Happy Mag’s Guide to What’s On in Summer

What's On guide

There’s nothing quite like having fun in the sun down under. Let’s check out the very best of what’s on this summer.

Living life amid the gloom of you know what for the last couple of years has been draining. On the other hand, motivation to party and get out amongst it has never been higher. If you’re keen to see what’s on this summer in the harbour city and beyond, you’ve come to the right place.

If you’re desperate to let your hair down around Christmas and New Year’s, we’ve got you covered. Also, if you’re thinking a little further ahead, we’ve got a great selection of summer festivals and holidays to peruse. Read on for the ultimate guide to what’s on this summer.

Boxing Day and New Year’s Eve

PNAU on stage. Photo: Gabrielle Clement.

Yep, despite being locked down for a crazy amount of time, the year has gone bloody fast! So fast that you might not have got around to making plans around Chrissie and NYE. Never fear though, there are still plenty of great parties to get stuck into.

Once you’ve recovered from the Xmas food coma, you can dip into the iconic Sydney venue Kinsela’s for the Sunday Service Boxing Day Party. It’s the big reveal of Sydney’s newest dancefloor with a monster lineup of DJs.

If you’re down in Melbourne for New Year’s, Beyond The City is a huge festival spread out over two days in the Sidney Myer Music Bowl and Kings Domain. Headlined by Pnau, Spacey Jane, Hayden James and Lime Cordiale, it promises to be an unforgettable musical celebration.

And if you’re on the streets of Sydney, you can bring in 2022 at NYE In The Park. Headlined by festival faves like The Presets, Illy, not to mention Spacey Jane and Pnau (who will be cruising up from Beyond The City the night before), Victoria Park is the place to be!


New Year’s Day

Greenwood Hotel
Greenwood Hotel in North Sydney

If you’ve recovered well from the previous night’s party, or you just wanna keep it going, there’s also plenty of awesome events happening on New Year’s Day.

From midday at the Public House in Petersham, you’ll be in the trusty hands of UNDR CTRL as they curate an NYD Party, filled with incredible music, DJs, and plenty of bevvies to wash down those brilliant summer vibes.

If you’re over on the other side of the bridge, North Sydney’s biggest pub Greenwood Hotel is hosting Resolution. With a huge lineup of DJs in three separate dancefloors throughout the venue, this is a festival for those keen to keep the energy up from the night before.

If you want to try something truly mind-expanding, however, The Metro Theatre — one of central Sydney’s most storied venues — is bringing you Enchanted Forest. With 3D projections, hanging inflatables, and confetti galore, this is the place that will well and truly make 2021 a thing of the past.


Summer Festivals

Peking Duk
Peking Duk are headlining Grapevine. Photo: Getty Images.

Now that you’ve gotten the debauchery New Year’s out of the way, you can really ease into the holidays. Fortunately, there’s a swag of massive summer festivals to dive into whether you’re staying in the city, or planning a cheeky getaway.

Sydney Festival is a summer institution in the harbour city. Sprawling over a number of venues and locales, and spanning music, theatre, installations, talks, and workshops, it’s an invigorating way to spend the long summer nights.

But if you want to turn it up to 11, Uncaged is tearing up the east coast. There’s a real focus on classic alt-rock, including Wolfmother, You Am I, Tex Perkins, Killing Heidi, The Superjesus, and more.

And if you fancy your music with a sweet tipple from the famed Hunter Valley wine region (or Western Australia and Victoria for that matter), Grapevine is hosting a mega festival. Starring Peking Duk, Vera Blue, The Jungle Giants, and many more leading Aussie acts, it should be on your holiday shopping list.


Stuff To Do!


Even though partying with a few thousand of your closest mates is pretty fun, there are some other great summer activities for when you wanna keep it low key, or want to broaden your horizons in a different way.

Airbnb is celebrating our newfound freedom by showcasing the most inspiring holiday spots all over this wide brown land. Simply find the spot that gives you the most goosebumps, then find your accommodation close by!

And while you are taking that well-earned break, you can stack your esky with some delicious cold brews from Minor Figures. And for a limited time, you’ll be in the running to take home a cool 5k!

If you’d like to expand your palette and learn to appreciate the wonder of a great natty wine, the legends at P&V have you covered. For an incredibly insightful — not to mention damn tasty — experience, why not join the wine wunderkind Matty Hirsch and the crew.

Summer is a great time to hang in the backyard too. Where better than Backyard At The Alex, in the gorgeous old Alexandria Hotel. Saved from the wrecking ball and reinvigorated, it’s the perfect chill-out spot to grab a schooner, as well as some delicious grub.