Festival Info
Access & Inclusion

We welcome all visitors to Sydney Festival events and make every effort to ensure the program is accessible to our whole audience.

Download the Accessible Performance Guide and Accessible Performance Calendar

Special thanks to our Access and Inclusion Advisory Panel:

Coral Arnold
Morwenna Collett
Diana Eilert
Sofya Gollan
Riana Head-Toussaint
Julie Jones
Greg Killeen
Vanessa Lucas
Paul Nunnari

Accessible Festival Brochure

The 2019 Sydney Festival brochure is available in the following alternative formats:



Audio description is a service provided for patrons who are blind or have low vision. Audio describers give live, verbal descriptions of actions, costumes, scenery, and other visual elements of a performance. This is done during gaps in the dialogue via a small earpiece, provided to patrons pre-show. The audio description begins 10 minutes prior to the performance and provides program details together with descriptions of costumes and stage settings. Patrons must book the service in advance and pick up a free FM headset on arrival.


Tactile tours allow patrons who are blind or have low vision to have a hands-on experience. Depending on the production/installation, patrons are given access to costumes, props and stage set in order to capture the atmosphere of the work. Tactile tours occur before the performance. Patrons must book in advance.

Rock Bang
A hilarious and hard-rocking adult circus extravaganza from Circus Oz with Otto & Astrid.
Lennox Theatre, Riverside Theatres
12 January, 7.30pm. Tactile tour will begin at 6.30pm.

Audio description provided by Vision Australia.

A Ghost In My Suitcase
A magical adventure about family, secrets and ghosts, adapted from Gabrielle Wang’s award-winning book.
Drama Theatre, Sydney Opera House
16 January, 1.30pm. Tactile tour will begin at 12.30pm. 

Audio description provided by Vision Australia.

The Nutcracker and I
Tchaikovsky's classic tale is reimagined by a pianist, a ballerina and interactive digital animations.
City Recital Hall
19 January, 7pm. Tactile Tour will begin at 6pm.  

Audio description provided by Vision Australia.


Pre-show notes are available upon request for any production. Please email access@sydneyfestival.org.au


Assistance animals are welcome at all Festival events and venues, bookings are essential. If you are blind or have low vision and want to attend an event at Sydney Festival, Guide Dogs NSW/ACT can provide you with free training on how to travel safely from any location to your event at the Festival. Call 1800 804 805 to discuss your travel needs.

Many venues have an induction hearing loop system or FM radio system available. Visit sydneyfestival.org.au/venues for venue information.

Auslan interpreted performances are for audiences who are Deaf and use Australian Sign Language (Auslan). Experienced Auslan theatre interpreters stand to the side of the stage and interpret dialogue and any text into Auslan, signing live. Audiences requiring this service are seated in the section closest to the interpreter to ensure good sightlines.

Rock Bang
A hilarious and hard-rocking adult circus extravaganza from Circus Oz with Otto & Astrid.
Lennox Theatre, Riverside Theatres
12 January, 7.30pm 

A Ghost In My Suitcase
A magical adventure about family, secrets and ghosts, adapted from Gabrielle Wang’s award-winning book.
Drama Theatre, Sydney Opera House
16 January, 1.30pm

A dark, sexy and tenderly intimate solo work by dancer Joel Bray, performed up-close in a hotel room.
QT Sydney
17 January, 8pm

Blak Box
First Nations artists share stories of Country in a surround-sound listening pavilion.
Blacktown Showground Precinct
19 January, 6pm

UTS Big Thinking Forum: Imagination and Endeavour: Fly Me To the Moon
This talk explores how imagination shapes success and innovation. Imagining ourselves all the way to the moon, what new perspectives can we gain about what is possible on Earth?
The Great Hall, UTS
22 January, 6pm

The Weekend
​One woman’s rollercoaster ride through a sometimes devasting, often hilarious world, in search of a new life for her family.​
23 January, 7pm

Le Gateau Chocolat: ICONS
Cabaret sensation Le Gateau Chocolat celebrates the musical icons that shaped his life.
Magic Mirrors Spiegeltent, Festival Garden
24 January, 8.30pm

Man With The Iron Neck
A powerful new physical theatre work that delicately explores a family dealing with trauma.
Magic Mirrors Spiegeltent, Festival Garden
25 January, 7.30pm (post-show Q&A also Auslan interpreted)

UTS Big Thinking Forum: Indigenous Australia and Captain Cook: Setting The Agenda for 2020
2020 will mark the 250th anniversary of when Cook first landed, irrevocably changing the lives of Indigenous Australians
The Great Hall, UTS
25 January, 6pm


Theatre captioning is an accurate live text display of a theatre performance in its entirety, including actors’ dialogue, ad libs, asides, song lyrics, musical descriptions and other sound effects, displayed on large screens at the side of the stage, and via GoTheatrical! mobile app.

A Ghost In My Suitcase
A magical adventure about family, secrets and ghosts, adapted from Gabrielle Wang’s award-winning book.
Drama Theatre, Sydney Opera House
19 January, 1.30pm.


Foreign language performances are surtitled, with the translation of dialogue displayed on a screen above the stage.

Beware of Pity
La Passion de Simone



A guide for people who are Deaf or hard of hearing.

100% visual content. Contains no music or dialogue.

52 Artists 52 Actions
Apollo 11
Blood Money Currency Exchange
Nick Cave: Until
Article 14.1
Xiao Lu: Impossible Dialogue

Fully surtitled or has minimal dialogue, some background music and/or sounds.

A Ghost in My Suitcase
Beware of Pity
La Passion de Simone
One Infinity

Accessible and Inclusive

Events that are accessible to people of all abilities. Bookings are essential. To ensure we are fully inclusive, please let us know of any specific access requirements before attending the event.


Download the Aeralize Workshops social story here. 

Discover your inner acrobat in a series of active and immersive workshops with Sydney’s leading circus training centre. Aerialize workshops include Thisability, a fully accessible workshop for kids aged 4+ with disability.

Riverside Theatres Courtyard.
11–20 January


Sydney Festival ensures that its venues are as physically accessible as possible.


For access information on specific venues visit sydneyfestival.org.au/venues

Please note all wheelchair accessible performances of Since Ali Died will be held at Riverside Theatres.

Access in Parramatta Park

At Sydney Symphony Under the Stars, a viewing area for patrons with accessibility needs is located at the front on the right side as you look at the stage. Friends and family are also welcome in the designated viewing area. The precinct is relatively flat with a mix of grass and paved surfaces. Accessible amenities are available.

Accessible parking is available for RMS mobility parking passes. To register for accessible parking and to receive information about the accessible viewing areas for each event, please email Parramatta Park at events@ppt.nsw.gov.au with the subject line: Accessible Parking for "Sydney Symphony Under The Stars", or contact a Parramatta Park Trust Visitor Services Officer on 02 9895 6570.

Access in the Festival Garden

The Festival Garden is wheelchair accessible.

The Magic Mirrors Spiegeltent offers priority entry for people with specific access needs. Head for the meeting point sign with access symbols.


Bookings are essential for all accessible services. 

To discuss your access requirements and to book any access services or performances, please call Sydney Festival on 1300 856 876 or email access@sydneyfestival.org.au

Please note our Box Office opening hours:

25 October–7 January: Monday–Friday 9am–5pm

8–27 January: Monday-Friday 8am–8pm, Saturday and Sunday 10am–2pm

We encourage booking tickets prior to Friday 14 December 2018. Seats cannot be guaranteed after this date although we will always do our best to accommodate your request. 

Sydney Festival is happy to receive phone calls via the National Relay Service. TTY users, phone 133 677, then ask for 02 8248 6500. Speak and Listen users, phone 1300 555 727 then ask for 02 8248 6500. Internet relay users, visit relayservice.gov.au, then ask for 02 8248 6500.

All access performance tickets and designated full wheelchair spaces will be sold at the lowest price in the house for that performance (excluding Wozzeck and In The Heights). 

Bookings for Auslan interpreted and captioned performances can be made online by entering the promotional code ACCESS2019 during purchase.

Disability Programming Initiative

What is the new pitching initiative for people with disability?

Sydney Festival is committed to increasing the representation of artists with disability in the annual program. As such, we have collaborated with Accessible Arts to invite artists with disability or who are Deaf to pitch projects for inclusion in our 2020 program.

What are we looking for?

  • Sydney Festival programs free events, visual arts, music, theatre, dance, large public installations, online events and everything in between
  • We look for exemplary artistic and cultural endeavours that are adventurous, international best practice and have something new to say to the world
  • We look for a strong aesthetic language, demonstrable artistic/cultural skills and an articulate story to tell
  • Successful projects often have multiple partners to help fund and present the work and a clearly articulated target audience

Who is eligible to submit?

Anyone with disability is eligible to submit.

The Disability Inclusion Act 2014 (DIA) defines disability as: “The long-term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairment which in interaction with various barriers may hinder the full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others.” 

The term ‘disability’ can also include people who are Deaf or hard of hearing. The Deaf community may not always identify as having disability or impairment and may define themselves as a culturally and linguistically diverse group due to their use of Auslan (Australian Sign Language).

  • Sydney Festival works with artists who have a track record of creating/performing works
  • Artists with disability and/or organisations working with/for people with disability are encouraged to submit a pitch. Groups submitting need to be disability-led. This means you must demonstrate that the artistic process within the group is led by artists with disability
  • Festival Director Wesley Enoch (aided by the Sydney Festival programming team) will make the final decision based on the balance of projects, budgets and distribution

What should the submission include?

Each pitch should be 2–3 pages long (or the equivalent) and include:

  • a 2–3 paragraph detailed description of the project
  • 1–2 paragraphs on each of the key artists involved
  • the venue or type of venue you require
  • a list of presenting or funding partners and whether these are confirmed
  • a demonstrated sense of the target audience
  • a budget which includes pre-production costs, funding sources, possible box office/income sources, in-kind support, weekly running costs
  • images / video / media / article links of previous works or of developments of the work being pitched

When can I submit?

Submissions will be taken up to 31 March 2019. Things to keep in mind:

  • We encourage all possible projects to submit a pitch no later than 31 March at 5pm AEST for inclusion in the following Festival but projects can be submitted at any time up to then
  • The more assistance you need to realise your project, the better it is to get in early
  • Sydney Festival locks off its program by May/June each year

How do I submit?

You are welcome to pitch to us in any format accessible to you, for example by email, audio file, video (including in Auslan), handwritten or printed document using one of the following methods:

By email: pitch@sydneyfestival.org.au

By post: Tom Riordan, Associate Producer, Sydney Festival, Level 5/10 Hickson Road, The Rocks, NSW 2000

If you choose to submit a video, it can be as simple as one shot on a mobile phone.

All applicants must provide the following information:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Contact phone number
  • Email address
  • Preferred method of contact

Please do not send email attachments over 2MB. For large files, use an online transfer service like WeTransfer, or provide links to download from Dropbox or Google Drive. You may also post us a USB flash drive.


Submissions will be acknowledged as they are received. The selection process will begin after the end of the submission period (submissions close 5pm AEST 31 March 2019).

Who do I contact if I need guidance or have questions?

We encourage you to contact Accessible Arts for support or guidance on any part of your submission or the pitching process:

Liz Martin, Arts Development and Training Manager, Accessible Arts / lmartin@aarts.net.au / 02 8379 3102 (Tue/Wed/Thurs)

Companion Card

Sydney Festival supports the Companion Card program. For patrons who require assistance of a companion or carer, a second ticket is issued at no cost to the Companion Card holder. Please contact Sydney Festival directly on 1300 856 876 to assist with your booking.

Get In Touch!

Your feedback helps us continue to improve our access program and services. Please get in touch with us on 1300 856 876 or access@sydneyfestival.org.au if you have any queries or suggestions regarding accessibility at Sydney Festival.


Create an account

Plan your festival! save your favourite events and share with friends.

Forgot Password

You can save with a multipack!

Were you looking to purchase a multipack?

You have added 1 event.
+2 to get up to 10% off.

You have added 2 events.
+1 to get up to 10% off.

You’ve saved up to 10%.
+2 more events to get up to 20% off.

You’ve saved up to 10%.
+1 more events to get up to 20% off.

Congrats! You’ve saved up to 20%.
Not done? Keep adding or Buy your multipack now.

Add more events Buy 1 Event Buy multipack

Forgotten your password?

Enter your email below to have your password sent to the address