes to finding out about all the cool stuff that’s happening. So no surprise here that I haven’t even heard of this festival. *blushing* Next year I’ll be the first one in line with my packed picnic to grab all the freebies haha! Ah annd for the music of course.

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Courtney Jones January 22, 2017 at 6:50 am

I think I missed it my first year here as well. Takes awhile to get across what’s happening – six years in, I still miss so much!

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LC January 22, 2017 at 6:12 am

I love the Sydney Festival and was bummed to miss out on it this year! Did you see that glitter box instalment I got? I can’t be more specific about it, as a friend only vaguely told me about it. Sydney SO would be amazing in the Domain… I saw Chakra Khan once there, years ago.

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LC January 22, 2017 at 6:13 am

Haha also sorry for comment not making sense at some points, I was writing on my iPad and the drop down menu got in the way so I had to guess what I was writing where… I guessed wrong.

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Courtney Jones January 22, 2017 at 6:49 am

haha that’s hilarious! I could make it out – silly iPads 🙂

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Courtney Jones February 7, 2017 at 10:10 am

I totally agree that it’s surprising they allow alcohol (but great!)

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