Creative Open is back bigger and better than ever, with epic live music, cracking comedy, contemporary art, interactive workshops, markets and so much more.

Now in its third year, the four-day winter arts and music festival runs from Thursday 25 to Sunday 28 July, with more than 80 events across multiple venues across the peninsula.

Northern Beaches Mayor Sue Heins said Creative Open has become a major event on Sydney’s creative and cultural calendar.

“Creative Open is a wonderful winter festival showcasing the very best of music, arts and culture on the Northern Beaches,” Mayor Heins said.

“Each year, the festival draws in visitors from across Sydney and further afield, supporting our local businesses, live music venues, artists, galleries, and creative industries.

“Live music is a massive part of this year’s program as we work to reinvigorate our live music scene and night-time economy.

“With the support of the Live Music Office and APRA’s Live and Local program, we’ve pulled together local venues, award winning performers and fresh talent, to offer an amazing program of free live music.”

Punters are spoilt for choice, with a long list of amazing talent including Hayley Mary from The Jezabels headlining an incredible line-up at New Brighton’s Shark Bar.

For the first time, Creative Open is bringing the laughs, with not one but two Comedy Galas at Manly and Avalon.

At Freshwater Brewing Company, home of this year’s Festival Hub, there will be night markets, amazing live music sets, circus acts, workshops and talks in front of a vintage caravan stage.

This year, Manly Corso will be buzzing with Creative Open Live! Enjoy an epic line up of local and international live music talent taking over the Corso all weekend including Black Bird Hum, Lady King, Ellis Hall, ROSHANI and many more.

Art lovers can go behind the scenes at galleries and studios, to witness the creative process unfold and learn new skills through a range of events and workshops, including print making, painting, sculpting, woodturning, photography, jewellery making, glass blowing and creative writing.

Festival highlights:

  • ARIA Award-winning Hayley Mary (The Jezabels) will perform for free at New Brighton’s Shark Bar, alongside the razor-sharp madness of Thunder Fox, pop-psych-rockers Echowave, and Great Job! Saturday 27 July, 8pm – late.
  • As this year’s festival hub, Freshwater Brewing Company will host four-day Freshie Palooza, with circus, timber artisan and woodwork talks, stencil-making workshops, and an impressive line-up of free live acts including The Strides, Gold Fang, Ruby Jackson, Loretta, Edgecliff, Yasmina Sadiki, Ah Honey, ROY, Haley Holgate, Ben Harris and more. Multiple dates and times, so check the program.
  • Triple J legends Skunkhour will bring you forward and take you back with their timeless sound, conquering rhythms, and iconic songs at Avalon Beach RSL, Saturday 27 July, 8.30pm – late.
  • Laugh until your belly hurts, with Canned Laughter Winter Gala at 4 Pines Manly, Thursday 25 July, 7–10pm.
  • Peruse market stalls at the Creative Open Night Markets at Freshwater Brewing Company, Friday 26 July, 5–8pm.
  • Try your hand at a new artistic practice, with workshops and talks.  
  • Drop by Manly Library to share your own music or poetry at Open Mic Night, Friday 26 July, 5.30–7pm.
  • Enjoy Happy Hour at Manly Art Gallery & Museum, Friday 26 July, 5.30–7.30pm.

There are so many more amazing events planned, so check out the full Creative Open festival program.

Main image: Play Manly © Salty Dingo 2022 Aaron Francis

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