In two weeks, Bondi Beach will play host to 30 live shows featuring some of Australia’s favourite artists, while revealing a surprise international act that offers an intimate fireside experience on the beach at night.
The program has been curated by festival directors Rachel Chant and Phil Spencer to offer a contemporary and inclusive experience for all, that includes live theatre, comedy, music, cabaret and kids shows.
“Bondi is an iconic part of Sydney, which is why we’ve thought carefully about how to make the beachfront the heart of the festival, and one that is buzzing both day and night”, Mr Spencer said. “Winter is the new summer in 2021, and festivals have burst into life”.
“Bondi Festival is designed to get everyone excited about going out again, to celebrate the arts, to immerse themselves in all the things they missed over the last 12 months,” Ms Chant said. “It’s intimate, it’s exciting… and it won’t break the bank.”
Audiences can expect to actively participate in experiences such as Werewolves, where role-playing and theatre intersects. For the active festival goer, walking tours such as Guru Dudu’s Silent Disco encourage audiences to ‘get your steps up’ with flashmob dance moves, while My Best Friend honours the role of companion animals with a walking ritual and stories of dogs lived, loved and lost.
International sensation, Half Man | Half Bull, is one of the acts set to re-ignite Bondi Beach – but not as we know it. Audiences will be able to listen to Greek mythology delivered as an audio storytelling masterpiece in a cosy setting by the fire.
Comedians Michael Hing, Alice Fraser and Bec Melrose are just some of the headline acts, along with a 30-minute dance-cum-storytelling show from Ryuichi Fujimura, Fall! Falter!! Dance!!! And the atmospheric and eerie magic show, Moss.
Families can enjoy the world-famous Bondi Festival Ice Rink and Bondi Vista Ferris Wheel by the beach this school holidays and participate in boomerang painting, Dharawal language workshops or see award-winning acrobats in A Bee Story and other kid-friendly shows.
Mayor of Waverley, Paula Masselos, said Bondi Festival has hit all the right notes for creating a Council event that delivers social benefits and helps the local economy.
“Not only is this festival something that brings together arts lovers, families, and visitors to Bondi to have a great time, but it is also something that supports artists, and local businesses to thrive”, Mayor Masselos said. “We’ve listened to the community about what events are important, and fun and inclusive COVID-safe activities top the list.”
Wayside Chapel on Roscoe Street is home to the pop-up Bondi Festival Performance Hub hosting intimate performances, and Roscoe Street Mall will be transformed into the Bondi Festival Backyard, a chill-out zone with sustainability pop-ups every Saturday morning.
The Festival will close with a live music storytelling performance, The Last Shot featuring GiiMusic and Akala. This rounds out the First Nations music program featuring Australia’s foremost Indigenous blues performer Marlene Cummins and indi-pop bandits Pirra, demonstrating in action how to “Heal Country!”, in celebration of NAIDOC week.
“The last year has taught us that we are stronger when we work together,” Mayor Masselos said. “We can only put on a spectacular and affordable festival because of our partners, our volunteers, and our patrons.”
Bondi Festival is a COVID-safe event. Safety measures include:
- Capacity limits in line with NSW Health Orders
- Increased cleaning and hygiene measures
- Check-in required for all visitors
- Visitors are encouraged to wear masks, maintain social distancing, and practice good hand hygiene.
Bondi Festival 2021 runs from 25 June to 11 July.
Tickets on sale at bondifestival.com.au
- Wayside Chapel Performance Hub and Heart Cafe:
Roscoe Street pop-up venue for live theatre, comedy, music, kids shows and refreshments
- Bondi Festival Backyard:
Roscoe Street mall is a chill-out area for all, featuring interactive sustainability workshops
- Bondi Fireside:
South Bondi Beach is the location for campfire storytelling
- Bondi Festival Ice Rink:
Campbell Parade ice-skating rink brought to you by Switzerland Tourism
- Bondi Vista Ferris Wheel:
Queen Elizabeth Drive: for access to 360 degree views of Bondi and surrounds
- Festival Finds:
Bondi Beach cafes, bars and restaurant partners with special deals