As if a day of sunning yourself with a gozleme in hand in Camperdown Memorial Rest Park isn’t reason enough to go, this year’s Newtown Festival is running a week-long program of events in addition to its popular Sunday festival.
From 1 – 9 November, local businesses will celebrate their much-loved neighbourhood with gigs, special events, workshops and limited edition flavours. Half High and Nic Warnock are playing at Repressed Records’ Only Mildly NeighbourUnfriendly Experimental Music Night, Mary’s is conjuring up a secret burger and Earl’s and Midnight Special are making special drinks – among many, many more.
The theme for the community-spirited festivities is “Newtown Republic”, a characteristically irreverent nod to the suburb’s unique and socially-conscious spirit. The festival is the biggest fundraiser for its non-profit organiser, Newtown Neighbourhood Centre.
“Newtown Neighbourhood Centre has been producing the festival for 36 years, with the good will of 150 volunteers and big-hearted locals, sponsors, artists and entertainers willing to chip in their talents and services – all musicians play for free,” said Festival Director Sue Andersen, who’s been involved with the event for 14 years.
“The festival has a strong ethic of sustainability, from encouraging bikes and public transport, using generators that run on biodiesel, to giving out biodegradable cutlery and operating two huge worm farms. It was one of the first urban festivals to ban plastic water bottles.”
Sue says the ethic of the festival gives a good idea of the core values of the Newtown Neighbourhood Centre. All donations from the festival go directly to the centre’s support programs for vulnerable and disadvantaged people in the Inner West.
The centre provides support and promotes social inclusion for people at risk of homelessness, as well as information, referral and legal services, English and computer classes, a shopping service for elderly people and those with disabilities and many more.
The festival day is action packed, as usual. You’ll find almost 300 stalls spruiking sustainable, local and delicious produce, roving performances, garage sales, an all-day edible garden, a Writers’ Tent and the crowd-favourite Festival Dog Show.
Here’s the music line-up:
Deep Sea Arcade – Astronomy Class – Sleepmakeswaves – Donny Benet & The Donny Benet Show Band – Straight Arrows – Tigertown – Richard in Your Mind – Bloods – East – Daily Meds – Day Ravies –– The Fabergettes – The Lulu Raes – The Morrisons – Brave
You’ll find all the info you need at newtowncentre.org/festival.