Elevate Sydney Is Back: What to Expect From the Free Summer Festival This Year

Elevate Sydney Is Back: What to Expect From the Free Summer Festival This Year

Sydneysiders look alive because ELEVATE Sydney is turning Cahill Expressway into a festival playground to help start your 2023 summer with a bang.

From live music and entertainment to a very, very long bar, ELEVATE Sydney has a jam-packed program with three unique daily sessions from January 3 to January 7, 2023.

The five-night and four-day street party will also feature more than 600 drones lighting up the Sydney skyline from 10:30 pm every night (depending on the weather, obviously).

ELEVATE Sydney also has a concert with headliner band Spacey Jane (January 4) and performances from Thelma Plum (January 4) and The Veronicas (January 6) – just to name a few.

The best part of ELEVATE Sydney? Almost all of the events are completely free. What more could you ask for?

What is ELEVATE Sydney?

Image: Getty

I know what you’re thinking, a festival on a freeway with harbour views? Iconic.

Not only will you get to walk on Sydney’s first freeway, but ELEVATE Sydney will also see you dining and dancing on arguably the most beautiful road in the city.

The free festival has family-friendly morning sessions and a live DJ and music sets in the afternoons. Then as the night sets, Aussie acts will rock the road, including Client Liaison, Spacey Jane, Thelma Plum and Ruby Fields.

ELEVATE Sydney returns bigger and better than ever after COVID hampered the fun last year.

What’s on during ELEVATE Sydney?

As mentioned, ELEVATE Sydney has a bunch of awesome events across four days and five nights, here’s what they have in store for you.


Starting from January 3 until January 7, you can dance on top of a train station staring at the stunning harbour with live acts entertaining you well into the night.

I mean, when else can you watch The Veronicas perform on a shutdown freeway looking out to the Harbour Bridge? Not many times – I’ll tell you that much.

Every night has a different incredible lineup, so why not grab your friends and see the talent pool we have in this country?

You can check out the full lineups of each night and check available free tickets here.

ELEVATE Sydney SkyShow

Image: Getty

From January 3 to January 7, you can look up to the Sydney harbour sky, which will be illuminated with over 600 drones dancing to a unique soundtrack.

You don’t even have to be on the Cahill Expressway to watch this drone display; you just have to be around the harbourside. You can also listen to the soundtrack from wherever you are when the drones are in flight.

Benny the Seal and Chrisse the Cockatoo will guide you on an underwater journey exploring the age-old waterway of Sydney Harbour that nourished and continues to nourish the Gadigal People.

The ELEVATE Sydney SkyShow will start around 10:30 pm, pending weather conditions.

You can check out the map with the vantage points and listen to the live soundtrack here.

Long Bar

ELEVATE Sydney says the Long Bar will be the ‘world’s longest bar’, stretching 127 metres along the expressway. That’s a pretty tall drink order.

The Long Bar will open from January 4 to January 7, 2023, and is limited to Long Bar ticketholders. You’ll be able to sit and take in the Sydney Harbour views while enjoying a complimentary glass of NSW wine or beer with a grazing selection of NSW produce.

Now that’s one classy cheese board.

Tickets are free, but you have the option to add a food and beverage package for $50 per person for the Long Bar. Find out more here.


Image: Getty

From 10:30 am to 12:30 pm, ELEVATE Sydney is putting on the family festival of the summer.

With Aussie’s most loved characters like Bluey and Bingo to performers from Playschool, you can watch, dance and sing along with your kids.

Tickets are free, and you can book here.


Party the afternoon away with ELEVATE Social featuring Australia’s best electronic artists and DJs.

If a nighttime party isn’t really you’re thing, take in the gorgeous views from 2:30 pm to 5:00 pm on January 4 to January 7 and have a little dance.

You can check out the full lineups of each afternoon and check available free tickets here.

There’s so much going on it’s hard to keep up, but one thing we do know is that you don’t want to miss ELEVATE Sydney.

Happy summer festival, Sydney!

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