We checked out BEAMS Arts Festival on Saturday night in Chippendale. This year's event had expanded from the cramped laneways and alleyways of 'old' Chippendale to include the park behind Central Park. And then stretching to the all new precinct of Kensington Street situated east of the Central Park building.
We really enjoyed wandering around discovering the various light installations, performance art and live music components of the event. The crowd was a real mix of inner city types: hipster students, little families and older arty types. People really got into the spirit of the event: making, playing, dancing and viewing the art & multi-media on display. Full use was made of the many concrete walls for overhead projections, giant balloon sculptures and temporary art work displays.
Local food & beverage providers enthusiastically manned their stalls with everything from pork ribs to gelato available at reasonable prices. The food truck community also joined in with our firm favourite Veggie Patch Van serving-up their famous Haloumi Burger* and sweet potato chips. There were two long tables set-up - one in each precinct - for punters to sit down and eat as a community. Dressed with greenery down and hot coals down the centre this placement felt like a decadent edition to the urban landscape.
We exited via the new Kensington Street precinct which was alive with flame poi dancers, singers and pop-up sweet stalls. The old cottages lining one side provide a good contrast to the modern structure of Central Park. The cottages have been fully restored and have various homeware and design tenants as tenants. A key newly-refurbished hospitality venue sits at the Broadway end of the laneway: The Old Clare Hotel houses three restaurants Automata, Silver Eye and Kensington St Socialall headed by young-guns with impeccable credentials who are looking to make their mark on Sydney's dining scene. The front bar looks rather fun too - a very Mad Men meets old Sydney pub vibe.
So make the time to check out the newness next time your over this way. Another great addition to the inner city villages of Sydney.
*When eating this gentle giant be sure to allow for leaking fresh beetroot juice. Unlike the author who ended-up wearing a temporary birthmark on her face for the rest of the evening totally unawares!