Jan 9, 2011

Festival First Night 2011. Funky Sounds and Fruity Water.

Sydney's Festival First Night is my kind of street event.  It just says Sydney to me much more than the NYE festivities that tend to end in a messy mix of broken glass and rowdy crowds trying to find taxis home.

Central areas in the CBD are cordoned off entirely for pedestrian use and there are distinct areas around different sound stages featuring a diverse range of music and performance acts.  The intention this year, according to the organizing committee was 'To make you smile'.  Which I did, and often.

My first stop was Martin Place.

Where I discovered that while I am not a dancer, if the right music is playing, I can sway convincingly and get in my annual dose of creative movement in a public space amongst total strangers.  This used to be called going to a nightclub in my uni days.

My effort was greatly helped by being this close to both the speakers and the DJ.  The music was thumping my chest, I was waving my camera around in lieu of those fluorescent light sticks and singing along to the Jackson 5 remixed.

At Chifely Square, DJ Kina was hitting the decks.

He had on a pair of gold headphones and a funky beige khaki pork pie hat on.

At The Domain,  a retro musical programme was in full swing as people staked their claim on pieces of lawn. Emmylou Harris and her Red Dirt Boys was the headline act later on in the evening.

You can always tell it's a Sydney community event by the number of food service caravans (and the diverse range of cuisines on offer) at each venue.

To survive a summer evening in Sydney a few things are necessary - Birkis, lots of water and light weight loose fitting clothes.

I sat for a moment to take in the sights, sounds and smells.

Before taking a stroll to the next venue.

Everyone was out to have a  nice evening out in the cooler hours of the evening.  It was lucky the earlier rains ran their course by the early afternoon.

The major sponsor was ANZ.

I made my way down College Street to Hyde Park, following the yellow balloons.

And found that they were weighed down by a black Fiat.

The vibe at Cathedral Square was a bit more glitzy.  There was a bar area towards the back of the square and this rather funky black inflatable cube housing a large flat screen.

Many people did a double take when we discovered who was in charge of cleaning.

The mounted police was just starting their beat when I got to Hyde Park.

The theme at Hyde Park was more retro and whimsical.

At the Palm Stage, lamp shades were suspended from trees and they swayed like lanterns in the summer breeze.

The Archibald Fountain was a popular meeting point in between sound stage areas.

It wouldn't be a SSG account of a trip to the CBD without some shopping.  And wouldn't you know it, David Jones was open until 9pm!  An evening of funky sounds and sights rounded off with a trip to the Jo Malone counter.  Who could ask for more.  There's no room for details in this already very image heavy post, so stay tuned for an update later on.

You know how I've taken to slathering my face in essence of Acai berry lately?

There's a drink.  It's called Triple X (for the anti oxidants and not because of restricted viewing) and also contains blueberries.  It tasted just like raspberry cordial, which is what I was craving when I found myself at the open all hours Woolies on George Street.  It's the place to be for the youngsters of Sydney. The cool drink fridges on the ground floor were practically empty and apparently none of them drink anything besides coke, coke zero, gatorade and water.  There was  no chilled fruit juice or sparkling water to be found.

I first tasted Glaceau water in Singapore last year.  They were just launching there and had a pop up store outside the Ion where you could try all the flavours.  They had a dragon fruit variety that was lovely.  It is also available here.

I'd better get back to maintenance at SSG Manor.  I have 'made' shelf space in the spare room and we're just about ready for when my brother H comes to stay this week.  The fridge and freezer have been filled to a reassuring level (I call it 'can't get to the shops for 2 days full' as opposed to the 'enough to bunker down for being cut off from civilization for a week full').


  1. Oooh. I am enjoying these photos of the Sydney festival because Mr Maus worked there last night supervising some people in his market research job. ^_^

    I also enjoy dragon fruit vitamin water or whatever it's called. Wish it wasn't so pricey :)

  2. Hi girl...
    Looks like you had one amazing time....

    Photos of the local community is always good...
    And you are such a good writer sweety....

    Have a nice day.


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