Best Music Event - presented by Heaps Normal

Gigs on gigs on gigs on gigs! Sydney has been bursting at the seams with music events this year. Now more than ever, community and community-building is at the forefront of many music events in this city. Across dancefloors, festivals, and venue takeovers we danced, we sung, we sweated and screamed. And we did it all together.

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Xaddy’s Door List

Xaddy’s Door List is a series of parties intended to disrupt Australian nightlife with a focus on celebrating queer, trans and PoC artists. Run by notorious creative and ballroom powerhouse Father Xander Silky West, you never know where a Xaddy’s Doorlist party might take place. Wherever the party ends up, you can be 100% sure there’ll be big beats, big looks and some of the best casual vogueing you’ve ever seen. Most importantly, there will be big community – while everyone’s welcome at Xaddy’s, it has quickly become a home away from home for this city’s queer, trans, Black, Indigenous and PoC partygoers to feel safe, let loose and get messy in the best way.

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Founded in 2017 with the mission of championing radical new ideas in sound, art and digital media, SOFT CENTRE has become a staple of the Sydney festival calendar. Arguably their boldest and most ambitious program yet, UNFURL saw the SOFT CENTRE team reach new heights. The program took over venues across the city from the Thursday night opening party at Broadway’s St. Barnabas’ Church to the closing open-air concert at the Calyx on a Sunday evening, with plenty of innovative installations, workshops, panels, raves and general ground-breaking weirdness along the way. UNFURL brought us sonically diverse line-ups in visually rich environments resulting in a unique yet quintessential SOFT CENTRE experience.

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South East Block Party Maroubra

South East Block Party Maroubra is a massive all-ages open air concert hosted at Maroubra’s Coral Sea Park, thanks to Weave Youth & Community Services, Randwick Council, and of course iconic Maroubra artist, curator and three-time headliner Kobie Dee. Now in its third year, the event brought community together to celebrate Youth Week 2023 with plenty of games, activities, local food stalls and massive and passionate performances from the likes of Tasman Keith, Billymaree, Sailor Goon, Lil Arts, Dylan Voller, KP Hydes and local rising star and past Independent Artist of the Week alum Emerald Brunt – who was inspired to start making music after first encountering the block party in 2022. A vital event for young people in the area, South East Block Party Maroubra’s community vision has come to fruition.

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Hotter Out West

Hotter Out West is a party for the area, by the area and most importantly – in the heart of the area. Borne by a collective of Western Sydney’s brightest young creatives who were tired of the over-an-hour party commute into the city every weekend, often just to see DJs that were commuting from the same place, they joined forces to make their own party and the rest has already cemented itself into Sydney nightlife history. Hotter Out West parties feature eclectic line-ups of DJs spanning genres from UK grime to southern trap to 2000s Australiana and everything in between. And suddenly, the kids from all over the city are partying out west.

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CRIP RAVE THEORY is a club night outside the club, which draws on disabled knowledge to create more intersectionally-accessible rave spaces. It is a party and a proposition; that the rave can be revolutionary when disabled knowledge is centred. In response to persistently inaccessible club spaces, CRIP RAVE THEORY centres and celebrates all bodies that have been traditional excluded from commercial nightlife; providing a space for cross-community connection, pleasure, self-expression and empowerment. Disability-led and rooted in principles of disability justice, the party fills a gaping hole in the national nightlife ecology. Founded by local DJ Aquenta, CRIP RAVE THEORY’s sold-out parties have hosted some of the hottest local and national disabled + Bla(c)k, PoC, queer and/or trans DJs, musicians and performers; and continue to be met with euphoric celebration.

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Bare Necessities Rooftop Party

The Bare Necessities Rooftop Party has quickly become Sydney’s favourite cure for the Sunday scaries. Bare Necessities (aka Klue, Luny, Zhee Lin, Vuli, Moody, Sam Z, E.t Le Createur, Oro Ana and more) are known for their ever-changing mixes which provide a “tour to dancefloors from around the globe” – their rooftop party series sees them regularly take over the Botany View Hotel in Erskineville to offer all that and more IRL, boasting stellar performances from Sydney’s best emerging artists and producers, and of course the Bare Necessities Soundsystem. Featuring live horns, percussion and a host of surprise vocal guests, a Bare Necessities Rooftop Party always delivers on open air, the best rhythms, and the highest of vibes. You know, the bare necessities…

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