Another one’s tucked under the belt. Another festival, that is.
As I spent Sunday afternoon traipsing around the Aroma Festival, which features coffee, tea and sweets vendors, I realized a) I don’t remember this festival from this time last year, b) I’ve been to a lot of festivals since I came to Sydney because c) Sydney has a lot of festivals.
I’ve explored so many of these events because most are free, provide free samples (I like free) and give me regular doses of art and culture, which I sort of need to feel fulfilled. While the below covers the list of festivals I’ve attended, it by no means covers all the festivals in Sydney, especially when you consider events happening in the surrounding suburbs.
It’s like an arts orgy — music (much of it free), dance, art. It’s here that we met Arrested Development before they performed their free concert in Martin Place. You can pay to see extended concerts by some of the free acts and cabaret-style entertainment set up in Hyde Park. The January line-up of events is a good way to kick the post-holiday slump.
Chinese New Year
This February holiday is a big deal given Sydney’s large Asian population. Red lanterns adorn the tree branches, and talent contests, food huts and shopping stalls and a parade make up part of the festivities, centered largely near Central Station.
Philly had a Fringe Festival and I went every year with a good friend. This one is a little less funky, but it still gives a good range of theater performances, music and art displays in the Inner West suburbs. The coolest thing I did at Fringe last year was take a “mystery bus” to a secret warehouse venue where a world music band played into the night.
Shirtless men in swim trunks, colorful costumes and elaborate floats make up this annual parade celebrating the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community on the streets of Darlinghurst.
Naturally, I geek out on writing and writers, so this week-long May event had my name written all over it in 2010. Readings, panel discussions and interactive workshops featuring some well-known Australian and international writers fill up the program.
Pretty lights! Changing backdrops on spaces like the Customs Building, colorfully lit-up trees and glowing lighthouses and pop-up art sculptures attract young and old to this June happening.
Jazz and Latin Festivals
These are two separate, free Darling Harbour events where bands and dance troupes set up on different floats and stages to blow into their brass and sway their hips to the beat.
Ice skating. On the beach. Not up my alley, but cool to watch. A cute little winter village, fake snow and free cups of Chai tea made this fun for me.
What are you favorite festivals in the world?