F&L Guide: 10 things you'll love at The Rocks Village Bizarre (Sydney)

The Rocks is undoubtedly one of the most unique areas in not only Sydney, but the entire country. There's an unrivaled sense of history that flows through the air in the suburb, placing it as some sort of suburb-wide, open-air museum. Despite this, it seems to have been an area that is mostly known for tourist traps and the like, that is until the Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority decided that they need to be more proactive in completely revitalising the area. As such, this year's addition of the annual, free, and infinitely interesting The Rocks Village Bizarre is looking like the wackiest one yet.

Full of charm both old-world and new, the extended weekly festival will be home to a number of mysterious, fun, and left-field events constantly floating around the cobblestoned laneways, crackling colonial haunts, and revitalised shopfronts. The list of oddities is large this year, from horror puppet shows to the uninhabited pop-up habitat of Berlin-based performing artist Peter Baecker, so here's a list of 10 activities and events that we think will stand out for you once you head along every Friday night until 19th December.


You can catch him in a body suit rocking away to 80's pop music in the window of his clubhouse, which he will be a temporary resident of for the duration of the festival, or you can give yourself over to curiosity and join this spirited and uninhabited man inside. He might just want to dance with you in a smoke-filled, strobe-lit room, he might want to build lego masterpieces with you, or he might just want a chat. The "Mohawked Mascot" will even be sleeping in front of the public, so if that's something you're in to, there's always the option to just watch him catch some z's after a heavy night of dancing. It's odd, and very unexpected; it fits perfectly in with the atmosphere of the event.


What matters just as much as the performance is the setting, and it doesn't get more intimate than a hotel room in the Old Sydney Holiday Inn. Not only is it a nice way to show off the stunning range of unique accommodation in The Rocks, it will be a memorable experience as you and four other audience members are ushered into a hotel room to witness an avant-garde performance rom award-winning performance troupe Big One Little One


He isn't quite Fester from The Addams Family, but he sure looks a bit like him. The Footstool Phantom is a mysterious and rather ghoulish character that has set up shop off George Street and in a dark room with his companion dog Poochy. It might be a puppet show, but this might take you out of your comfort zone as the spooky romp delivers a mix of live action, audience participation, puppetry, live music, and torture...yes, torture.


The Gin Mill Social will be taking up the Rocks Square every Friday night. It's a themed pop-up bar that draws upon it's unique surrounds to transport visitors back to the 1920s, where temptation ran rampant in underground bars because those nasty prohibition officers needed something to do. It's true that booze tastes so much sweeter when it's illegal. To complete the picture there will be gorgeous burlesque dancers and a dapper house band to really call upon that mysterious era.


You can either crowd around this pop-up love advice machine where hostess Aphrodite talks love, passion, and everything in between, or you can go up and join the discussion as we dissect one of those intriguing concepts in life. Aphrodite is a colourful host, and she will be inviting local celebrities, musicians, and your everyday heroes up to the mobile chat studio for your constant entertainment (or sympathy).


Universally loved online marketplace Etsy will have a heavy presence at The Rocks Village Bizarre with a pop-up that spans multiple stalls, all offering various knick knack, curiously designed garments and accessories. It seems like every week will see the 8 stalls transform and offer new things, but if last week was anything to go by, you can expect to find a lot of handcrafted jewelry!


Whether it's at Joe Bananas or Denham, you should pay close attention as you might just spot some performance art taking place in the window. Forget the mannequin, these are real, living people tasked delivering thought-provoking and unique physical performances to liven up The Rocks even more.


Remember that giant glowing rabbit from Vivid earlier this year? Well it's back and it isn't content on staying in one place this time. The giant bunny is as keen to explore The Rocks as we all are so it will be moving around those laneways constantly, seemingly playing hide and seek with us. Silly rabbit, doesn't know how noticeable it is. We guarantee it will be the easiest game of hide and seek you will ever play.


A roving choir will be running around The Village Bizarre, singing everything from James Brown to Lorde covers. You can expect to see locals getting involved to turn the streets into one big sing a long. You might also find Crossover, who are a group that roams the streets busting out infectious K-Pop dance moves.


Of course there are going to be Food Stalls, and all your favourites from the weekly markets in The Rocks will be there. This is of course alongside the array of craft and clothing stalls that make The Rocks markets one of the city's best. Don't forget to grab a truffled cheeseburger from Baroque Bistro Bar Patisserie


Of course, these are only just a few of the many things you can do at The Rocks Village Bizarre. There are narrative-driven performances in some of the areas most interesting buildings; an entire makeover section where places shops like MOS Hair & Beauty and Barber Supreme will be working alongside the Glitta Supernova to turn you into whatever you desire.

What: The Rocks Village Bizarre
Where: The Rocks
When: Friday nights until 19th December; 6:30pm - 10pm
Price: FREE

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