Chinese New Year Markets | Belmore Park

Festival G
irl Rates: 8.5/10

So after work on Friday, I decided to head down to the Chinese New Year Markets celebrations to check it out. Since I wasn’t really expecting to come down, so you will have to excuse my not so great quality pics from my good ol’ Samsung phone.

I really love Chinese New Year celebrations – there is something so wonderful about it that brings people of every nation together. Maybe its the delicious Peking Pork, the Satay sticks or the mango and sticky rice? Or perhaps the colourful entertainment that stems back to thousand year of traditions including the lion dancing. There is something for everyone.

There was plenty of great food and entertainment including lion dancing, SBS Pop Asia, Korean Rock, cooking demonstrations, karaoke competition, arts & crafts and even an outdoor film of Bruce Lee! The only bad thing was the queues just to get food. I think Cartman from South Park said it best –  “the lines, lines, LINES!” The lines for food are insane! My tip: Bring a few friends and spilt up your food buying duties. Hopefully, by the time you each get your food, you can eat all together, or best yet, eat in the line while you wait for more food.

Also, there was cooking demonstrations from MasterChef contestants Adam Liaw and Alvin Quah (how excitement) where they show you how to make mouth-watering specialties to celebrate Chinese New Year.

If your still keen on getting down there tonight, celebrations will still be on for the next few hours – so lap it up!

AYAM were giving away free fortune cookies. The fortune inside was unfortunately a promotional message from AYAM.

Look, the dumpling man!

Rainbow name writing. So talented. You know how they do it? They get a normal paint brush and then decorate a small palette with paint in a rainbow pattern and then using their artistic talents, they make beautiful rainbow names.

Dragon fly men on stilts

So this is the part where you can light incense, say your prayer and wish for something prosperous. Just beautiful.

Part of the Dragon dancing crew

Ah!!! Talk about being star struck. It’s Adam Liaw. I love his knob-let bun – we could share scunci hair bands

Ah!!!! Alvin Quah from Cinnamon Pig


DATE: Friday, 20th to Sunday, 22nd January 2012
TIME: Friday, 4pm to 11pm; Saturday & Sunday, 11am to 10pm
VENUE: Belmore Park, Hay Street, Haymarket. Haymarket is located at the southern end of the Sydney CBD.
GETTING THERE: The best way to get there is via train and alight at Central station. Belmore Park is located across Eddy Avenue from Central station.

xox Love, Festival Girl

Sydney Festival 2012 | Parramatta Review

Festival Girl Rates: 6/10

Last Saturday, I decided to visit Sydney Festival Parramatta and was met with a very wet welcome. Let’s start with the good – wide open spaces, a gorgeous park, a buzzing restaurant/bar scene along Church Street, impromptu jazz bands, retro table tennis, garden bar, live performances, ICE chill-out pad, mesmerising wire aerial theatre and of course, the opulent Idolize Spiegeltent in Prince Alfred Park.

The Bad – I overheard a number of unhappy campers complaining that a number of the shows were cancelled due to the bad weather. But, because of this, I wasn’t able to get the full experience, hence the score. Understandably, this is not really the event organisers fault and nothing much could be done unfortunately.  All they could do was wait for the weather to clear up and re-set up. It wasn’t all torrential rains though, much of the evening was in fact, a perfect summer evening. We event went to a late dinner at Zeytin and sat outside comfortably. Although the evening would have been MUCH easier if I wore some gumboots.

Rain, rain go away, SERIOUSLY don’t come back another day!


Ah, the beautiful Sydney sky starting to clear up!It’s Twilight timeOh so pretty

Bump bump bump bump…

Love this little guy playing hide and go seek

So mischievous

The Cope Street Parade trad-gypsy band…

… delighted passers by with their jazz and swing influenced tunes

Zombies are roaming the streets. Oh wait, its just Sydney Festival goers. Phew!

Talented street performers

…Meanwhile, back at Prince Alfred Park…

Reminds me of a day at the races

Welcome to the Idolize Spiegeltent! Hosts Cath Carmody and George LeCouteur welcome guests into the house of baroque. The suspense of what was going on inside was just intoxicating.

…So what lies inside the Idolize Spiegeltent?

A beautiful…


…burlesque inspired…


Game of Pong anyone?

Look despite the rain, I had an amazing time.I urge you to visit another part of Sydney that really has so much to offer?

Don’t miss it!

See it before its over.

Sydney Festival Parramatta, running January 13-22, 2012

xox Love,

Festival Girl

Sydney Festival 2012 | January 7 – 29

Sydney Festival is on! The city of Sydney is all a buzz this January as Sydney Festival hits our Suburban Streets…and the best part is, events are happening ALL ACROSS Sydney.

So what exactly is Sydney Festival all about? For three weeks each January, Sydney Festival turns Sydney into a cultural celebration based on the highest quality art and big ideas. With around 80 events involving approximately 1,000 artists from Australia and internationally who are experts in dance, theatre, music, visual arts and cross media. So is it free? Well both yes and no, there are a number of free events, but as many are dedicated shows, some events have an admission fee.

With so much going on, where do we start? Well a couple of key events that are happening include: Festival First Night (past), Keystone Festival Bar, Honda Festival Garden, Black Capital and Parramatta. Still overwhelmed? See the full calender here.

Keystone Festival Bar

There are 14 nights of music, with an eclectic line-up of live bands and DJs. Featuring electro-soul, Latin, house, hip-hop, indie rock, sultry chanteuses and tribal beats.

Events include:

So Frenchy So Chic: Asa & Fefe

Future Classic: DJ Koze & Prins Thomas

Sons and Daughters, Songs & The Laurels

Details // Keystone Festival Bar
Hyde Park Barracks Museum
Cnr Macquarie Street and Prince Albert Road, Sydney
January 8-9, 11-14, 18-21, 25-28
Doors open at 8pm (7:45pm on January 9, 11, 12 & 21)
Free entry after 11.30pm (subject to capacity)
Keystone Festival Bar is an over 18s venue only.

Honda Festival Garden

Honda Festival Garden in Hyde Park is a Sydney summer highlight, a welcoming oasis for a drink after work and the perfect setting to enjoy a balmy night filled with theatrical and musical delights. From dusk an eclectic line-up of music from Iceland to Jamaica and beyond heralds in the scintillating new Spiegeltent house show, Little Match Girl, starring the sizzling Meow Meow.

Events include:

Amiina (Spiegeltent)

Bright Club No.1, 2 & 3

Meow Meow’s Little Match Girl

Details // Honda Festival Garden
Hyde Park North, cnr College & Park Streets, Sydney
January 8-29
Closed January 9, 16, 23
Honda Festival Garden and The Famous Spiegeltent are wheelchair accessible

Black Capital

It’s great to see this kind of action happening in Redfern! Presented by Sydney Festival and Carriageworks, Redfern is a place of many stories, of inspirational leaders, fiery rhetoric and activism. Known to locals as the ‘Black Capital of Australia’, Redfern is home to artists, leaders and citizens who vigorously offer Sydneysiders an alternative history and, potentially, our alternative future. Black Capital will house a series of performances, seminars and exhibitions reflecting the diversity of contemporary Aboriginal practice.

Details / Black Capital

245 Wilson Street, Eveleigh
Main entrance: cnr Codrington and Wilson Streets
January 8-29

Events include:

Walk a Mile in My Shoes

I Am Eora

Black Capital Family and Culture Day


For ten days in Parramatta, January 13-22, you can enjoy a full Sydney Festival program of event. There’s also a massive program of free events, with our Parra Opening Party taking over the streets on January 14, a concert under the stars with Dan Sultan, Busby Marou and special guest Kasey Chambers at the Old King’s School site on January 21, as well as activities popping up all over the CBD.

Watch out for art installations literally growing out of empty shop spaces plus the chance to get involved in workshops and art-making with local artists including Parramatta Artist Studios. And check out what’s on at Switch Digital Arts Centre, powered by Information and Cultural Exchange (ICE).

See the Parramatta Brochure for more info.

Events include:

Tubular Bells for Two

 Sydney Festival Details:

When: 7 – 29 January

Where: All across Sydney

How to get there? The best way to get around is public transport

Download the App | See the Festival brochure | See the Festival Calendar

Images courtesy of Sydney Festival


I hope to see you there

xox Festival Girl