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Events & Activations: Issue #3 August 2019

Welcome to the latest edition of the Events and Activations: Place Management NSW (PMNSW) newsletter. Here we share news about what has been happening recently in The Rocks and Darling Harbour, as well as some things to expect in the coming months. 

Bastille Festival

Bigger and better than ever before, this year’s four-day Bastille Festival French extravaganza brought a record number of visitors to The Rocks. 

Celebrating France’s national day over a four-day festival on Sydney’s foreshore, the Bastille Festival has grown every year and in 2019 encompassed its biggest footprint to date. With a new island village, complete with a sandy beach on Circular Quay’s palm-laden foreshore, as well as new and improved villages around the shore, it was a huge success and lived up to the pitch that it’s a celebration of French food, wine, music and art. With the support of PMNSW, the Bastille Festival event team devised these ambitious initiatives and both teams worked tirelessly to break down the barriers and work through them to ensure its success.  

Arguably, the jewel in the crown was the Christmas in July Village, which was first trialed in 2018 as a small addition to the festival. Building on its humble beginnings, in 2019 the Village more than doubled in size and scale with more treats on offer and experiences to delight, including falling snow, a miniature ice rink experience, an outdoor Alpine Bar and the traditional European chalet stalls. With crowds of more than 250,000 wandering through over the four-day weekend, this festival highlights that The Rocks is a perfect venue for this kind of laneway food and wine event. 



Vivid Sydney 2019

Darling Harbour was lit in new and memorable ways for this year’s Vivid Sydney, including amazing glow-in-the-dark desserts by Darling Square’s gourmet artisans. 

Working alongside Destination NSW again for the 11th year of Vivid Sydney, PMNSW helped to deliver another outstanding festival of light in both Darling Harbour and The Rocks. With laneways of captivating light installations, late night markets and activities to entertain, The Rocks and Circular Quay came alive, each attracting around 5-7% more visitors respectively than in 2018. 

PMNSW worked with Darling Square to preview its imminent launch through the Vivid partnership. Darling Square created the Blacklight: Dessert Lab installation, which was free to enter and featured sensory delights from Darling Square’s upcoming new retailers like Messina and Bubble Nini who created glow-in-the-dark desserts especially for the occasion. 



Event Industry Leaders at the 2019 Event Summit

Innovative speakers came together at ES19 to reveal exciting possibilities for brand activations and events in The Rocks and beyond. 

More than 40 delegates of this year’s Event Summit joined PMNSW for a tour of The Rocks, on which they learned more about the historic precinct and discovered the activation spaces available for hire. Many uncovered the possibilities for activating unique spaces that helped inform their own precincts while others were inspired with ideas for future brand activations and events in The Rocks. 

Alongside key event partners, PMNSW Event Managers Karla Coggan and Adam Shumack led a panel discussion about activations in a food and beverage precinct like The Rocks addressing a room full of key decision makers of the event industry. Providing insights into creatively activating in an expansive built environment as well as integrating with retailers, Vincent Hernandez from BBR Agency spoke about Bastille Festival. Highlighting the opportunities provided by the undiscovered and unique spaces in The Rocks, and how artistic and cultural organisations can tap into them, Kerri Glasscock spoke about the partnership with Sydney Fringe Festival to create The Rocks Hub. For more details or to arrange a site visit contact PMNSW’s Sponsorship team.



Tacos and Tequila

The inaugural event in honour of Mexico’s Cinco de Mayo brought a colourful Latin feast for all senses to The Rocks. 

Over the weekend of Cinco de Mayo, the annual Mexican celebration held on 5 May, Dawes Point Park in The Rocks was host to the inaugural Tacos and Tequila event. The festival showcased some of Sydney’s most authentic Mexican restaurants including Rosa Cienfuegos serving up tacos and tamales, SoCal and Bad Hombres dishing up classic Mexican delights, Panama House providing a Central American flavour while Gelato Messina created a Mexican inspired dessert – all while Margaritas and Palomas flowed from the bar. Live street art installations, taco eating competitions, tequila masterclasses, Latin American bands and Lucha Libra wrestling ensured the festival was a feast for all senses. Almost 8,000 people enjoyed the free event which appealed to all ages and added to the weekend activities in The Rocks.



Elysium Arctic at the MuSEAum

A new outdoor exhibition by the Australian National Maritime Museum (ANMM) highlighted how creative installations can impart powerful brand messages. In this case, the need to act on climate change. 

ANMM has launched its latest exhibition in the outdoors on the doorstep of Darling Harbour. It is an example of how installations in the public domain can have a positive impact and provide compelling content for visitors to enjoy in a space like Darling Harbour. The photography exhibition Elysium Arctic is the work of Michael Aw, an internationally acclaimed wildlife photographer, explorer and conservationist who seeks to use his art to inspire people to act against climate change. Free, engaging, creative installations are a great way to create brand impact in Darling Harbour. 



The Rocks Hub Launches Sydney Fringe Festival Program

The Rocks Hub will be the place to be for Sydney Fringe Festival this September with its thought-provoking program of art, ideas and unique brand activations. 

The Rocks is the newest hub of entertainment as part of the Sydney Fringe Festival this September. Launching its Festival Program on 31 July, Sydney Fringe Festival held a party at one of The Rocks beautiful warehouse spaces, Bay 43, which will also be one of the performance venues for the festival.

The Rocks Hub will be the place to come and be immersed in culture and the arts. A place to walk the pedestrianised laneways and enjoy surprise performances at every corner, it will literally be a cultural hub with free performances and workshops as well as ticketed shows that will illuminate some of the beautiful historic buildings. 

Demonstrating how events and brands can create ways for consumers to be immersed in activations while wandering the laneways, the festival will also showcase how brands can build engagement in the outdoors, The Rocks’ unique indoor spaces and the potential for integration with restaurants and bars.



Build Your Brand in The Rocks and Darling Harbour 
Discover how Darling Harbour and The Rocks are the perfect locations for engaging and effective brand activations. 

With picture-perfect iconic locations, wide open spaces, and proximity to the CBD and public transport links, The Rocks and Darling Harbour provide excellent opportunities for creative brand activations and promotions that will engage consumers and amplify your brand as these recent brand activations have demonstrated.



Avo-Condo on the Harbour

An avocado-themed condo came to The Rocks in celebration of National Avocado Day and as an original way to inspire travel bookings. celebrated National Avocado Day on 31 July with the world-first  Avo-Condo, a custom-built, self-contained avocado-themed condo at Campbell’s Cove in The Rocks. Designed to offer savvy travelers the opportunity to book via one of two available nights to stay in the unique venue with views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House, where guests also enjoyed a custom hamper of avocado-themed treats during their stay. Capitalising on the popularity of the beloved green fruit, chose this location for its money-can’t-buy view and experience. It enabled them to showcase the wide range of homes, apartments and other unique places to stay available on the site. 



Beast of a Problem 

Hewlett Packard chose The Rocks and Darling Harbour as ideal locations to install its HP Beast – a sculpture made entirely of plastic waste to educate and inform. 

Standing four metres tall and weighing 200kg, the HP Beast was seen by more than 17,000 people when it was installed at both Circular Quay and outside of the Australian National Maritime Museum over a couple of weeks. Made from more than 2,400 recycled plastic bottles, it was created to showcase the problem of plastic waste and highlight the closed-loop recycling process that Hewlett Packard implements to create ink and toner cartridges from recycled plastics. Brand Ambassadors accompanied the HP Beast to educate visitors about plastic waste and how HP are working with Planet Ark to reduce their footprint while also offering entry to a competition to win a stay at an eco-resort. The Beast himself was broken down after the installation to be used in the closed-loop process.   

For information about how to activate your brand in The Rocks or Darling Harbour contact Paquita Wiesner, Partnerships & Venues Manager.

Subscribe now and stay up to date with the latest news about events and activations in The Rocks and Darling Harbour, as well as promotional, venue hire and sponsorship opportunities.