No matter where in Australia you are, there are always amazing events and festivals going on. It’s a great way to get immersed in the Australian culture as well as have a fun time. Here are my picks of three favorites from Sydney.

Vivid Sydney

Vivid Sydney was one of my favorite festivals I attended while abroad and best of all it’s absolutely free! Vivid is an annual outdoor lighting festival with light shows and installations set up throughout Sydney’s central business district and the Sydney Harbor. The event is held for a few weeks over May and June. It feels like endless entertainment walking around the city and seeing all the buildings turned into artwork, stopping at food booths, and getting involved with the interactive shows. As I mentioned before, Vivid is a free event but you also have the option to pay around $10-40 for talks during vivid ideas.

Museum of Contemporary Art during Vivid | TEAN Alum Chris Henderson, University of Pittsburgh

Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras

Sydney throws this annual 3-week festival from the end of February to early March. Throughout the festival you’ll be sure to find yourself music, glitter, rainbow flags, huge crowds of people, floats, and so much more. Plus, behind all the good times and excitement there is an important message being shared about diversity and acceptance. Many aspects of this festival are free, such as the parade, but there are also various parties for which the prices vary depending on what it is.

Mardi Gras Parade | Jennifer Fisher, University of Iowa

Sydney Festival

Sydney Festival has been running since 1977. It’s another 3 week long celebration at the start of the year. It has over 100 events involving both local and international artists. There are large outdoor events and talks from artists, musicians, dancers, and more. Similar to Vivid, certain aspects of this festival are free and than other prices vary depending on what you choose to see.

Savannah Cassidy is a TEAN Alum and graduate of College of Charleston. She studied abroad with TEAN in Sydney, Australia.