Kings Cross Festival will be a mix of pop-up bars, live music, and cinema (Sydney)

Before this month of February comes to a close, famed Sydney hub Kings Cross will be celebrating it’s community with the two-day Kings Cross Festival, staged by the Potts Point Partnership (PPP) for locals and visitors alike. Many a change has occurred in Kings Cross this past year thanks to #CasinoMike and his lockout laws, but the community is still thriving and local businesses are adapting to different models to keep fighting against the foolish notion that ‘The Cross is Dead’. The area is as vibrant as ever with a strong sense of community and some of the best bars and diners in Sydney, many of which are keen to show just that over the last weekend over February.

The festival will be focusing on three central themes – food, film, and family – on Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th February, drawing on it’s strong hospitality and arts scenes for various activities aimed at all-ages. It will officially kick off with a Long Table Party at historic laneway Llankelly Place on the Saturday evening with some help from neighbouring suburbs and local residents in staging a night of DJs, live music, entertainment, food, and drink. Newtown’s Young Henry’s have come on board to help out with a pop-up bar, alongside a collaboration between Waterman’s Lobster Co. and iconic cocktail institution The Roosevelt, both venues offering special menus all night. More exclusive menus will come from locals LL Wine & Dine, KL Kitchen, and Panhandle Bar.

Before the festival, during Saturday afternoon, highly regarded pop-up gallery The LOCO Project will launch in Kings Cross after a successful residency in Glebe last year. The project showcases artists from the local area in a shipping container close to the old Fountain Cafe, displaying a changing exhibition over a month long period.

“Within the festival program, we’re showcasing the diversity and vibrancy of Kings Cross and Potts Point”, said PPP General Manager Louise Shepherd. “We have a really fun party planned for the Saturday evening, contrasted with a family-fun day at the fountain on the Sunday, as well as a film event by the picturesque harbour”.

Sunday will be focusing on families, starting with “Families by the Fountain” in the morning from 9am all the way to 1pm. This will feature Taronga Zoo’s mobile zoo, face-paining, and a visit from The Gruffalo with bubbles, balloons, and food and drink from local cafes including Farm Wholefoods and 169 Darlinghurst.

The festival will wrap up on Sunday evening with an outdoor cinema at the harbourside Beare Park in Elizabeth Bay, with the screening of iconic Aussie film Priscilla Queen of the Desert, tying in with the precinct’s strong connection to the LGBT community and Mardis Gras. The area opens from 5pm, where guests are invited along to bring their own picnic and enjoy some pre-event music. Bookings are available on the festival website. $5 from each ticket sold will be donated to the event’s charity partner, The Wayside Chapel

Food delivery app Deliveroo will be transporting food from local restaurants to guests at the outdoor cinema throughout the evening.

In the lead up to and during the festival, locals and visitors have a chance to win a night’s stay at the new Ovolo Hotel at Woolloomooloo Wharf by capturing a photo that speaks to the vibrancy and colour of Kings Cross and then uploading it to Instagram with the hashtag #kingscrosscolour. The competition will be judged by local art identities.

Kings Cross Festival 2016

Llankelly Place Long Table
5pm – 9pm, Llankelly Place, Kings Cross

Families by the Fountain
9am – 1pm, El-Alamein Fountain, Kings Cross

Outdoor Cinema
5pm – 10pm, Beare Park, Elizabeth Bay


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Chris Singh

Chris Singh is an Editor-At-Large at the AU review, loves writing about travel and hospitality, and is partial to a perfectly textured octopus. You can reach him on Instagram: @chrisdsingh.