Festival Village is a mix of free and ticketed events at Hyde Park and the ultimate playground of the annual Sydney Festival from January 8-25 (except Mondays).
It is “an oasis of arts, eats, beats and other treats, it’s the perfect pre-show or post-show hang-out.”
The main entrance is at the Archibald Fountain, so don’t think you could cut through its middle because you’ll walking back..
To the left, they’ll be an information booth/lounge. There’s literally a sofa to sit and read through the numerous activities taking place around Sydney.
Make sure you purchase your tickets from the box office to watch some incredible performances at the Aurora
The Famous Spiegeltent
Since I’ve come during the day, the umbrellas and sun chairs are the perfect way to relax under the sun.
Program is available on the website.
The Lawn Library is back once again with books available for loan- just make sure you return them. Workshops are run throughout the day..
and there’s a play area for the kids and their parents.
The novelty of the festival, in my opinion, is the Porteno and Messina collaboration. Check out their menus and other food stalls there:
Bite Size Delights
Jaffles and a Milk Bar
Ok, I actually love the Jafael Nadal jaffle. tennis x jaffle.
We decided to try Messina’s desserts and the most popular one which everyone seemed to be getting from the lemon meringue pie! The meringue tasted exactly like a pavlova and the lemon custard gelato with lemon curd was amazing!!! Definitely a treat 🙂
We came back for seconds for the Not Chicken and Waffles and oh my geeed- best naughty dessert ever!! The maple and pecan gelato was deep fried with a sweet batter in a shape of a chicken piece.
Even when we cut it into pieces, the gelato looked like a chicken’s flesh!!! It was pretty insane and the waffle with caramel tasted a bit like Max Brennar’s. I would eat it again without a doubt!
My absolute favourite pick of the festival was the Royale Burger. The milk pattie was solid filled with crunchy balls, the white chocolate ‘cheese’ had a smooth texture with a crunchy bite to it, and the tangy raspberry ‘tomato’ sauce added the right level of acidity to the burger. Oh, and did I mention the brioche bun was to die for?
All this was enjoyed with the lovely background music from the bandstand.
It’s lovely seeing so many people here.
Walking to the opposite end of the village, there was an area for Italian food, the CheeseSmith- omg check out the menu- it is literally like a #cheeseheaven
The bars are on this end of the park too.
Kirin has taken advantage of the night atmosphere.
What a brilliant way to chill with some tunes off the back of a truck.
What I’ve noticed about this year’s festival is that it’s pretty small. Do you remember last year’s post on the Sacrilege or Stone Henge? That was a brilliant hit and this year, there’s a something.. looks like a giant staircase.
Overall I think it’s a great place to chill during the day but is reasonably smaller and less vibrant compared to the years before. Well at least there was no line at Messina, for once!
Rating Review: (1-5, with 5 being exceptional)
Event (Festival Village Sydney Festival): 3/5
Would I recommend going the Festival Village Sydney Festival? If you’re keen on just being surrounded by people, having a drink or two at the park then this would be the place to go. As I mentioned, it is quite small compared to previous years and the range of food and entertainment is low, but then again, there’s Porteno and Messina!
Highlight: During the day, it’s a perfect place to hang around as there are plenty of chairs for everyone. I went during the day on a Saturday and there were heaps of tables and enough space to buy some food and relax. I would much rather enjoy the outdoors than to sit in an enclosed restaurant with air con anytime!
Suggestion of Improvement: Having the food trucks would be a good hit here and perhaps more interactive ways for people to socialise too. The area itself cold be expanded into a larger area with more room. Why not do a ‘borrow the picnic rug’ option and enjoy the sun setting at 8pm every summer evening?
Official hashtag: #SydFest