The Rocks is one of Sydney's most interesting colourful urban localities. You will get a sense of Sydney's history as you weave your way around cobblestone laneways, past historic old pub, funky bars, cute cafes and unusual shops. The rocks is also the home of bespoke fashion boutiques, one-off jewellery shops. A cultural hub for art, craft, poets and modern art enthusiasts.
But there is so much more and it's brought to you by The Rocks Village Bizarre. A unique event every Friday evening, 6.30 pm - 10 pm from 13 November until 18 December. The Rocks has been transformed into a vaudevillian world of mystery, magic, music, dance and markets, offering a range of culinary delights. Live entertainment in Vaudevillian style would be featured throughout The Rocks laneways, square and main street.
To discover this special event, I was invited to a media famil. Like most Sydney-siders I had the impression the Rocks area was mainly a tourist attraction, full of a few souvenir shops, cafes and pubs. I had fond memories of when I was a kid, visiting the Argyle Stores building to watch glass blowing, staring at precious gems set in exquisite jewellery and the favourite was, the shell shop where you could buy a real shark's tooth.
Drinks were flowing and tasty morsels were served. The food was delicious. The menu created by Head Chef James Metcalfe offers plenty of delicious food. I hadn't previously been to The Push but after tasting the food, I would definitely return for more.
The rain was pouring down, this couldn't dampen the excitement we all felt in being amongst the first to enjoy The Rocks Village Bizarre. So with food in our bellies, wine relaxing the tension of the week, we set off with umbrellas in arms and cameras at the ready.
The next live mannequin was dancer and actress Natalia Ladyko in the window of high fashion retailer Cosette. Her scintillating moves showed us the potential of an outfit like we'd never imagined. You can see her every Friday 6.45pm - 9.30pm on 13, 20, 27 Nov at Cosette and Deadly Companions shop 4,11,18 December.
Miss Ladyko - Natalie Ladyko - Photography by Seafarrwide
As we wandered further, we could hear voices coming from two Lamp posts. At first you think they are just ordinary Lamp posts until you get a little closer. Talking Lampoosts, singing and discussing all manner of things - you can see and hear them 13, 20 November & 11 December 6.30 pm - 10 pm.
Next we came across Henrietta Bird representing the Kukyalandji people of far North Queensland. Her dance expresses a story in the shop window of hand-made designer Wendy Murray. You can see her every Friday 6.30pm - 9.15pm.
Lurking against the shop fronts were a motley crew. The Sepia Jezebels tried to charm us with their beauty. You will find them roaming the streets every Friday 6.30 pm - 10 pm 13 November - 18 December.
On a good weather night, you would also be browsing through all the night markets. So many great gift ideas and delicious food to buy. As it was still raining, we hurried on to the Rocks centre.
I came across some girls that had been transformed. I think they were from the Take a Shot installation. At Take a Shot, you can choose your party persona—The Daredevil, The Explorer, The Lover or The Party Animal—sign a contract promising to inhabit those characteristics, take your mocktail shot, and embrace your true party alter-ego for the next hour.
Of course, no fancy dress outfit would be without a free 15 minute makeover at the Glitta Supernova's Parlour Bizarre. Places are limited, it's a good idea to register early in the evening. (Available 13, 27 Nov, 11 & 18 December 6.30pm -10pm).
Vaudevillia is an outdoor lounge bar where you can chill out, listen to a live band and watch the show. You can enjoy a few beers from the Rocks Brewing company, or a cocktail. See some hilarious crazy circus performances from Slide Lounge.
Vaudevillia by Slide Lounge - Photography by Seafarrwide
You might find after all the shenanigans, you have worked up a feisty appetite. Right in the heart of the Rocks is Pony Dining. This restaurant situated in the historic bond warehouse on the corner of Argyle Street and Kendal Lane. This great establishment is widely regarded as the pioneers of the wood fire grill. The building has been beautifully restored, featuring a large open kitchen with a pony hide clad counter. The heritage brick walls are covered with commissioned woven art hangings creating a truly unique place to dine.
The Rocks Village Bizarre is a fantastic event that unveils the precinct as you have never seen it before. Exciting immersive performances, culinary delights to tastes, unusual art installations and surprise encounters with captivating characters in shop front windows and street corners. For six weeks, you will be entertained for free, opening your eyes and hearts to how unique a visit to The Rocks can be. If you previously thought of The Rocks as just a tourist attraction, after a visit to the Rocks Village Bizarre - you will conclude it is also a destination for anyone who wants to have fun day or evening.
Despite the rain, I thoroughly enjoyed my experience of The Rocks Village Bizarre and will definitely be back to visit on another occasion.