1988 marked Sydney’s Bicentennial 200th anniversary, which was celebrated with a two month Bicentennial Festival of Sydney.


Festival Director: Stephen Hall

1988 marked Sydney’s Bicentennial 200th anniversary, which was celebrated with a two month Bicentennial Festival of Sydney.

A late decision was made by the NSW Government to stage the Australia Day ceremony on the Sydney Opera House forecourt. The day kicked off with a breakfast party for invited guests followed by a formal commemoration, the Bicentennial Wool Collection fashion event, and outdoor concerts with orchestral,chorus, jazz and pop groups. On the harbour, visitors witnessed the Parade of Tall Ships that concluded with the evening’s spectacular fireworks display.

Elsewhere during the two months of festivities, the Festival celebrated the opening of a number of new venues including the Bicentennial Park in Homebush Bay, Federation Pavilion in Centennial Park, the Circular Quay and Macquarie Street precinct, the Illawarra Performing Arts Centre, and the Powerhouse Museum at Darling Harbour.

The Festival stretched beyond the CBD with bicentennial concerts in Wollongong, Parramatta and Newcastle. Of course The Domain hosted a large free Australiana Concert with acts like John Schumann, Anne Kirkpatrick, the Flying Emus, Tommy Emmanuel, Mark Collins and many more. Australia cinema took over the Sydney Opera House forecourt with great Australian films selected by Ken G Hall screened for free.

The extensive Australia Day celebrations were to continue in future years, for all to enjoy.


Playboy Of The Western World
Druid Theatre Company

A Singular Voyage

Sankai Juku

Faces In The Street
By Frank Hardy

Fascinating Aïda
Directed by Nica Burns

By Mbongeni Ngema

Le Rail
Carbone 14


Twyla Tharp Dance

Dance North


Australia Ensemble at St Andrew's

Bicentennial Beethoven: Roger Woodward In Recital

Contemporary Music At Belvoir St: Kronos Quartet in cabaret

Contemporary Music At Belvoir St: Southern Crossings

Contemporary Music At Belvoir St: The Sydney Ensemble & The Sydney Mandolin Quartet

David Titterington

Geoffrey Saba

Leo Kottke with Liz Story

On Location: Sailing With The Sirius: Music At Garden Island
Bondi Pavilion Brass. COLLAGE, Peter Tahourdin, Vince Brophy, Shantyman

On Location: St Patrick's College Manly
Organist: Robert Ampt

On Location: St Philip's Church York St
Michael Dyer

On Location: St Stephen's Church Newtown
The Song Company, Plectra

Symphony Under The Stars
Sydney Symphony Orchestra
Director, Chief Conductor: Stuart Challender
Guest Conductor: Richard Mills

The Drottningholm Baroque Ensemble

Virtuosi In The Vestibule: Alice Giles

Virtuosi In The Vestibule: Dene Olding, Max Olding

Virtuosi In The Vestibule: Elizabeth Campbell, Tony Fogg

Virtuosi In The Vestibule: Lauris Elms, Gwen Halstead

Virtuosi In The Vestibule: Sinfonye Early Music Ensemble

Virtuosi In The Vestibule: Stephanie McCallum

Virtuosi In The Vestibule: Trude Aspeling

Australiana Concert
John Schumann, Anne Kirkpatrick, Flying Emus, Tommy Emmanuel, Mark Collins

Combined Military Bands Concert
Service bands of the Royal Australian Navy, the Australian Army and the Royal Australian Air Force

Midsummer Jazz
Ricky May, Vince Jones, Galapagos Duck, Kerrie Biddell, Julian Lee, Adrian Ford Big Band, Crossfire, The Right Stuff, Don Burrows, Dale Barlow, James Morrison, Warwick Adler, Australian Jazz Orchestra

Rock Back The Clock: Australian Music Nostalgia Concert
Col Joye, Little Pattie, Lucky Star, Judy Stone


The Australian Opera, Sydney Symphony Orchestra
Conductor: Maestro Carlo Felice Cillario
Sopranos: Rita Hunter, Joan Carden
Tenor: Kenneth Collins

ESSO Opera In The Park - La Traviata
The Australian Opera, The Elizabethan Philharmonic Orchestra
Conductor: Stuart Challender


Cirque du Soleil


BHP Steel Outdoor Movie Season
Selected by Ken G Hall


All Australian Gang Show
World Scouting

Celebration Of A Nation

Commemoration of the Founding of the Colony of NSW

Diners Club Picnic

Newcastle Bicentennial Concert

NRMA Motorfest

Opening of Bicentennial Park, Homebush Bay

Opening of the Circular Quay and Macquarie St Precinct and Bicentennial Street Parade

Opening of the Federation Pavilion, Centennial Park

Opening of the Illawarra Performing Arts Centre

Opening of the Powerhouse Museum

Parramatta Bicentennial Concert

Perrier Writers’ Week

Street Distractions
Various artists including Death Defying Theatre, Styx, Legs On The Wall, Joe Gladwin's Punch and Judy, the Barbershop Quartet, the Black Stump Theatre and Etcetera

Wollongong Bicentennial Concert

Worship In The Park: Reverend Sir Alan Walker


Kawasaki Jet Ski

Parade Of Sail

The Festival/Smith's Crisps Ferrython

The IBM Festival Schooner Race


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