A Sydney based writer, director, actor. Loves going out and exploring what Sydney has to offer.
“Friday night adventures into the weirdly wonderful”
In early 2010, when I'd just returned from a trip overseas, I used to complain about Sydney's artsy and cultural scene. "It's so boring," I'd lament. "Nothing like Montreal..."
Now, however, I have no reason for such complaints. From November 2 – December 21 The Rocks will become the soul of creativity each Friday night 6:30pm-10pm with its 'Village Bizarre': an assortment of markets, bars, music, pop up shops and activities scattered amongst the alleys and laneways for which The Rocks is renowned.
Some of the events change from week to week and a printable program can be viewed here. I had the good fortune to taste test some of the goodies at the Media Launch and can share the inside goss on what not to miss:
One of the highlights of the Village Bizarre is the White Rabbit Bar, in Kendall Lane. Set in a funky, intimate space, the bar serves delicious drinks to patrons wearing rabbit masks (though I'm sure they can be taken off). The cocktail list includes a Margarita with agave nectar and a 'Paloma', a delectable mix of Herradura Tequila, fresh lime juice, sparkling grapefruit soda and salt flakes.
Further along the 'Lost Laneways' of Kendall Lane, Greenway Lane and Jack Mundey Place is George Cribb. The lively convict will regale you with stories of his backyard slaughterhouse and the butchery next door while he chops up fresh meat before your eyes.
The 'Atherden Oddities' at Atherden Street and the Holiday Inn Old Hotel include the Magnificent Revolution cinema, where you can work out and be entertained simultaneously. A group of bikes powers the cinema, which plays YouTube videos and, on 7 December, a special screening of unusual and indie films. When you tire you can ring the bike bell and someone will tag team you.
In a hotel room in the Holiday Inn Old Sydney waits Uta Uber Kool Ja, an ageing celebrity who holds an after party for a failed gig. The audience can interact with Uta as she relates stories of her past in the music industry and performs an impromptu fashion parade. The show is at 7pm and 9:30pm and costs $25/$23. The show will be popular, so tickets should be bought in advance.
The 'Playground of Sound' at The Rocks Square and Playfair Street features dance lessons in the street, an interactive mixing table, a bar and, what I'm most excited about, a silent disco. Each person wears a pair of headphones, chooses a channel to listen to, or brings their own playlist, and dances, resulting in a crazy mix of dancers all moving to different tunes with a view of the Harbour Bridge and the stars.
Markets run along George St, Playfair St and Jack Mundey Place. You can take photos, play with lego, meet Cosplay characters and sample vintage wares. If you're after a new look, head to MOHS Hair & Beauty and Barber, who'll do up your hair, give you a facial shave and shine your shoes. The hairstyling has a different theme each Friday, it could be 60s, 80s or space age, amongst others.
In Foundation Park, Annabel Lines presents a cabaret meets circus meets comedy in the 'Cabinet of Curiosities'. Be prepared to laugh, cry, gasp, shudder, grin and gawk all in the one show.
Throughout The Rocks are studios, installations and creations by local artists as part of 'The Rocks Pop-up'. Hear experimental music, view underground screenings and listen to inspiring talks. While some are free, some incur a small cost.
There is no need to worry if you get lost or can't decide where to start as there are two information booths on George Street.
There's also a competition: take a photo of something 'weirdly wonderful' at the Village Bizarre, tag it #Village Bizarre and you could win prizes including a night's stay in The Harbour Rocks Hotel, dinner for two on a Sydney Tall Ship and a one on one photography lesson with Oliver Lang. I met Oliver at the Media Night and he seems personable and talented, so I imagine the lesson would be informative and fun.