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Make it a date: events not to miss this May

Some of the most highly anticipated major events are hitting Sydney, so strap yourself in for a busy May.

Janet Laurence: After Nature
1 March – 10 June 2019

Considered one of Australia’s most prominent environmental artists, you could say that Janet Laurence is at one with nature. Her works respond to the environment surrounding her, with the multimedia artist including the natural realm in almost all of her artistic endeavours. Her current exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art, After Nature, is a coherent collection of key works spanning the artist's career. Incorporating plant, animal and mineral specimens in all her works, Laurence focuses on the fragility of the natural world and the changing era of the Anthropocene.

VIVID Sydney
24 May – 15 June

Arguably one of the largest events held in Sydney each year, in 2019 Vivid will outdo itself once again. Sprawled across the city, Vivid Sydney is split into three distinct parts. The classic light installations will span throughout the Botanic Gardens, Circular Quay, Barangaroo and make their way into Taronga Zoo, while the Vivid Ideas panels will hold host to some of the most iconic and important scholars and thinkers of our time: think Spike Lee, Esther Perel, Bryony Cole, Sebastian Smee and Jocelyn Brewer to name a few. And of course, the music. Carriageworks lights up with acts such as Rufus Du Sol, FKA Twigs, Hayden James, Touch Sensitive and Mallrat, with the City Recital Hall will boast the likes of Paul Kelly, Kate Miller-Heidke and James Ledger. So much to see and do, Vivid alone will have your May booked out.

Head On Photo Festival
3 May – 19 May

While all of us are photographers in one sense or another, it’s sometimes nice to see what the professionals are up to. Enter Head On Photo Festival, a photography exhibition that celebrates Australian and International talent, both established and emerging. Heading into its tenth year, the festival will hold host to the works of 1064 photographers showcased across more than 100 different exhibition locations. Exhibitions include Select Helmut Newton, featuring work from the infamous fashion photographer, and Rock ‘n’ Roll Heroes, showcasing iconic images of David Bowie by Japanese photographer Masayoshi Sukita.

Giselle by The Australian Ballet
1 May – 18 May

Who doesn’t love a good romance story? Or a good tragedy? At the intersection of both genres lies Giselle, a ballet full of supernatural terrors and redemptive love. One of the world’s most famous ballets, Giselle is about a young girl who falls madly in love with a duke in disguise. A series of tumultuous events follows, and takes the audience on a rollercoaster of a journey. Premiering in Paris in 1841, this is a classic piece of dance that, with the original score by Adolphe Adam and costumes by Peter Farmer, will leave you breathless.

Sydney Comedy Festival
22 April – 19 May

Heading into its 15th year, the Sydney Comedy Festival pretty much always hits the nail on the head. Names such as Joe Lycett, David O’Doherty, Daniel Sloss, Arj Barker, Jay Pharoah, Ross Noble and Australian’s own Matt Okine, Joel Creasy and Felicity Ward will join up and coming comedians from the Fresh Program on stages around Sydney. Head down to the Factory Theatre, Enmore Theatre, Sydney Opera House, Riverside Theatre or the Concourse for a whole host of comedy galas and solo shows.

MBFWA Weekend Edition
17 – 18 May

Following the launch of Resort 2020 collections comes the Mercedes Benz Fashion Weekend Edition, taking place at Carriageworks directly after MBFWA. Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Australia Weekend Edition will be holding group runway shows featuring a curated selection of looks from some of the most exciting Australian brands such as Alice McCAll, Hansen & Gretel, Thurley, We Are Kindred and more. The weekend's bookends will be fashion shows from Aje on the May 17 and P.E Nation on May 18, with a whole host of seminars and talks in between focusing on women in media, the IMG Fashion Camp and a lecture on being fashionably conscious. One of the most important events in the Sydney fashion industry’s year, the MBFWE is a great opportunity to see inside the most glamorous business around.