Light up your winter with our great arts and music festivals

Clear your calendars, gather your friends, and join in an epic lineup of live music, hilarious comedy, contemporary art, and workshops as the Creative Open returns this winter!

The four-day winter arts and music festival is back, bigger and better than ever.

More than 80 events will take place across multiple venues from Thursday 25th to Sunday 28th July.

Live music is an important part of this year’s event and we are committed to continuing to promote the Northern Beaches’ live music scene and night-time economy.

With support from the Live Music Office and APRA’s Live and Local Programme, the City Council brings together local venues, award-winning performers and emerging talent to deliver a fantastic free live music programme.

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

The Creative Open is bringing laughter to life for the first time, with two comedy events in Manly and Avalon.

Freshwater Brewing Company, the centerpiece of this year’s festival, will feature a night market, stunning live music, circus, workshops and talks in front of a vintage caravan stage.

This year, Manly Corso is hosting Creative Open Live! All weekend long, you can enjoy the Corso’s epic line-up of local and international live music talent, including Black Bird Hum, Lady King, Ellis Hall, Roshani and more.

Art lovers can go behind the scenes of galleries and studios to witness the creative process unfold, and learn new skills through a range of events and workshops including printmaking, painting, sculpture, woodworking, photography, jewelery making, glassblowing and Creative writing.

Festival highlights:

  • ARIA Award winner Hayley Mary (The Jezabels) will perform for free at New Brighton’s Shark Bar, joining Thunder Fox, pop psychedelic rock band Echowave and Great Job! Saturday, July 27, 8pm – late night.
  • As the centerpiece of this year’s festival, Freshwater Brewing Company will host the four-day Freshie Palooza, which will feature circus performances, lumber craftsman and woodworking lectures, stencilling workshops, and an impressive line-up of free live performances, 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 please check the program.
  • Enjoy great local and international acts at Creative Open Live! On the Manly stage, British Caribbean artist Chanel Loren, Sydney reggae band Black Bird Hum, local singer-songwriter Ellis Hall, soul and R&B artist Lady King, genre-blurring ROSHANI and more!
  • Triple J legends Skunkhour, supported by The Toothpicks, will perform at Avalon Beach RSL on Saturday 27th July from 8.30pm till late, taking you with their timeless sounds, conquering beats and iconic songs And take you back to review.
  • Daniel Muggleton, Laura Coleman, Elliott McLaren and Frey at the Canned Laughter Winter Evening at 4 Pines Manly Starring Freddie McManus, this movie will make you laugh until your stomach hurts. Thursday, July 25, 7-10pm.
  • Continue the laughter at Avalon United Cinema with the live comedy Ava Fun Time, starring Marty Bright, Elliot McClaren, Jasper Jones, Nick Bartlett, Dan Muggleton, Gary Eck and Andrew Barnett. Saturday, July 27, 8-10pm.
  • Peruse the market stalls at Freshwater Brewing Company’s Creative Open Night Market on Friday, July 26th from 5-8pm.
  • Explore a range of exceptional art exhibitions and open studios including ArtBau, Smashing Times Mosaics, Eramboo, Northern Beaches Gallery, Oily Rag Studios, Le Corail, Diezel, Northern Beaches Woodturners, pod & pod and Laetitia Touyeras. Check the date and time of the show.
  • Try out new artistic practices and attend workshops and talks including photography at Dark Room Social, jewelry making at The Metal Space, glass blowing at Mai Mai Glass, ceramics at Simply D Ceramics and creative writing workshops for children at The Imaginarium at Inklingwriting . Check the date and time of the show.
  • Come to Manly Library on Friday 26 July from 5.30pm to 7pm to share your own music or poetry at the Open Mic Night. Come back again on Saturday the 27th from 11am to 3pm for a special Zine Fair.
  • Enjoy happy hour at Manly Art Gallery and Museum on Friday 26 July from 5.30pm to 7.30pm.

Check out the Creative Open Festival program and start planning your arts and culture long weekend.

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