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The Newtown Jets, Heaps Gay and The Music & Booze Co Are Hosting an Inclusive Footy, Food and Music Festival

Cocktails from top Sydney distilleries, food by Rolling Penny and Baba's Place, the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Choir, and footy — it's all going down at Welcome Day.
By Ben Hansen
May 25, 2023
By Ben Hansen
May 25, 2023

A trio of Sydney institutions are coming together to launch an inclusive community festival that celebrates three cornerstones of Sydney's cultural landscape: footy, food and music. The inaugural Welcome Day will arrive at Henson Park courtesy of the Newtown Jets, Heaps Gay and The Music & Booze Co, the team behind King Street Carnival, The Beer, Footy and Food Festival and The House of Music and Booze.

One of the NRL's foundation clubs back in 1908 and a thriving force in the Inner West for over a century, the Newtown Jets pride themselves as a football club for all. As part of this push to make rugby league welcoming and inclusive, the club has teamed up with LGBTQIA+ party collective Heaps Gay and its founder Kat Dopper, plus longtime collaborators The Music & Booze Co, to celebrate Sydney's diversity and ensure everyone feels at home on the hill of Henson Park.

"Welcome Day is a celebration of the rich diversity of our fabulous local community, and reaffirms the Jets' long history of inclusion of players and fans from all walks of life," says Stu McCarthy of the Newtown Jets. "It will be unique in the context of cross-code collaboration, but more importantly a fun day out for all."

Hitting the Marrickville oval on Saturday, June 24, Welcome Day will bring together a stellar lineup of local restaurants, food trucks, distillers, seltzer brands, winemakers and DJs in support of a jam-packed day of rugby league. The day's on-field action will be headlined by a NSW Cup clash between the Newtown Jets and the Parramatta Eels. The Jets are forgoing their cross-code differences with the Petersham Rugby Union Club for the day, and hosting two union games — one men's and one women's — as curtain-raisers.

Baba's Place wraps

On the food lineup, you can expect eats from Rolling Penny, Pepitos, Baba's Place, Titos Tacos, Over Embers, Slick Ricks Pizza, Sparky's Jerk BBQ and Condimental.

And what would a day at Henson Park be without a couple of choice beverages? Poor Toms, Archie Rose, Young Henrys (slinging gin and ginger beer), Lilyfields Gin, Este Spirits, Brix Distillery, Mobius Distillery, Kraken Spiced Rum and DNA Distillery will all be on hand to sample their expertly crafted spirits. You can also expect wines from Doom Juice and P&V, seltzers from Cantina OK! and Fellr, and cocktails courtesy of The House of Music & Booze in collaboration with Curatif Cocktails.

Music-wise, FBi Radio will be supplying the DJs, so you can expect plenty of local Sydney dance floor-fillers to be represented, plus the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Choir will be singing the house down — and hosting what it's aiming to make the world's biggest sing-along.

You can nab tickets to Welcome Day for $20 or $10 for kids under 12 via Oztix.

Poor Toms Pina Colada Gin

The inaugural Welcome Day is coming to Henson Park, Marrickville on Saturday, June 24. Tickets are one sale now.

Images: Tom Wilkinson.

Published on May 25, 2023 by Ben Hansen
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