The first ever Sydney Festival (then called Festival of Sydney) ran from 31 December to 31 January 1977. It was originally conceived by the Sydney Committee, the NSW State Government and the City of Sydney with a view to attracting people into the city centre during the holiday month of January. Its program of more than 180 events ranged from high culture and large-scale community celebrations to sports competitions and basic craft.


Festival Director: Stephen Hall

The first ever Sydney Festival (then called Festival of Sydney) ran from 31 December to 31 January 1977. It was originally conceived by the Sydney Committee, the NSW State Government and the City of Sydney with a view to attracting people into the city centre during the holiday month of January. Its program of more than 180 events ranged from high culture and large-scale community celebrations to sports competitions and basic craft.

The Festival kicked off with a New Year’s Eve party at the Sydney Opera House and peaked at the end of the Australia Day weekend, when 40 events occurred in the CBD area, including the Grand Parade that worked its way through the city.

The Haymarket area had been cleared a year prior, making it the perfect location for the year’s festivities. Haymarket was transformed into an arts and crafts bazaar with art exhibits, market stalls, two theatres, a stage for concerts, craft demonstrations, workshops, audio-visual displays and food stalls.

The Festival brought new experiences to Sydneysiders and visitors, including Sydney’s first International Children’s Film Festival, the Qantastic Sydney Jazz Festival and the Festival of Folklife.

The Festival Club was born at the Löwenbräu Keller, though this venue would change over the years to come.


Tales from Hans Christian Andersen
Peter Williams Productions/The Cheryl Regan Dancers

Winnie The Pooh
The Actors' Company

And Now At Last, The Nibble Nobby's Nuts Show
The Actors' Company

The Great Australian Mark VI Do-it-Yourself Pantomime Kit
PACT Theatre

PACT Theatre

Rookery Nook
The Old Tote Theatre Company

A Nightingale Still Sings in Berkley Square
Peter Williams Productions/Colleen Clifford

Jeral Puppets
Jackie & John Lewis

The Surprising Soprano
Michael Aspinall

Dirty Linen
Nimrod Theatre

A Handful of Friends
Nimrod Theatre

Young Mo
Nimrod Theatre

Marionette Theatre

Marionette Theatre

The Magistrate
The Old Tote Theatre Company

Crisis, What Crisis?
Condell Park High School Drama Group

Hush, Rabbit, Buffalo
Buffalo Theatre

Shadow Puppetry
Theatre Of Light & Air

Treasure Island
Nimrod Theatre

St Mary's Kid
ATYP, produced by Youth Theatre Workshop

Crumpet & Co
ATYP, produced by Jigsaw Company

Air Supply

Times Wing'd Chariot

A Night in India

Tarantara Tarantara

Alice in Wonderland

Dr Jekyl, Hyde and Seek

Sydney Magic Puppets

Split Enz, Match Box, Pantha

Youth Theatre

Little Theatre

New Dance Theatre

Chloe’s Clowns

Pumpkin Paddy and His Mates, Alex Hood

Cartwheel Theatre

Woman Action Theatre

White Theatre

Ron Barry & Creole

Davidson High School Musical Drama

Midnight Sun Theatre Company

Modern Mime Theatre

New Theatre

Ensemble Theatre

Canberra Music Theatre Troupe

Paradise Theatre


Mrs Eliza Fraser

An evening of art films and films on Aboriginal Culture
Sydney Filmmakers Co-op

A selection of contemporary and independently made films
Sydney Film Makers Co-op Film

Twisties Kids Super Film Festival

Walt Disney Cartoon Features


Dance Company of NSW

Kinetic Energy Dance Company

Latin American Dancing Evening

Scottish Highland & Country Dancing

Sedenka Folkloric Dance Company

Sydney Morrismen

Sydney Playford & English Country Dancing Club


Twilight Concerts
National Lieder Society of Australia

Bach Brandenburg Concert
Australian Chamber Orchestra
Conductor: Christopher Hogwood

Handel Water Music
Australian Chamber Orchestra
Conductor: Christopher Hogwood

Solos and Bible Readings
Soprano: Anne Robinson

Brandenburg and Water Music
Australian Chamber Orchestra
Conductor: Christopher Hogwood

Salvation Army - Graduation and Salute Service
Salvation Army

Handel Fireworks Music
Massed Wind Orchestra
Conductor: Christopher Hogwood

Concert of Baroque Music with traditional instruments
Ayers Baroque

ACP Concert
Joseph Chendrens, classical guitarist with ensemble

Rock Dance
Little River Band, Stylus

Abbey Jazz Band

Anne Kirkpatrick

Band of the 2nd Military District, Australian Army

Blue Mountains Band

Bob Barnard Jazz Band

Burwood Concert Band

Col Nolan Quartet

Conservatorium Jazz


David Fennell & PowerPoint Jazz

Exponent Brass Quintet

Free Kata, Out To Lunch, Energy & Friends

Galapagos Duck

Geoff Bulls Olympia Jazz Band

Halcyon Singers

Harbour City Jazz Band

Hornsby Band

International Music Theatre Forum

Jeff St. John

Johnny Nicol Quartet

Jo Jo Zep

Kevin Borich Band, Dragon, Chariot

Lester Coombs

Magnificent Sydney Pops Orchestra

Noel Crow Jazz Men

Ol' 55, Punkz, City Strut


R.A.N. Band

Ron Barry & Creole

Ray Burton Band

Ray Price Quartet

Ross Ryan and his band

Silver Studs

Singing Circus

Sound Celebration

South Harlem Concerto

Sydney Symphony Orchestra

Sydney Thistle Pipe Band

Ted Mulry Gang, Angels, Cold Chisel

The Abercrombie Bush Band

The Col Nolan Quartet & Bob Barnard Jazz Band

The Graeme Bell Allstars & Judy Bailey Quartet

Verdi's Requiem Mass

Wind Chase (Sebastian Hardie)

Young Northside Big Band


Australian Opera
Conductors: Richard Bonynge, Peter Robinson

Australian Opera

Australian Opera

Madame Butterfly
Australian Opera

Australian Opera

Fantasy Exhibition (Mini Opera)


Sole Bros Circus


Ampol Bowls Tournament

Anniversary Meeting

Arrival of the Sun Kids Jogathon

Australian 18 Footer Championship

Bocce Demonstrations

Country Tennis Championships

Cricket Test Matches

Double Bay Sailing Club, Festival of Sydney Race

Drummoyne Sailing Club, Sydney Festival Marathon

Festival of Sydney Handicap, Balmain & District 12 Footer Flying Squadron

Festival of Sydney Tug-of-War Competition

International Speed Car Classics

Motorcycle Racing

NSW Side Car Championships

NSW State Swimming Championships

NSW Tennis Open

NSW Trotting Club Summer Carnival

Open Amateur Gold Tournament - Ben Hogan Cup

Parachute Jump

Parramatta River Yacht Club Festival Regatta

RANSA Festival of Sydney Regatta

Royal Sydney Flying Squadron

Sheffield Shield Fixture

Sydney Amateur Sailing Club, Festival of Sydney Yacht Races

Tattersalls Club Race

Tooheys Sun Festival of Sport

Twilight Meeting

Vintage & Classic Car Rally

Vintage Sports Car Race

Woollahra Sailing Club State Championships


The Festival Club in the Löwenbräu Keller


Australian Poets Old & New - The Compulsion of the Dew

Children's Poetry & Australian Verse - The Poet's Voice

Modern & Mystical Poems - Poetry In Motion

Poetry Reading - American Beat, British Underground

Poets Of The World, an evening of music and poetry readings

The Forgotten Generation - Poems of underground poets


Folk Federation Concert
Steam Shuttle, The Last Consideration Acoustic Band, Reedy River Bushmen, Abercrombie Bush Band, Fo'c'sle

New Year's Eve Concert

Blue Grass Society Concert
Road Apple, Johnny Hayseek, Ginger Rogers Blue Grass Band, Country Sound, Possum Trot School Exhibition, Razor Ruckus, Hokum - On Sombole Jug Band

Qantastic Jazz Festival
Don Burrows, Compared to What With Kerrie Biddell, Adrian Ford Orchestra, Galapagos Duck, David Fennell & Power Point, The Judy Bailey Quartet, Harbour City Jazz Band, Brian Brown Quartet, Jazz Coop, Last Straw, Paul Furniss and the Clips Alley Five, Dick Hughes, Geoff Bull's Olympia Jazz Band, Dave Stevens, Graeme Bell All Stars, Mother Night, The Dick Hughes Swingers, Dick Lowe's Little Big Band, Adrian Ford Jump Band, Tom Baker's San Francisco Jazz Band, Out To Lunch, Free Kata, Peter Boothman, Energy and Friends

Festival of Sydney Lions International Benefit Concert

Mardi Gras
John Paul Young and the All Stars, Carol Lloyd Band and bands from South America


Chinese Cooking Demonstration

Flag Raising Ceremony

Mini Pipe Contest

Multi-National Cookery Contest

RAAF Dogs Obedience Display

The Rostrum-Festival of Sydney Public Speaking Finals

Yarn Spinning Competition


Archibald, Wynne and Sulman

Centenary of the Telephone

Exhibition of Australian Art

Exhibition of One Hundred Years of Public Lending Service

Exhibition of Paintings by Ken Moore

Exhibition of Past Festivities in Sydney

Exhibition of Pottery With a Wine Theme

Exhibition of Rare Book Plates, of the Famous, the Not So Famous and the Infamous

Library of the Future Exhibition

Life in the Indian Himalayas and The Sringar Costume Exhibition

Lillium Flower Show

Royal Art Society Exhibition

The Ball and Chain Exhibition

Young Painters Exhibition


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