Parra Opening Party

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14 Jan 12 @ 4:00 pm




Church St, Prince Alfred Park, Old King’s School, Parramatta, NSW, 2150


Sydney Festival Office on 02 8248 6500 or


Sydney Festival Parramatta

Parra Opening Party

January 14 free

Everyone is invited to a huge opening party offering a whole host of free events across the city. From the opulent Idolize Spiegeltent in Prince Alfred Park to the Old King’s School site, from the riverside precinct to Church St; Parramatta is transformed by big bands, soulful singers, top DJs and street theatre spectaculars.

In the last few years with Festival First Night, Sydney Festival has shown that Sydneysiders love to come out into the city streets to enjoy music, theatre and entertainment – especially if it’s all free!

Now it’s Parramatta’s turn as the city comes alive Parra Opening Party, with wandering performers, musicians and mobile sound systems entertaining audiences in the parks, on the streets and along the

Across the road from Prince Alfred Park, Information and Cultural Exchange (ICE) throws open its doors for free activities for young people.

For those who know Parramatta, this is a fantastic opportunity to see the city in a new light. For those who don’t know Parramatta, this is the perfect opportunity to take a look.

Visit for updates

No BYO alcohol, no glass. Food and beverages are on sale throughout the event at Eat Street on Church St.

Bring the kids down to Prince Alfred Park from 4pm as Holly Throsby and her band kick off the afternoon
with a fantastical set of children’s songs from her album See!
Kids can join in our workshops, learn circus tricks and be entertained by roving performers, while your hosts, The List Operators, keep everyone

Sydney Festival’s newest venue is the sister of The Famous Spiegeltent which pops up in Sydney’s Hyde Park every January. The Idolize Spiegeltent is a Baroque-style mirror tent that will be open throughout the afternoon and evening for everyone to have a look. Throughout the following week, this grand old gal of a tent will play host to a wondrous line-up of cabaret, music and mayhem.

Church Street will be non-stop music from world-wide favourite DJ, Norman Jay. Renowned for his marathon efforts at UK’s Notting Hill Carnival, Norman Jay will park his iconic double-decker bus for a
seven hour set of feel good summer tunes, creating an all-ages street party in the heart of Parramatta.
We want everyone to join in, so there’ll be some dance lessons, and well as surprise dance performances in the crowd. Don’t miss your chance to dance in Church St.

Everyone in Parramatta knows that Eat Street is the most important place in town. For Parra Opening Party, all the restaurants will be open selling a wide range of food and beverages.

In the evening, crowds will gather at the Victoria Rd end of Church St for a spectacular piece of aerial theatre. As The World Tipped is a real life disaster movie performed live in the night sky!
This ambitious and extraordinary piece of theatre tells a powerful tale of ecological crisis. Combining dramatic film and visuals with breath-taking aerial performance, As The World Tipped confronts one of the most pressing issues for the planet with spectacle, humour and emotion.
At the Secretariat of the Copenhagen Climate Change conference, harassed staff fail to notice as the world around them, literally and metaphorically, slides toward disaster. Suspended above the audience in the night sky, the performers struggle to control their increasingly precarious world as they do battle with the effects of drastic environmental catastrophe.

Written and directed by Nigel Jamieson, one of the world’s leading creators of outdoor spectacle (Sydney Olympics, Liverpool Capital of Culture), As The World Tipped has been created with the pioneering team from Wired Aerial Theatre.

At the Old King’s School site prepare for a wonderful double bill.

The evening starts with the Barefoot Divas, six soulful singers/songwriters from Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea. Each a star in her own right, together they are a force to be reckoned with!
The Divas share hilarious and heartfelt stories of life on the stage and on the road, fortified by deep connections to their land and culture. They are: Helpmann Award winner Ursula Yovich (Serbia/Burarra)
and Black Arm Band favourite Emma Donovan (Gumbaynggirr) join Whirimako Black (Maori), Maisey Rika (Maori), Merenia (Maori/Roma) and Ngaiire (Papua New Guinea).

Then the mighty brass and swirling violins of Europe’s magnificent Taraf de Haïdouks and Koçani Orkestar lift off into an exhilarating celebration of the night.
Be ready for a raucous evening of wild new music and exhilarating arrangements of old favourites as the swirling and fiery violins, cimbalums and accordions of Taraf de Haïdouks battle it out with the mighty, funky brass and percussion of Koçani Orkestar. Expect the unexpected as the two bands draw on traditional Romanian music, urban Balkan pop, medieval ballads, oriental brass, Turkish influences and even a touch of Bollywood.

There is still lots more to be announced for Parra Opening Party – keep an eye on the Sydney Festival website for updates.