483 George St
Sydney 2000

Located in the city centre, Sydney Town Hall is an iconic landmark which combines state-of-the-art venue facilities with spectacular heritage architecture and interior decoration.


For public transport options (train, rails, bus) to Sydney Town Hall please visit or call 131 500.

Bike parking facilities are available on both the Druitt Street forecourt and the Sydney Square side of Sydney Town Hall.

There is limited street parking near Sydney Town Hall. The two car parks nearest to Sydney Town Hall are:

QVB Parking
York St Sydney NSW 2000
02 9267 1627

St Andrews House – Town Hall Car Park (Wilson Parking)
464 – 474 Kent Street Sydney NSW 2000
02 9267 6331

Cockatoo Island is a UNESCO world heritage-listed island in the middle of beautiful Sydney Harbour.


Catch one of the free FODI ferries departing and returning to King St Wharf (Barangaroo). King St Wharf is a short five minute walk from Wynyard Station.


Check out the Ferries page for all information on our FODI ferries, or view the timetable here.

Are you a great swimmer? Do you have your own boat? Make your own way to Cockatoo Island using the public transport system (visit or call 131 500). Please note public ferries are often at capacity on weekends.

For public transport options (train, rails, bus, ferry) to Cockatoo Island please visit or call 131 500.

View and download a map of the venue here.

Want to stay on Cockatoo Island for the FODI weekend? Cockatoo Island has a selection of accommodation options ranging from apartments to glamping. For more information please visit

Free FODI ferries will be provided from King St Wharf (Barangaroo) to Cockatoo Island and Cockatoo Island to King St Wharf (Barangaroo). Ferry tickets can be selected as part of your Saturday Island Pass, Sunday Island Pass and Weekend Island Pass.

Please note, patrons will need to show their ticket to board a FODI ferry at the designated time. FODI ferry boarding and departure times will be strictly observed. Please ensure you arrive on time.

Alternatively, patrons can utilise the public transport system.


FODI ferries depart from 10am at King St Wharf (Barangaroo) on both Saturday 3 and Sunday 4 November for patrons that select a ferry ticket as a part of their FODI Island Pass.


FODI ferries depart from 5.45pm at Cockatoo Island on both Saturday 3 and Sunday 4 November for patrons that select a ferry ticket as a part of their FODI Island Pass.


View timetable here (PDF)


If you miss your FODI ferry, staff will be on hand to inform of alternate options. If no FODI ferry spots are available, patrons will need to utilise the public transport system.


Don’t want to catch a FODI ferry? You can catch a public ferry. Transport NSW’s ferry timetables can be found here – 

Please note that Transport NSW’s public ferries are often at capacity on weekends. We recommend allowing ample time to get to and from Cockatoo Island if using the public transport system.

FODI strives to make every event as accessible as possible. Where the wheelchair icon is displayed, the venue/location is wheelchair accessible. If this symbol is not displayed, access may be limited and assistance by venue staff may be required. To ensure the best possible experience, please discuss all access requirements with the venue before you book.

Sydney Town Hall’s accessible entrance is via the Druitt St entrance (opposite the Queen Victoria Building). Accessible unisex toilet facilities are available on each publicly accessible floor of the building. If you require assistance when visiting the building, please contact Sydney Town Hall to discuss your requirements on 02 9265 9282.

FODI’s Cockatoo Island venues are wheelchair accessible but hazards such as voids and uneven surfaces exist as it is a former industrial site.

FODI is able to provide Auslan interpreting services for Cockatoo Island sessions on request. Please contact FODI on 02 8267 5757 or

Sydney Town Hall is fitted with a hearing loop system.


Companion Card holders qualify for a complimentary ticket for their companion. Please contact FODI on 02 8267 5757 or to assist with your booking.

To book and discuss your access requirements please contact FODI on 02 8267 5757 or

The world is changing. So are the dangers facing us. To survive, we must pay attention. Go beyond the hype. Interrogate how we got to this point, and where we are going next.

The forces making and unmaking us are ever-changing and vast. It is time, once again, to listen to the experts. To redeem them from their unjust diminution, and re(de)fine our held beliefs in the clash of their debate. Yet we must also be unafraid to challenge them. To be critical of the critical – the popular and heretical alike. Listening does not mean we agree, and it does not weaken or corrupt. Don’t be part of the herd. Refuse ignorance. Think.

The Festival of Dangerous Ideas (FODI) is the original disruptive festival that brings to light important conversations that push the boundaries of conventional thought. It presents a line-up of international and local thinkers and culture creators, inviting the public to immerse themselves in ideas and conversations that encourage debate and critical thinking.

Taking place over two days, the Festival is a collaboration between The Ethics Centre (TEC) and UNSW Centre for Ideas. This year’s sessions explore data, AI, morality, sexuality, inequality, politics and more.

This is the Festival’s ninth year, but it returns in a commanding new location to call home; Cockatoo Island, a place ‘off-limits’ to the public for over 100 years.

FODI alumni include Christopher Hitchens, Julian Assange, Mona Eltahawy, Alicia Garza, Sir Salman Rushdie, Pussy Riot, Tariq Ali, Paul Krugman, Sam Harris, Vandana Shiva, Naomi Klein, David Simon and Stan Grant.

Check out recordings of past talks here

The Festival of Dangerous Ideas (FODI) was co-founded by The Ethics Centre (TEC) and the Sydney Opera House (SOH) in 2009. It was presented at Sydney Opera House for eight years and in its ninth year is moving to a new home on Cockatoo Island and presented by TEC with a new presenting partner, UNSW Centre for Ideas.

Festival Partners

FODI is the acronym for Festival of Dangerous Ideas!

FODI ferries will be provided for patrons with Island Passes or Transport NSW’s public ferry system can be utilised. Visit our Ferries page for full details or view the timetable here.

Public transport ferries run all day. Visit our Ferries page for full details.

If you miss your FODI ferry,  staff will be on hand to inform of alternate options. If no FODI ferry spots are available, patrons will need to utilise the public transport system.

Cockatoo Island is open to the public. The FODI precinct will open at 11am on Saturday 3 and Sunday 4 November. Patrons are welcome to explore other areas of the island beforehand.

Saturday 3 & Sunday 4 November 2018 – Cockatoo Island

Saturday 3 November – Sydney Town Hall

Yes. Patrons are welcome to bring food and non-alcoholic drink to Cockatoo Island. Food and beverages will also be available for purchase on the island.

FODI will go ahead rain, hail or shine. The Cockatoo Island venues are all indoor, but areas of the precinct are out in the open. Please come prepared with wet weather gear, raincoats, ponchos and/or umbrellas in bad weather.

FODI is recommended for ages 15+. Some sessions will contain strong language and adult themes and there is nudity in Sex Clown Saves The World. Please refer to each session for specific details.

Subject to agreements with speakers and artists sessions are recorded and made available following the event. Subscribe to the FODI YouTube channel or sign up to find out when they are released.

No. All sessions are General Admission.

No. If you are seeking media accreditation please email

All venues are wheelchair accessible. Cockatoo Island is is a former industrial site and hazards such as voids and uneven surfaces exist. Head to the access section of the website for more information.

FODI staff will direct you to your venue. No lockouts apply.

Yes. Programs and venue maps will be available on arrival at Cockatoo Island.

All tickets and passes purchased are non-refundable.

If not sold out prior, tickets and passes can be purchased online up until the day of the event.

Many speakers will conduct book signings after their talk events. If a speaker is signing books an announcement will be made at the conclusion of each event.

UNSW Bookshop will run a pop-up book shop on Cockatoo Island and at Sydney Town Hall.

Please note there are no cloak rooms on Cockatoo Island or at Sydney Town Hall.

Smoking is permitted on the island but not inside the venues. A smoking area will be provided. Please look for the signs. 

There are no ATMs available on Cockatoo Island. All vendors will be set up to accept card payments.

If you lose something contact FODI on 02 8267 5757 or Please include your full name, a contact phone number and as many details as possible about the item.

Liz Astey

Production Manager, Sydney Town Hall

Rebecca Blake

Festival Coordinator

Wei Clerkin

Campaign Manager

Ione Davis

Festival Producer

Megan Exton

Volunteer Manager

Danielle Harvey

Festival Director

Jason Jaram

Additional Festival Designer

Kara Jensen-Mackinnon

Digital Producer, UNSW Centre for Ideas

Simon Longstaff

Festival Co-Curator

Andy Lysle

Production Manager, Cockatoo Island

Alice Marklew

Festival Senior Producer

Ann Mossop

Festival Co-Curator

Sarah Munro

Marketing, The Ethics Centre

Kate Prendergast

Marketing Coordinator

Rebecca Riley

Marketing, UNSW Centre for Ideas

Allie Rosen

Head of Partnerships

Glider Global

Design & Strategy

Access DGC

Media & Public Relations


Wendy Agostino
Lyria Bennet Moses
Hilary Blackman
Rob Brooks
Vanessa Cali
Ros Dixon
Fiona Docherty
Travis Green
Richard Holden
James Kennedy
Kym Middleton
Jeremy Moss
Anne Pandithasekara
Cris Parker
Aisyah Shah Idil
Ed St John
Mary Anne Terry