Events & Activations News February 2020

Find out about the recent exciting events and activations in The Rocks and Darling Harbour
Happy 2020! Welcome to the latest edition of the Events and Activations: Place Management NSW (PMNSW) newsletter, where we bring you all the news about what’s been happening in The Rocks and Darling Harbour. Read on to find out about our recent highlights and get some inspiration for your own events and activations.


Festive Fun Filled The Rocks and Darling Harbour

Once again, The Rocks and Darling Harbour were brimming with the magic of the holiday season with a range of engaging festive installations attracting high levels of visitation in both precincts. 

With so many great venues to wine and dine at, from harbourside Christmas cocktails in Darling Harbour to fully-catered events in heritage-listed spaces in The Rocks, it’s no surprise that so many companies and brands choose our precincts as the place to hold their festive celebrations. And they are also the places to be for fun, free Christmas activities for all to enjoy.

Darling Harbour was a one-stop destination for holiday fun with festivities including Christmas-themed installations, markets, workshops, live and roving entertainment, and food experiences for all to enjoy. The waterside precinct was transformed into a Christmas wonderland, making it Sydney’s go-to destination for memorable experiences. Visitors made the most of many Instagrammable moments, including the iconic six-metre tall Giant Bauble, the six oversized Christmas presents in the forecourt of the Chinese Garden, and the Ugly Christmas Jumper Photobooth, which proved a huge hit for social media snaps and shares. 

Sydneysiders and tourists alike flocked to The Rocks to shop for their festive gourmet goodies and gifts at the precinct’s boutique stores and The Rocks Christmas Markets. As always, the precinct proved a popular spot to raise a toast to the year that was, with many choosing The Rocks’ historic pubs and rooftop bars as their preferred venue for holiday celebrations. One particularly popular place for a tipple was The Rocks’ Christmas-themed pop-up bar on Atherden Street, which gave Sydneysiders plenty of reasons to toast the silly season. A month-long menu of French-inspired drinks and nibbles included Soupe de Champagne, a premium French champagne cocktail with Cointreau, lime, sugar, and champagne, alongside premium French wines, which were enjoyed alongside freshly shucked rock oysters.

To get your brand amongst the Christmas action in Darling Harbour and The Rocks in 2020, contact the Sponsorship team to start a conversation. Contact the Venue Hire team for more information about great options for where you can host your next event, celebration or activation. 


Darling Harbour Lights Up for Sydney Festival

Darling Harbour’s Tumbalong Park was once again a key venue for the 2020 Sydney Festival this January, with the star of the show being Dodecalis Luminarium – an immense, radiantly lit, inflated labyrinth of winding paths and soaring domes. The creation of designers Alan and Meko Parkinson, the installation played on the geometry of a dodecahedron, with three jaw-dropping Dodecadomes joined by a web of tunnels, awash in intense, neon-bright natural light. 

Visitors were able to wander through the otherworldly interior of the Dodecalis Luminarium, while being bathed in radiant daylight colours shining through its translucent fabric. Needless to say, the artwork was a festival highlight and one of the festival’s most Instagrammable installations. 

“Darling Harbour is the beating heart of the city,” enthused Wesley Enoch, Artistic Director, Sydney Festival. “It pumps with people from all walks of life looking to enjoy the free and hospitality offerings. We enjoyed a huge audience of adventurers, visitors and families who came specifically to explore the Sydney Festival program at Darling Harbour and then stayed to partake in the welcoming and relaxing atmosphere. I am personally excited by the architectural and design rebirth of Darling Harbour and how well it is working in concert with George Street, Haymarket and the transport infrastructure. Well done to everyone.”


Darling Harbour and The Rocks Celebrate Australia Day 

Darling Harbour and The Rocks are two of Sydney’s biggest destinations for Australia Day celebrations. With their amazing harbourside locations, spacious outdoor public spaces, and sheer variety of venues at which to grab a bite or drink, they offer something for everyone to make the most of the day. 

Harbourside Amphitheatre in Darling Harbour featured a vibrant program celebrating artists and makers from refugee and migrant backgrounds on the SSI New Beginnings Stage as well as broadcasting the Australia Day Live Concert. There was plenty of fun for the whole family, from ‘True Blue’ Aussie bush games to workshops and games by CircusWorks. The day culminated in a highlight water show on Cockle Bay that featured water skiing, jet skis, hoverboards and performers in LED suits with incredible pyrotechnics.

The Rocks celebrated with a giant street party – a carnival that saw the streets and laneways come alive with live music, giant games and roving street performers. There was also a wide range of delicious gourmet street cuisines on offer, as well as our beloved market stalls selling locally designed fashion, jewellery, and original art. 

Lipton made the most of a hot summery Australia Day, and the perfect outdoor setting of the Cockle Bay Lawn, to promote Lipton Ice Tea with an activation offering refreshing samples to thousands of thirsty visitors enjoying the harbourside location. 

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.


Darling Harbour Hosts Celebrated Parisian Dining Experience  

Le Dîner en Blanc is an elegant large-scale picnic from Paris that takes place in a secret location, always revealed at the very last minute. The global phenomena, which has been running since 1988, is now hosted in many major cities worldwide, always in the most spectacular of public spaces, as one of its main aims is to encourage people to enjoy their city’s public spaces in a creative, exciting new way. Tumbalong Park in Darling Harbour was chosen as the perfect scenic outdoor venue for 2019’s event held in November. 

Around 5,000 eager ticket holders, all dressed in white, flocked to Tumbalong Park for Sydney’s poshest picnic. They were rewarded with a memorable evening of dining and dancing, recalling the elegance of French high society. The magical event brought together people of diverse backgrounds to eat, engage and enjoy. Diners ate, drank and danced into the evening before cleaning up their tables and dining remains with respect for the use of such a special public space. 


Darling Harbour Hosts Sydney’s First-Ever F45 Playoffs

The F45 Playoffs floated into Darling Harbour on November 9 – 10, 2019 for a huge weekend of fitness challenges that was free for anyone to attend with registration. 

Setting a global benchmark for fitness testing, the F45 Playoffs are designed to measure functional strength, cardio and ability. A floating pontoon in Cockle Bay Wharf housed a purpose-built ring in which participants competed for the chance to win cash from the $100,000 prize pool. 


Fountain of Goose

When Grey Goose wanted to host a pop-up bar in Sydney that was reminiscent of cocktails on the French Riviera, it decided that First Fleet Park, with its captivating harbourside setting, was the ideal spot. 

Grey Goose, purveyors of fine vodka, whipped up a European-style summer pop-up for visitors to The Rocks to enjoy: the Fountain of Goose. For five days in November, a white marble fountain was set up in Circular Quay's First Fleet Park offering more than just a beautiful summer aesthetic. Served up were complimentary vodka, lime and soda mini-cocktails. 

Grey Goose's collaboration with French fashion label Maison Labiche for its limited-edition 'Riviera' bottle was also on display, along with live entertainment and other experiences, including the chance to try a limited-edition espresso martini gelato, which Grey Goose created in collaboration with Gelato Messina.

Louis Vuitton’s After Dark Party at Campbell’s Cove

Guests of Louis Vuitton’s Sydney after-dark after-party were invited to experience the stunning high-end retailer in the CBD, before being shuttled to an incredible harbourside installation at Campbell’s Cove. Neon gateways dramatically framed the entrance with guests enjoying Ruinart Champagne, espresso martinis and blood orange cognac cocktails while being serenaded by Australia’s own Grammy-nominated musician FLUME accompanied by Vera Blue. 
The calibre of guests enjoying this unique experience was a veritable ‘who’s who’ of Australian celebrities, including Lara Worthington, Carly Rae Jepsen, Julie Bishop, Justin Hemmes, and many more. 
Both Louis Vuitton and Rizer, the agency producing the event, praised Place Management NSW for being easy to deal with in helping to deliver the event, navigating the required licenses and managing the various stakeholders. 
Campbell’s Stores, the exquisitely renovated heritage venue, is proving popular with fashionable brands and activations, with Mercedes Benz Fashion Week, Louis Vuitton and Kookai all delivering status events at the recently opened venue.

Discover New Venues in The Rocks 

The Rocks website recently relaunched with a brand-new look courtesy of leading Sydney creative agency whiteGREY. Now, visitors can discover even more in-depth information about The Rocks’ Venues, and all they can offer for corporate and brand events and activations. 

The new website showcases the unique venues available for hire. Among them, Hickson Road Reserve, a grassy open space gorgeously set against the backdrop of Dawes Point and the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Druitt Landing at Darling Harbour’s Cockle Bay, which is a hugely popular place for activations, thanks to its high foot traffic and waterside location. 

Visit the Venues section of the new website for detailed information about each site’s specific uses and functions. Discover these special public spaces and get inspiration for your next event or activation. Contact the Venue Hire team for more information.

For information about how to activate your brand in The Rocks or Darling Harbour contact the Partnerships and Venues team.

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