Village Bizarre – The Rocks 2014

A splash of mystery, a dash of magic, a spray of music and an array of markets – every Friday, Village Bizarre showcases a unique combination of entertainment at The Rocks from 6:30pm between 7 November to 19 December 2014.

Village Bizarre - photo 33

“Catch a glimpse of a colossal white rabbit over rooftops, encounter captivating characters around every corner, satisfy your foodie side and meander through night markets of handmade treasures.”

Village Bizarre - photo 16

I must confess that my true intentions to come to a Village Bizarre is to see one of my best friends from school perform. The pop up Kpop performances were amazing but the highlights were the bizarre performances and behind the window live acts which made the night truly bizarre.

Village Bizarre - photo 20

Walking from Circular Quay station, the first touch of bizarreness was seeing the live dancers  bring window displays to life. The Star Wars Queen lookalike is actually a Hindu Goddess.

Village Bizarre - photo 18

The most popular shopfront performer would be Peter Baecker. His hyptonic movements as the Village Bizarre Clubhouse’s official DJ dancer is contagious!

Village Bizarre - photo 12

Superman made an appearance too.. and with a balaclava.

Village Bizarre - photo 21

We officially started the night at the information booth where the personable clowns got us in the mood for a fun night.

Village Bizarre - photo 2

Walking up the strand, there were the usual foodie markets. Nothing too special and nothing too bizarre.

Village Bizarre - photo 3

To get a feel for what kinds of food were there (if you’re not a regular), Hero Sushi’s famous dumplings…

Village Bizarre - photo 4

Roast Pulled Pork Roll with slaw, apple sauce and gravy was $10 and is was amaaaaaaazing! The combination of sauces was unique and the flavours were top notch.

Village Bizarre - photo 5

Skewers and fresh pasta was also on the agenda with other varieties such as hot dogs and kebabs.

Village Bizarre - photo 6

On the other side, Smoke and Mirrors, Part 2 was on display. There’s a line to have a look but it doesn’t take long as everyone just peers through the curtains. I’m glad I don’t live in a haunted house.. it would scare the daylights out of me.

Village Bizarre - photo 24

Turning right, there was The Argyle Oracle. Take a seat for a psychic reading of your (possible) future using palm and taro card readings. There was a long line for this, but I’m not sure if I’m a believer in foreseeing what’s ahead.

Village Bizarre - photo 25

Every year, I tell myself to sign up for one of the activities at the Parlour Bizarre. It’s a place where you will be transformed into a piece of art!! If you ever arrive early, head here first. Sign up before everyone else to avoid disappointment! People who were there included: Barbarer Supreme – choose between a wet shave, scissor cut or clipper cut and enjoy the experience!

Village Bizarre - photo 31

Glitta Supernova – a 20 minute makeover where you’ll be transformed by a team of talented artists into a living artwork! They’ll put stickers, glitter, flowers, laces, and paint onto your face – think Day of the Dead style.

Village Bizarre - photo 8

Photobooth – KABOOM! Be a fun comic character and take a picture and instagram it #villagebizarre

Village Bizarre - photo 9

Mohs Hair and Beauty – An electrik 1980s-inspired hair makeover . My friend and I signed up for this and daym it looked amazing! My friend had these beautiful braids that curled at the back of her head which was accompanied by some fancy curls – it looked like she was ready to be at a wedding! I got a rough curl in my hair and it was up in a rowdy bun – funky!

Village Bizarre - photo 32

After our treatment, we walked into The Gin Mill Social.

Village Bizarre - photo 10

Duh there was Gin and duh there were live performances!

Village Bizarre - photo 26

The Rocks Brewing Company supplied the onlookers with drinks and it was pretty packed with not enough tables or seats. It was quite entertaining but not really during the 10 minutes we spent there.

Village Bizarre - photo 11

Opposite was the entrance to the UTS exhibition. There is no doubt that this was one of the highlights and almost every person I’ve talked to that has been to the Rocks Village Bizarre has said this was a favourite! The colourful strings strung by the audience on what they thought about Sydney was stunning.

Village Bizarre - photo 27

We did a made our way into  an alley where there were Crossover’s Kpop dancers performing in front of the huge white rabbits from this year’s Vivid.

Village Bizarre - photo 19

We also got really lucky as it was just in time for a Full Fathom Five performance at the Discovery Museum. This was perhaps my favourite performance because it kept the audience moving. We were lead into different rooms by the security guard (who would’ve known he was part of the show too!) and characters from different rooms told a tale.

Village Bizarre - photo 22 Village Bizarre - photo 23

Moving forward, we stumbled upon a fly..bird?  He was lingering around the official hashtag sign.

Village Bizarre - photo 28

Love TV was kinda awkward lol. I mean the setting was fabulous and wonderfully displayed.. I guess it’s just the concept.

Village Bizarre - photo 29

I think one of the main reasons why some people came to the Village Bizarre was because of Etzy. Etzy is an online marketplace for with vintage and hand made products. It’s amazing and if you have spare time, it’s definitely worth more than a scroll. You could even get a photo taken at their photobooth!

Village Bizarre - photo 14 Village Bizarre - photo 13

We also saw a ghost puppet show at around 8pm. It was interesting! I didn’t really get what the whole concept was really about but there were some good laughs.

Village Bizarre - photo 30

I feel like we saw a lot of things- we went to a few shows, looked at the markets, stared at the shopfront performances and had a good laugh, ate some delicious food, and even got our hair done! It was a packed night and we did really well in terms of getting involved. Fun!

Village Bizarre - photo 1

Rating Review: (1-5, with 5 being exceptional)

Event (Village Bizarre): 4.25/5

Ambience: 4/5

Service: 4/5

Value: 4.5/5

Would I recommend going to The Rocks Village Bizarre this year? You may probably need a good game plan so head to the information booth to sort out your night filled with performances! If you’re a person who is up for a few tales, a couple of drinks, likes art and loves interactivity, then this one would be for you!

Highlight: I feel like there weren’t as many people on its first night compared to previous years. However, I felt like we did sooooooooo many more things compared to last year. Maybe it was just perfect timing but I really loved going to the shows and seeing the performances. I actually can’t believe that we were there from around 5:30 til 10pm? Time went by so quickly!

Suggestion of improvement: The amount of pop up performances was amazing and there were always people crowded in those areas – maybe they should have more next year! Also, probably more seats at the food markets because it was a bit awkward not knowing where to sit- everyone else seemed to be standing.

Linkhttp://www.therocks.com/whats-on/the-rocks-village-bizarre.aspx

Official hashtag: #VillageBizarre

Angela Bee

Advertisements

Smooth Festival of Chocolate 2014

Chocolate-lovers paradise became a reality with hundreds of artesian chocolate stalls at the Smooth Festival of Chocolate, held from 10am-5pm on October 4 & 5 at The Rocks.

Chocolate Festival - photo 30

”The smooth Festival of Chocolate is a celebration of sweet, indulgent desserts, where Sydney’s best boutique chocolatiers, pastry chefs and ice cream makers will come together to tempt you with their creations.”

Chocolate Festival - photo 3

What a gorgeous start to the long weekend! With the sun coming out and a huge variety of chocolate, what more could you have asked for the perfect weekend? On Saturday morning I caught the ferry around the harbour and landed in Circular Quay- where all the fun started. Remember: in Heaven, chocolate has no calories and is served as a main course.

Chocolate Festival - photo 1

You could see the line of white tents set up in the grass area and everyone just enjoying the sun. It’s no wonder we came across Gelato Messina first! Their specialty Willie’s Cacao (Venezuelan cacao) and the Milk of Gods (choc fudge and brownie) sound a-mazing!! As expected, the line for it was l-o-n-g.

Chocolate Festival - photo 5

Similarly to the Aroma (coffee) Festival a couple of months back, Voodoo displayed their variety of rocky road. It’s quite cheap- $2.50 each!

Chocolate Festival - photo 6

Parisi, which sells chocolate covered fruit was also at the festival. Very fitting and so tempting.. I love the gourmet look and chocolate with shredded coconut would be my recommendation.

Chocolate Festival - photo 7

The reward to the stall that bought the most culture to our doorsteps was Mayan Xocolat. We were greeted with chilli, cardamom and chocolate covered coffee beans which were an absolute delight! My friend and I waited quite a long time to grab our exotic chilli, cardamom and cinnamon coffee but it was sooo worth it! It was the pre, during and after taste that got us excited!

Chocolate Festival - photo 8

The bunting at Alpine Berry Farm got me excited. Strawberries and chocolate go well but I’m just liking the bunting here #simplybutcrafty

Chocolate Festival - photo 9

The highlight of our experience at the Chocolate Festival was the Gramophones man!!!! He was in his own little world, playing his beats on a portable wheel. Not only did he have the tunes of the decade, but he had the grooves too! #entertainmentathisbest

Chocolate Festival - photo 10

After we did the rounds next to the MCA, we headed up the stairs to George Street. I must admit, I did expect more stalls to be there because there were tons at Aroma, but chocolate is a specialty and there aren’t as many chocolate shops as there are cafes! We walked up to where the food markets are usually and the fun continued!

Chocolate Festival - photo 18

Firstly, cinnamon doughnuts with spicy choc sauce? I do sense a bit of chilli theme going on here after the Mayan coffee I bought but it gets even more interesting…

Chocolate Festival - photo 11

Bavarian Bier Café served ribs rubbed with chocolate!! #wow! The sweet and savoury saga had continued! We weren’t sure about this and I’m (quite) eager to try this at home but this one is for the boys! #manup

Chocolate Festival - photo 12

Heading upstream, we passed this shop with hundreds and thousands!! There was even a freckled chocolate box used as a piñata!

Chocolate Festival - photo 13

The Smooth festival of Chocolate could not be complete with your typical waffles, chocolate frappes and crepes! I must admit, the world of French crepes suddenly appeared all at once!

Chocolate Festival - photo 14

Chocolate Festival - photo 26

I don’t think I ate one thing that was savoury for the whole day. There were too many desserts and too many tempting goods. They all looked super gourmet and super pretty.

Chocolate Festival - photo 16

Chocolate Festival - photo 24

The ladies at Mrs Fields was having some fun!! Love it!!! Go for some chocolate cookies with chocolate drizzled on top.. mmmm

Chocolate Festival - photo 17

Mr and Mrs Chocolate made an appearance as well! How about a dress with Ferrero Roches attached?

Chocolate Festival - photo 19

These honey queen puffs look amazing! Topped with cinnamon, they’re looking crunchy and tasty!

Chocolate Festival - photo 21

I love all things funky. The Chocolate Pot sold ‘reeaal dirty hot choc drinking soil’ – not bad when it comes to growing more cocoa beans?

Chocolate Festival - photo 22

Serendipity had their own DIY ice cream. I would prefer this to the Magnum store because they had more varieties of ice cream and toppings for $6. (Still pricey but a Magnum is $8).

Chocolate Festival - photo 23

The most interesting stall was Knafeh, Jerusalem street food. Basically you could see the whole production process from their giant van. FYI, Knafeh is cheese pastry soaked in sweet sugar-based syrup, topped with crushed pistachios.

Chocolate Festival - photo 28

LoveDemApples is smart enough to provide us with a healthy alternative. Remmber: An apple (covered with chocolate) a day keeps the doctor away!

Chocolate Festival - photo 29

I kind of expected more music to be at the festival but there were onto three stages. There wasn’t much happening at one of them and the one below was probably the most chilled. I love the seating with the haystacks.

Chocolate Festival - photo 32

I was told that one of the places I must go to was at the Tafe. ChocolArts makes fresh chocolate and there’s a demonstration of how they make the chocolate. There’s an art to making chocolate, but there’s an even more refined art when it comes to designing with chocolate. Have a look at the designs below.

Chocolate Festival - photo 33 Chocolate Festival - photo 34 Chocolate Festival - photo 35

Conclusion: a balanced diet is chocolate in both hands

Chocolate Festival - photo 2

P.S. Obligatory Circular Quay photo #tourist #ArtamdAbout

Chocolate Festival - photo 4

Rating Review: (1-5, with 5 being exceptional)

Event (Smooth festival of Chocolate): 4/5

Ambience: 4/5

Service: 3.5/5

Value: 4/5

Would I recommend going to the Smooth Festival of Chocolate? Love chocolate? Need a break from work? Take some time off and grab head to the festival! There’s a bit of food porn here but if it will get you through the day, then I don’t see an excuse not to come!

Highlight: All the chocolate! What I loved about this festival was that it was just the same old chocolate you would get from our  usual supermarkets. The people there were small businesses, each with unique takes of chocolate. Where else could you get chilli, cardamom and cinnamon coffee beans? How about the ginger, coconut and chocolate blocks?

Suggestion of improvement: We absolutely loved all the chocolate stalls and it was a bit random having the occasional savoury eateries? I guess it’ll be a good balance if there is (and could we ever have) too much chocolate but what I’m saying is that it doesn’t really make too much sense if a jazz singer sings at a rock n roll concert. I must say, the Gramophone man was the best!

Link: http://www.smoothfestivalofchocolate.com.au/

Angela Bee

The secret sauce to creating a killer event – Vivid Ideas, Sydney

Event planners out there, listen with your eyes because a Vivid Ideas on Friday 6th June brought together Yvonne Lee from Wildwon, Kelly Burge from Eventbrite, and others with fantastic insight on how to make that event experience a success at the Museum of Contemporary Art.

Vivid Ideas - photo 13

“Vivid Ideas is the Asia Pacific’s annual celebration of innovation, creativity and community, building audiences and markets for the creative industries, and offering professional development opportunities across the sector.”

Vivid Ideas - photo 1

“A half day event where event experts share their secrets to creating a truly amazing event from beginning to end, and beyond.”

Vivid Ideas - photo 2

It was kinda funny having security guards push the button for you for the elevator…anyways! I was a tad late but had enough time to grab a quick coffee and a muffin.

Vivid Ideas - photo 10

First up was Yvonne Lee and she spoke how events were an experience. It’s adapted from the UX, or user experience, approach. To be honest, I didn’t know how much I knew about this and if you did IT, you would ace event planning!

Vivid Ideas - photo 6

Here were her 5 secret herbs and spices for a successful event:
1. People will always remember how you feel – energy and atmosphere is key
2. Stretching the event horizon – your event starts from the time someone hears about it so content is key
3. Find your A team – partner power
4. Walk a mile in their shoes- Unpack personas, write a storyboard and map journeys
5. Follow your North Star designs – empower everyone with a culture of excellence

Vivid Ideas - photo 4

I loved how she really emphasised on the experience of every person, including the volunteers, sponsors, speakers and attendees. Understanding the person and making sure that the experience is made will benefit both short and long term. Help, not hinder.

Vivid Ideas - photo 5

Secondly, Kelly Burge from Eventbrite spoke about the tools and benefits of using the website to make your event go viral.

Vivid Ideas - photo 3

Some included:
– the website itself
– event listing partnerships with Eventful
– social, you can see which friends are going to an event
– search, SEO could come up higher than the host! Oops!
– mobile, on the app
– notifications

Vivid Ideas - photo 7

Did you know that for every share on social, there is an average of 8.7 visits, which equals $4.80 revenue. The one thing I got out of this session was that knowledge is power. Tracking traffic shows buyer behaviour and can make it easier for sponsorships and grants

Vivid Ideas - photo 9

Finally, panellists including Tiffany from General Assembly, Julia from Sydney Festival, and Yvonne were answering pre-determined questions from Kelly on community building.

Vivid Ideas - photo 12

Important points were:
> community building is constant, an ongoing community and engagement tool.
> emails should be sent with intention to help! not hype.
> Instagram is great for photos and videos and not one is the same. Everyone has a different perspective
> Twitter could be used as a customer service system, informative
> Facebook is a social sharing network

Vivid Ideas - photo 11

In summary from the panel:
Tiffany– bring data to the conversation so use it to influence choices
Julia- make it easy to bring new people in
Yvonne- events are an ecosystem so do things with meaning and purpose

At the end of the event, we all received an Eventbrite cupcake as part of our memorable ‘experience’ and indeed it was! Thanks Vivid Ideas for organising this lovely event for those in the events industry.

Vivid Ideas - photo 8

Review Rating: =D =) =| =(

Product (Vivid Ideas): =D

Ambience: =)

Service: =)

Value: =D

Would I recommend going to Vivid Ideas to a friend? If you are in event planning then this would’ve been a perfect workshop- even if you plan for club events at uni! There are tons of other events targeted at different people from a range of industries so get on it!

Highlight: definitely hearing the talks. It’s great having people whit so much experience from organising Progress 2013 alongside one of Obama’s campaigns, to a Roll On Long Lunch which I volunteered at earlier this year…it was a great chance to even ask questions!

Suggestion of improvement: the event went from 9am to 12 noon and I think we really needed some break times in between to network with those around us. The end was great too!

Ends: June 9, 2014
Link: Eventbrite, Vivid Ideas

Angela Bee