I haven’t really enjoyed Surry Hills Festival over the last few years of years. My lack of engagement with the festival began when they moved the festival from Crown Street (closed off) to the park next to Central Station. First, I wasn’t really convinced that was “Surry Hills”, as I think Crown Street remains the heart and soul of the place. And second, that was when the festival transformed itself from being a local community festival into a more general music festival. 2007, I think? Sure, there were some stalls, but I didn’t really think it had much of a connection to Surry Hills.
This year, the festival is back in the heartland, divided up between Shannon Reserve (where the monthly markets are held) and Ward Park (near Northcott House), and there’s far more emphasis on community (which is a good thing). And when I gave my gold coin donation to enter, it was clearly stated it was helping the community centre.
Crown and Devonshire Streets were absolutely packed with people going back and forward between the two. It would have been difficult to have been a driver on Crown Street, I suspect, as pedestrians took over. Lovely weather, too.