Inner city farmers markets, festivals will prove skeptics wrong, Sydney mayor hopes

Monthly farmers markets at Circular Quay and a series of six-week festivals across the inner city have been added to Sydney’s calendar for the next financial year, as Sydney’s lord mayor said she hoped the “doomsayers predicting the death of the city” would be proven wrong.

Fourteen programs will share $ 3 million of funding through the City of Sydney grants intended to create new “micro-precincts” across villages in the CBD and inner city throughout late 2022 and early 2023.

Ben Calladine, Lorraine Lock, Sian Potsig and Julian Cinotta are working to establish the Hollywood micro-precinct near Central.Credit:Jacky Ghossein

They include the monthly growers markets and a quarterly art program at Circular Quay, public art in Haymarket, a Redfern street party, a Walsh Bay arts open day and a “festival of fire” featuring Indigenous dance groups in South Eveleigh.

Chinatown will become home to a two-month contemporary art, light and music installation dubbed “Neon Playground”, while businesses in Erskineville will host a six-month Friday night program devoted to music and sound installations that will culminate in a three-day festival .

There are also several short festivals, including three six-week programs bringing together food, drink and music across parts of Darlinghurst and Surry Hills, and a four-week program in the York, Clarence and Kent (YCK) laneways precinct in the city.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the grants had been designed to encourage collaboration, boost cultural activities and give people a chance to support local businesses while forging long-term relationships in their neighborhoods.

“Sydney is now reopening, with consumer confidence indices higher than average, suggesting a strong, pent-up demand, especially in services and hospitality,” she said.

“Almost as soon as COVID lockdowns were introduced, the doomsayers were predicting the death of the city, but I’m hopeful this has been overstated …

“We’re not entirely out of the woods yet, but it’s wonderful to see life returning to the city.”

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