What's On

New Annual

Ten days of art, culture and creativity returns to Newcastle from 22 Sept – 01 Oct

Newcastle’s flagship arts and cultural festival, New Annual returns in 2023 with a 10 day celebration of unforgettable experiences. 

From 22 September - 1 October, Newcastle will come alive with art, culture, and creativity in some of the city’s most unexpected locations.

Drawing from a diverse range of talent and cultures, New Annual, now in its third year, has become a platform for both local and national artists to showcase their work throughout the city. 

New Annual invites you to weave your way around the city’s art galleries, stunning theatres, quiet side streets and spectacular outdoor parks. The city is set to be transformed into a vibrant canvas for immersive artworks, a stage for groundbreaking performances, and for expressing local Aboriginal and diverse local cultures. 

What does this year’s festival program look like? 

new annual festival

From contemporary circus artists, and Australian music legends, to an epic percussive performance featuring up to 100 local drummers, New Annual’s diverse program of dance, visual art, music, and theatre offers something for all ages and interests. Here’s just a few of the event highlights:

Circa: What Will Have Been

Don’t miss the contemporary circus performance from the Brisbane-based company Circa who bring together three circus artists and a violinist. 
Date: 22 & 23 September
Where: Christ Church Cathedral - 52 Church St, Newcastle
Cost: From $44

Strut & Fret: Blanc de Blanc Encore

An intoxicating Gatsby-esque ride astonishes and delights with Blanc de Blanc’s world-renowned brand of opulent, cheeky, edge-of-your-seat theatre.
Date: 22 September - 22 October
Where: Civic Park Newcastle
Cost: From $59

new annual festival 2023


Migrating from South Sudan as a child, and growing up on the Central Coast, Atong Atem is now a Narrm/Melbourne based artist and will be taking part in a host of events starting with Friday Night Sounds!. The now internationally renowned artist will be presenting striking video and photographic portraiture in her first exhibition in Newcastle. The exhibition will be activated with a dynamic series of events presenting fashion, music, discussion, and storytelling from exciting creators celebrating African culture.
When: 22 Sept—01 Oct
Where: 134 King St, corner of Perkins. 
Free Admission

New Annual Festival 2023
Newcastle Art Gallery - ATONG ATEM _ Image credit Atong Atem, Our Neighbour was a Witch, 2022. Commissioned by Photo Australia for PHOTO 2022 International Festival of Photography, courtesy of MARS Gallery and the artist.

My Life is a Symphony: Kate Ceberano

A celebration of Kate’s four decade career, My life is a symphony brings Kate’s own pop hits Brave and Pash together with  the iconic songs she has interpreted along the way.
Date: 22 September
Where: Civic Theatre
Cost: From $109

The Parallel Effect: Message From Another You

This immersive adventure breaks through the confines of our universe, enabling you to communicate with a different version of yourself in a parallel world.
Date: 22 September - 1 October
Where: 164 Hunter St
Cost: From $35

New Annual Festival 2023

This Land - Presented by University of Newcastle

Unite with friends and family for This Land; a First Nations celebration of the sound, soul, and spirit of the many nations in this country.
Date: 23 Sept
Where: Newcastle Museum Park
Free admission

Dancenorth: NOISE

NOISE is a gathering, a united force of percussive energy and powerful dance. Dancenorth joins forces with up to 100 local volunteer drummers who thump out a scintillating live score in this dynamic community driven performance.
Date: 29 & 30 September
Where: Newcastle Museum Park
Free admission 

Ben Gillies & Chris Joannou: Love & Pain Book Launch

From a Newcastle garage to worldwide recognition, Love & Pain is the remarkable untold story of two teenagers in one of Australia’s greatest rock bands: Silverchair.
Date: 30 September
Where: Civic Theatre
Cost: $45 per person 

Zest Events: Chalk the Walk

Come and see the footpaths of Newcastle turn into concrete canvases with a collection of mind-bending artworks during Chalk the Walk
Date: 18 - 23 September
Where: Newcastle CBD
Free Admission

EASEL’D live @ West Best Block Fest

Inari’s mesmerising aerosol skills will be on display alongside free music performances by a host of Newcastle’s favourite musicians. 
Date: 1 October
Venue: Devonshire Street
Free Admission

New Annual 2023 is shaping up to deliver unforgettable experiences, for the full program of events and experiences visit New Annual and be sure to get amongst the city’s art, culture and creativity.