Sydney’s Hollywood Quarter musical journey

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Sydney’s Hollywood Quarter precinct in Surry Hills is gearing up to become a haven for music enthusiasts with the introduction of the Great Southern Nights Gig Trail, set to commence at 4pm on Saturday, March 23, 2024. This curated walk, supported by the Office of the 24-Hour Economy Commissioner’s Uptown program, invites music fans to embark on a captivating journey through free live music performances at various nearby venues, illuminated by the glow of street lights.

Minister for the Arts, Minister for Music and the Night-time Economy, and Minister for Jobs and Tourism, John Graham, expressed his enthusiasm, stating, “Activating the much-loved venues and streets of Sydney’s Hollywood Quarter will create a vibrant musical haven in the heart of Surry Hills.” He emphasized the aim to invigorate precincts, deliver exceptional cultural experiences, showcase NSW’s creative sector, and stimulate investment in businesses, ultimately fostering a lively nightlife ambiance.

As participants traverse the trail, they will be treated to diverse music and dining experiences offered by prominent venues such as Ace Hotel Sydney, The Soda Factory, Alberto’s Lounge, The Burdekin, Golden Age Cinema & Bar, Hollywood Hotel, Hotel Harry, Butter, and Paramount House Hotel. Along Foster St, a band featuring renowned musicians will entertain audiences with a rich troubadour tradition, delving into multicultural genres and captivating diners and passers-by. Additionally, talented buskers of all ages and backgrounds will add to the vibrant atmosphere by showcasing their skills to the crowd.

Music Curator Trevor Brown, drawing from his experiences performing in Europe, highlighted the surprise element of the event, encouraging attendees to explore the nooks and crannies of the Hollywood Precinct. He described the diverse musical styles that will be featured, spanning Moroccan, New Orleans jazz, Haitian, French, Italian, and African influences, promising unexpected combinations and exciting musical processions.

The troupe of roving musicians, known as the Troubadours, includes an ensemble of talented artists, each contributing a unique musical flair to the event:

  • Trevor Brown – Baritone Sax/Clarinet
  • Adam Burrell – Trumpet
  • Nick Wishart – Alto Sax
  • Mary Hart – Cello/Bass
  • Ben Fink – Banjo/Guitar
  • Phillipe Wittwer – Accordion
  • Rob Laurie – Drums/Percussion

In addition to the plethora of music gigs, the Hollywood Quarter offers exceptional dining experiences, ranging from casual al-fresco diners to high-end 5-star establishments, providing a perfect backdrop for the outdoor musicians to entertain patrons.

NSW 24-Hour Economy Commissioner Michael Rodrigues lauded the partnership between Hollywood Quarter and Great Southern Nights as an exemplary model for activating larger events, amplifying live music, and enhancing the precinct’s night-time economy. He highlighted the significance of this festival’s partnership with an Uptown precinct, envisioning the transformation of Hollywood Quarter into a prominent live music destination, attracting locals and visitors alike, and placing the district on the map for entertainment enthusiasts across Sydney and beyond. With nine venues hosting events and roving entertainment throughout the night, the Great Southern Nights Gig Trail promises an unforgettable musical experience in the vibrant heart of Sydney’s Surry Hills.