These COVID-19 guidelines are correct as of 29 April 2021. 

As government regulations and health guidelines evolve, we will continue to update our information about the Festival on this webpage. 

All ticketholders will receive an email containing important COVID-related information prior to their event. 

We encourage you to visit each venue's website for specific COVID-19 conditions of entry. 

Enjoy the Festival and stay safe

Sydney Writers’ Festival works closely with the NSW Department of Health and is committed to the wellbeing of all Festival attendees, participants and staff.

The Sydney Writers’ Festival will be delivered under approved COVID-19 Safety Plans and will follow strict guidelines set by the NSW Department of Health. All of our venues, including Carriageworks, are registered as COVID Safe.

All Festival venues are currently operating at 100% capacity in line with NSW Government health guidelines. Please be aware the current regulations allow patrons to be seated alongside each other. 

Check this page regularly for updates on how were following the latest NSW Government health guidelines.

What we are doing to keep you safe

To ensure a safe and comfortable environment for everyone, we have made some changes to the way the Festival operates.

Increased cleaning and hygiene

Enhanced cleaning procedures will be in place across at our venues. This includes regular cleaning of high-traffic areas and high-touch surfaces using hospital-grade disinfectant, and cleaning of theatre spaces between events.

Hand sanitiser stations will be available throughout frequently accessed areas.

Wearing of masks 

We strongly recommend that masks are worn inside the performance spaces and foyers at all of our venues.* Masks are mandatory for book signing at Carriageworks. 

*Patrons are required to wear a mask inside the auditorium at Sydney Town Hall (children 12 years and under are exempt).

Checking in with QR codes

All patrons must check in upon entry to Festival venues via the QR codes at entrances. Please download the Service NSW app prior to arriving at Festival events (assistance will be available if you do not have a smartphone).

Free events now require bookings

This year, free events require bookings and all seats are allocated. To guarantee your seat, you can book online or via phone from 9am Friday 12 March. Limited tickets will be available at the Carriageworks Box Office each day during the Festival.

Bookings for free events will not incur transaction fees. 

Digital tickets

As part of our COVID-19 measures, we are issuing e-tickets only (except at onsite box offices during the Festival). This should minimise the number of people at box offices and help provide contactless admission to events.

Please make sure you have a printout of your e-ticket or have it ready on a mobile device for our staff to view as you enter the venue. (Assistance will be available if you do not have a smartphone.)

During the Festival week, Festival box offices will be open. 

Cashless payments

Only cashless payments will be accepted onsite at Carriageworks, this includes for tickets.

Schedule of events

Events have been carefully scheduled to reduce crowding and allow time for cleaning between events.

Onsite seating at Carriageworks

Additional seats and tables will be onsite (including at the Festival Hub in Bay 25) to use between events.

More food and beverage outlets at Carriageworks

Additional food and beverage options will be available (operating in accordance with NSW Health guidelines).

COVID Safe training

All Festival staff members and volunteers will have undertaken COVID Safe training.

Physically distanced queuing

All queues will be physically distanced at 1.5 metres.

Pre-event email

We are closely following all NSW Government health guidelines and will continue to update our procedures as necessary. We will share all relevant information, including updates and guidance on our COVID safety measures, in an email prior to your event(s). 

Help us have a COVID Safe Festival

To ensure that everyone remains safe at this year’s Festival, please follow these guidelines: 

Check in on entry

Check in on arrival using the QR codes on display at our venues. Download the Service NSW app prior to attending events (assistance will be available if you do not have a smartphone).

Practise social distancing

Practise social distancing (1.5 metres whenever possible) while queuing and while moving around the venue spaces and follow the guidance provided by our staff and signage.

Wear a face mask

Please bring a face mask with you to wear inside the venues and where physical distancing is not possible. Masks are mandatory for book signing at Carriageworks. 

Practise good hand hygiene

Hand sanitiser stations have been positioned throughout venues for you to use.

Be patient with our staff

They are there to ensure that everyone remains safe and has an excellent experience at the Festival so please adhere to any requests they make.

Arrive in plenty of time

Please allow extra travel time to accommodate for the time needed to check in via the QR codes at the Festival Precinct entrances or if you need your e-ticket(s) reissued.

Stay at home if you feel unwell

Stay home if you feel unwell or if you are displaying any of the COVID symptoms as identified by the NSW Department of Health.

Ensure you bring your e-ticket

As part of our COVID-19 measures, we will be issuing e-tickets only.  Please make sure you have a printout of your e-ticket or have it ready on a mobile device for our staff to view as you enter the venue. (Assistance will be available if you do not have a smartphone.)

Thank you for your patience and understanding. We look forward to welcoming you to the Festival.