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Surry Hills Festival reveals extensive ‘Spring Into Surry Hills’ Creative Arts Program

August 20, 2018 3:51 pmby
Photo: Projection Arts by Esem Projects


Pop Up events performances and installations in the heart of Surry Hills


From huge glowing triffids to stunning large scale projection arts and pop up garden performances, Surry Hills Festival is back on 22 September with a unique arts program ready to transform Sydney’s culturally vibrant suburb. Building up to the Festival, celebrations kick off with the Spring into Surry Hills arts program running from 13 to 22 September. It’s bold and fun, celebrating the founding of Surry Hills Neighbourhood centre (SHNC) in the era of Flower Power (late 1960s/70s), the Centre’s role in nurturing community, and the design and creative enterprises for which Surry Hills is famous.

The inaugural Microflix Festival brings 30 short animation works inspired by microfiction. Catch these superb shorts airing next to the Shakey from the 13-23 September (5.30pm to 10pm), with an awards night on 14 September at the historic St Peters 1880 Hall to celebrate the best of the best.

Surry Hills and Valleys, by accomplished creatives including Tim Ritchie, James O’Brien, Astra Howard and Karina Kreminski, invokes the power of common humanity – with giant portraits and personal stories lining Marlborough Street. This unique work opens with a free community celebration on 15 September.

Following the enormous success of Kitten Wall 2017, artist Tim Andrew returns with Meet Your Mayors, inviting audiences to engage with portraits of colourful personalities- in fact, all 30 Mayors of Greater Sydney.

Join award winning performer Vashti Hughes for Kate Leigh’s Knees Up – hilarious reenactments of notorious local criminal Kate Leigh and her cronies – guided performances to historic sites and venues, including Kate Leigh’s original home.

Fall in love with Sydney all over again this spring with incredible works from street artist Nico and local textile design powerhouse, Longina Phillips Designs. Whilst Longina Phillips Designs has supported the cause through creating art for bold and uplifting installations around the local spots, Nico has taken the artwork as inspiration to transform  beautiful centrally located building and creative space into a statement of Flower Power. Meet Nico the artist and watch the building transform from beginning to end.

Everyone is invited to join in creating the emPOWER FLOWER Project, bringing out the inner creativity of young and old into one huge interactive art spot. Surry Hills Neighbourhood Centre is grateful to ALTRAC Light Rail for supporting this community art project.

Keep your eyes peeled for the Devonshire Divas or Mind Melting Maypole, a psychedelic rendition of the Wicker Man-esque ance, two of many special performances across pop up gardens and sites through Spring into Surry Hills and on the Festival Day.

And to top it off, Surry Hills legends Yulli’s have crafted a FLOWER POWER ale, nice and dry, with a light hop profile complemented by Chamomile tea aromas – perfect for Springtime and available at local bars, venues and tours, 13-22 September.

Along with live music, creative arts is the binding glue of Surry Hills Festival. The curated program is a community service in itself providing a connection point for local residents and visitors to tap into as they contribute to the high quality works, engendering community happiness and wellbeing. It’s a portal to celebrate all there is to love about this unique inner city neighbourhood.

Meet the locals, sample the ale and explore the heritage, art and architecture, wonderful eateries and creative enterprises of Devonshire Street and surrounds with a series of especially curated tours with Surry Hills Creative Precinct. There are 5 tours leading up to the Festival, plus two tours across Festival highlights on Festival day. Visit HERE for bookings.

Themed tours include:

  1. Art/Architecture Creative Trail – Saturday 25 August
  2. Craft Beer Creative Trail Saturday – 15 September
  3. Art/Architecture Creative Trail – Saturday 15 September
  4. St Peters Church Choir & local history – Sunday 16 September
  5. Surry Hills Spring Tasting Trail Thursday – 20 September
  6. Festival Highlights, Art & Heritage – 22 September

On Saturday 22 September, the much loved Surry Hills Festival will culminate in one fabulous celebration of Surry Hills. The arts program joins the recently announced music line up featuring some of the Sydney’s most talented artists including Joyride, DOBBY, Rackett, Crocodylus, Pirra, Iluka, Jackie Brown Jr. and King Tide on the Ward Park and Shannon Reserve stages – listen to the offical festival playlist HERE. The popular AIM Pop Up Stage returns to Tudor Reserve and the Clock Hotel will play host to the official Surry Hills Festival after party with great local DJs.

Surry Hills Festival – Saturday 22 September 2018, a FREE family-friendly day, packed with the trademark live music line-up, plus free tours, pop up spaces, nooks and crannies bursting with performance, local narratives, food and art – an engaging showcase of what makes Surry Hills the heart of Sydney’s innovative creative district. Join the thousands of expected Sydneysiders for the unofficial welcoming of spring.

To download the full Surry Hills Festival and Spring into Surry Hills arts program, visit:

All funds raised go to community programs presented by Surry Hills Neighbourhood Centre.


SAT 22 SEPTEMBER 2018, 10AM-10PM