Sydney Festival’s opening weekend of events took over the city in an explosion of exceptional theatre, dance, music, visual arts, film and more. Over three weeks Sydney Festival brings the harbour city to life from January 8-26.

Sydney Festival 2015 is comprised of 179 events, 85 of which are free. With 495 performances across 25 indoor and outdoor venues, Sydney Festival 2015 features 974 artists from across 30 countries. With 18 world premieres, 11 Australian premieres and 22 Australian exclusives, summer in our beautiful city is not to be missed.

In Sydney’s famous outdoor venue The Domain, three fantastic free events are set to delight audiences. Sydney Festival 2015 opened with a special Summer Sounds in The Domain concert with the samba sounds of South American superstar Seu Jorge kick-starting summer in Brazilian style. Symphony in The Domain this year has a very special new addition with ARIA-award winning William Barton performing on didgeridoo alongside the Sydney Symphony.

Headline artist James Thierree returned to Sydney Festival with Tabac Rouge, his largest and most extravagant work to date, receiving a five star review on opening night from the Sydney Morning Herald.

Masquerade, a world premiere and new Australian theatre work by Kate Mulvany lovingly brings to life the iconic children’s book by Kit Williams. A huge success with opening audiences, this magical tale enchants everyone aged nine to 90.

The hugely popular Festival Village has returned in 2015 with a variety of thrilling circus and cabaret shows, activities and almost 40 contemporary music performances. Dublin’s famous street artist Maser has transformed Hyde Park with Higher Ground, an installation and explosion of colours, shapes and stripes. Inspired by M.C. Escher’s perspective-skewing artworks and reaching over two stories high, the installation reimagines a world of converging architecture and geometry on a grand scale.

A highlight of the 2015 program which is yet to come is Tex Perkin’s Far From Folsom. In a world premiere and unforgettable music experience, Tex Perkins heads behind bars to embody the spirit of Johnny Cash. Delving into the country music star’s dark repertoire, he recreates his seminal 1968 Folsom Prison shows within the haunting surrounds of Parramatta Gaol.