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Sydney Fringe Art Occupation at Sydney Place

This month-long arts and culture fest is taking over Sydney Place for September, featuring huge interactive installations, enticing happy hours and a massive block party.
By Nishika Sharma
September 05, 2023
By Nishika Sharma
September 05, 2023

The month of September is starting off with a bang — Sydney Fringe Festival's massive citywide takeover has kicked off with a 400-strong event program. Among this month-long celebration of all things arts and culture, the festivities will also be taking over the bustling precinct of Sydney Place. Strap yourselves in — there is a lot on.

Kicking off on Friday, September 1, Sydney Place is transforming into a live gallery called the Art Walk, where it'll host works by the likes of world-renowned artist James Gulliver Hancock, Sydney-based illustrator Lauren Webster and First Nations artist David Cragg.

You'll be met with two art vending machines, from which you'll be able to take home a piece of your own (and every purchase is donated to the Women and Girls Emergency Centre); Micke Lindebergh's huge staircase installation; and a big, intriguing red button labelled 'DO NOT PRESS' — opt to ignore the instruction and you'll discover an unexpected surprise.

Plus, the fest will continue to push the envelope with a theatrical, AI-led bar — the Dream Bar — where you can generate a personally-curated drink from your dream input.

There's also an colourful block party hitting the precinct on Saturday, September 9 — but it's for one night only. It'll boast roaming artists like Diesel Darling and Kerrie Stanley and a pop-up from the Poof Doof Pride Patrol truck. You can also expect live drag, and theatre and cabaret performances from the likes of Porcelain Alice, Vybe, Eli Crawford and Ivy Leaguee.

You'll also be able to score special promotions from select vendors at the one-night block party — including 20-percent off ToastieSmith sandos, $5 pho and bánh mì from Eat Fuh, Dopa by Devon's $10 mini dons, $5 single scoops for C9 Chocolate & Gelato's first 50 customers and free tattoos by Thirteen Feet Tattoo for the first 30 people to hit up the parlour.

Alongside the array of active installations, the festival's takeover is offering up exclusive food and drink happy hours — and there's no shortage of bites and sips to choose from. Bar Besuto will be doing $5 mini steak frites with every drink purchased, Open Sesame will serve up $5 falafel plates and the Bourke and Ward pop-up bar will boast $7 drink specials to round out the selection.  These weekly specials, however, will only run on Thursdays from September 14 until September 28 from 4pm–6pm.

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