How do you solve a problem like Kings Cross? Well, that answer's clearly complicated, but there's one (very Sydney) good first step against which no-one can argue: have a festival.
The Potts Point Partnership, with funding from state and local government, has announced plans for the inaugural Kings Cross Festival. It’s a big community that encompasses many visitors as well as residents of several intersecting suburbs, so it deserves a big community festival, to be held over five days from November 21-25.
It’s a relaxed, spread-out sort of program that encourages you to spend a whole day in the district, your way. Special offers will be available in Kings Cross notable bars and restaurants — including Gastro Park, Barrio Chino, and Chez Dee — so you won't run out of fuel.
The festival will be celebrating the arts in a big way, including with an Art Walk (Thursday evening/Saturday afternoon) led by Alaska Projects' Sebastian Goldspink that takes in the area's galleries, pop-ups, and artistic landmarks. Meanwhile, the natural pairing of 'Writers & Whisky' will see local writers chatting about their work at the Dandelion Bar.
Among the more unique events are Gospel Sunday, which highlights the gospel music in local churches; the Seaside Family Picnic, held at Sydney's cutest marina, Beare Park; and Monica Goes to Rehab, a tribute to divas and drug use with the surprisingly rude ex-Playschool host Monica Trapaga.
Under its festival director, iconoclastic Sydney Olympic Ceremonies co-creative director Ignatius Jones, the festival has an angle on the Kings Cross 'problem': embracing the area's contradiction. It celebrates a unique part of town that has for decades welcomed the creative, the genteel, and the deviant to sit "elbow to elbow without judgment".