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3 Top Places to Enjoy Street Performance in Sydney

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by Wendy (subscribe)
Art enthusiast. Loves painting, bushwalking and travels. Writing what I love sparks my passion. Sydney, Australia.
Published May 27th 2012
I always admire people with the courage to perform in public places. Not only are the street artists well demonstrated by their talents, they are also great performers who are able to engage big crowds on the street without fear.

Street performances are varied in nature; dancing, singing, playing various types of musical instruments, street painting, street theatre, performing as a living statue and more.

Circular Quay is definitely the most popular, inviting entertainment area for street performers and artists. I was fortunate to see an Italian street artist's paintings on the spot a few times when I got off from the ferry. His name is Giuseppe and what impressed me was his tactful use of chalk pastels on canvas combined with a special fixative spray for pastels. "Where's Wally" and "Madonna" in a religious setting are his iconic paintings; in particular, he composed the painting upside down when he painted "Where's Wally". Driven from his passion, he advocates that he won't sell his paintings but only asks for a small donation so that he can keep on doing what he likes. Sometimes, he also donates his artworks to charity.

Street painting by Giuseppe, an Italian artist

The artist is painting "Where's Wally"

The delight continued when I wandered through the area outside the Museum of Contemporary Art. The artist's name is Jamie and he is from the US. His stunt was a street theatre performance act which involved him riding high up on his one-wheel bicycle with his hands holding a long knife and a torch lit on flame. He skilfully balanced his body while performing the stunt. He was indeed hilarious and entertaining; bringing lots of laughs and fun to the audiences, especially the kids.

A great street theatre performance


The entertainment area outside the Westfield Shopping Centre in CBD is another hot spot. If you pass by the area at weekend, you'll find a big crowd of people gathered to watch the artists' performance. On a few occasions, I was drawn to the music played by a few guitarists; their fingers moved swiftly on the chords and they were performing effortlessly and skilfully. I couldn't help but also join the crowd to give them a round of applause at the end of their performance. If you happen to be there, it is absolutely worth listening to their music, and you can even buy their album if you like them.

A great musical performance from a talented guitarist

Outside the Queen Victory Building is also a great spot to enjoy street performance. I was attracted to the powerful voice of a performer asking passers-by to come close to him. The trick was that a basketball was spinned on his finger, and the spinning stayed for quite a while even when he moved his body quickly. It was very entertaining to watch.

An artist is having a basketball spinned on his finger

There are a lot of unknown talented street artists and performers around us, but opportunities have not landed on them yet. They do not just take the plunge to perform in public places - they are pursuing their dreams with their passions.

To achieve where they are, they have gone through years of perseverance, hard work and practice. Some performances such as performing on the high-wheel bicycle are indeed risky. So, make a small donation after their performance as they deserve our appreciation, support and encouragement.
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Why? A variety of street performances, which will certainly keep you and your family entertained
When: Mainly weekend
Where: Various locations around CBD and Circular Quay
Cost: A small donation is appreciated
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