Events You Need to Know About This August

Dark Emu by Bangarra Dance Company.

This month’s top events, plus a sneak peek at what’s on in September.


Bob Dylan

13-14 August | Margaret Court Arena, Melbourne

Music legend (and Nobel Prize-winner) Bob Dylan will take to the stage as part of his first Australian tour since 2014.


30 August-8 September | Arts Centre Melbourne

Be swept up in the romance and heartbreak of Giselle’s story in this classical ballet. The famous “white” act – in which ghosts of young girls float through the forest seeking vengeance on men – is as mesmerising as ever.

Mamma Mia!

Until 16 September | Princess Theatre, Melbourne

Can you hear the drums, Melburnians? The national tour of the immensely popular ABBA musical continues to wend its way around the country. 

Baldessin/Whiteley: Parallel Visions

31 August-28 January | National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne

Bringing together two of the greatest talents in art, this dual exhibition of Australian artists Brett Whiteley and George Baldessin is an exploration of their bodies of work, including examples from Whiteley’s Christie series. 

Melbourne Writers Festival

24 August-2 September | Various venues, Melbourne

The New Yorker investigative reporter, author and Pulitzer Prize-winner Ronan Farrow will join Australian journalist Tracey Spicer for the discussion Power, Abuse and Facing Facts, just one event on the stellar program at this year’s festival.

Next Month: AFL Grand Final

September 29 | Melbourne Cricket Ground

The final two teams will meet on the hallowed ground of the MCG to determine the victor of the hotly contested 2018 season.


American Masters

24 August-11 November | National Gallery of Australia, Canberra

Curated exclusively from its impressive collection of American art, the NGA presents works from artists such as Jackson Pollock, Sol LeWitt and Andy Warhol. 

Next Month: Performing Drawing

1 September-20 January | National Gallery of Australia, Canberra

This collection of contemporary works, showcasing artists such as Ilka White and the Mangano sisters, delves into the innovative art form of drawing.


Chiharu Shiota: Embodied

24 August-28 October | Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide

Japanese installation artist Chiharu Shiota’s works are drawn from personal experience. Central to the show is the striking Absence Embodied, which uses kilometres of red wool to symbolise relationships.

Priscilla Queen of the Desert: The Musical

19 August-15 September | Adelaide Festival Theatre

Australia’s favourite lavender-hued bus is making a pit stop in Adelaide before continuing to Brisbane on her 10th-anniversary road trip. 

Royal Adelaide Show

31 August-9 September | Adelaide Showground

The state’s largest agricultural event is back for another bountiful year, with food and livestock and plenty of rides – plus show bags to keep the kids happy.


Good Food & Wine Show

24-26 August | Perth Convention & Exhibition Centre

Gourmands unite to scope out the brightest stars on the food scene, including My Kitchen Rules guest judge Colin Fassnidge, The Living Room’s Miguel Maestre and Ask The Butcher’s Anthony Puharich.

Cinéfest Oz

22-26 August | Various venues, south-west of the state

One talented filmmaker will walk away with a $100,000 prize, the largest of its kind in Australia, at this annual festival featuring more than 200 screenings and events. 

Qantas Winter Wine Festival

18 August | Winthrop Hall, Perth

Wine aficionados will be in heaven as they meet some of the top winemakers and enjoy unlimited tastings from a selection of more than 200 wines, spirits and champagnes, including Pommery and Henschke. Don’t miss the masterclasses on cheese and smoked meat.


The Royal Queensland Show

10-19 August | Brisbane Showgrounds

Affectionately known as the Ekka, this rural spectacular is rolling back into town for another year and there’s plenty to keep the family entertained, including arts and cookery, hair-raising rides and cute farmyard animals.

Dark Emu

24 August-1 September | QPAC, Brisbane

Stories about Australia’s unique flora and fauna are brought to life in this new work by the talented members of Bangarra Dance Company. Acclaimed choreographer Stephen Page directs the production.


3 and 11 August | Mackay Entertainment and Convention Centre; Munro Martin Parklands, Cairns

The beloved ballet tells the story of Swanilda, Franz and their toy-maker neighbour, Dr Coppelius. It pirouettes into Mackay and Cairns as part of its regional tour of Victoria, Queensland and the Northern Territory.

Next Month: Brisbane Festival

8-29 September | Various venues, Brisbane

This three-week festival features a smorgasbord of performances, from theatre, cabaret and comedy to visual arts and film, at locations across the city. The festival will culminate in Riverfire, a dramatic fireworks display that includes thrilling aerobatics from the Australian Defence Force.



Until 24 August | Joan Sutherland Theatre, Sydney Opera House

Staged in a revolving doll’s house, Verdi’s popular and seductive opera is reimagined. Dalibor Jenis plays Rigoletto as a Joker-esque figure, with maniacal clown make-up and flaming red hair. The sets and costumes are sumptuous.

Bledisloe Cup

18 August | ANZ Stadium, Sydney

The fiercest rivalry in rugby union will be tested once again as our mighty Australian Wallabies go head-to-head with the defending champions, New Zealand’s All Blacks, in a Trans-Tasman clash of skill and strength.

Sun Xun

Until 14 October | Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney

Up-and-coming Chinese artist Sun Xun will have his first solo exhibition in Australia, spanning two galleries at the MCA. Some of Sun’s most important works will be on display, including a new 40-metre-long painting on bark paper that was made especially for this show.

Trevor Noah

29-30 August | ICC Sydney

The Emmy Award-winning host of popular US program The Daily Show brings his End of Days stand-up tour to Australia.


12 August | Sydney CBD to Bondi Beach

Thousands of runners will pound the pavement for the 48th incarnation of the City2Surf, which raises millions for more than 1000 charities.

Next Month: Evita

13 September-3 November | Sydney Opera House

Don’t cry for Tina Arena... The celebrated Australian singer takes on one of the most beloved roles in theatre, Argentinian first lady Eva Perón, in the much-awarded Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice musical, now in its 40th year.


National Indigenous Music Awards

11 August | Amphitheatre, Botanic Gardens, Darwin

Gather under the stars to cheer on Australia’s greatest Indigenous musical talent, both established and emerging. Past winners of the award’s Artist of the Year include Jessica Mauboy, Gurrumul Yunupingu and Troy Cassar-Daley.

Garma Festival

3-6 August | Gulkula, north-east Arnhem Land

This four-day tribute to the Yolngu people – one of the oldest living cultures on earth – sees Indigenous and non-Indigenous visitors from around the world take part in forums about the pressing issues facing Aboriginal Australians. Events include traditional dance, music, visual arts and storytelling.


Tasmanian Whisky Week

13-19 August | Various venues, statewide

Discover the Apple Isle’s finest whiskies as distilleries such as Hellyers Road, McHenry, Nant and Sullivans Cove host behind-the-scenes tours and sampling sessions. Plus there’s a special Whisky Weekend market.

We Will Rock You

10-25 August | Theatre Royal, Hobart 

Some 16 years after the musical’s premiere at London’s Dominion Theatre, Hobart finally gets its chance to sing along to some of Queen’s biggest hits, including Bohemian Rhapsody, We Are The Champions and Somebody to Love.

Chocolate Winterfest

12 August | Latrobe

Chocoholics rejoice as local chocolate-maker House of Anvers and the rest of this historic Mersey Valley township open their doors to share the sweet stuff.

Next month: Junction Arts Festival

5-9 September | Launceston

Visitors will find the state’s finest musicians, food and wine at this small festival. Now in its ninth year, it’ll introduce a new crowd to the creative talent in Tasmania. 

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