Sydney Festival start. For Daily Deals look at the http://www.sydneyfestival.org.au/2015/dailydeals

The mirrors in the Spiegeltent have been polished. The contortionists set to bend across its stage are limber. International guests from Belgium, Shanghai and beyond are streaming through Customs. The street art-covered labyrinth has been erected. The 2015 Sydney Festival is ready to go.

Sydney’s 39th annual festival of art and culture (and plenty of big things children can play on) kicks off Thursday morning when the Festival Village – now with two Spiegeltents – opens its doors. During the day, festivalgoers at the Hyde Park hamlet will be able to walk all over a two-storey maze designed and constructed by Irish street artist Maser and relax in the City of Sydney’s lawn library. At night they can catch sword-swallowers at Limbo and hit the bars and food stalls for a Grand Royale with Cheese (not a burger but an ice-cream).

The Village is not the only Sydney Festival venue springing to life for opening day (want to swing through a waterfall? You can do that at Darling Harbour from 9am), but it is the festival’s centre, expected to draw 10,000 visitors per day. And the festival is ready for them.
The festival will be Sydney’s first major public event since the city’s New Year’s Eve celebrations. Crowds for the fireworks were estimated to have been smaller than in 2013, leading some to ask whether Sydneysiders had been shaken by the Martin Place siege and heightened terror alert level. But police point out that high-profile viewing areas that night, such as the Sydney Opera House, were at capacity from early afternoon.

Festival organisers said punters appear undeterred: they expected to exceed the 124,000 tickets sold in 2014. Executive director Chris Tooher said that sales at the beginning of the week were at 64 per cent of the final target, ahead of the same time last year. It will be weeks before numbers on the free, unticketed events are known.

Many of the festival venues have private security and Tooher said organisers were working closely with police and other authorities to ensure safety at the Domain and Hyde Park.