Sydney Place – a new dining and lifestyle precinct located in the Circular Quay district – will kick off its grand opening with a month-long extravaganza of arts and cultural festivities in collaboration with the Sydney Fringe Festival and The Runaway Collective. The Sydney Fringe art occupation, which is produced by The Runaway Collective can be enjoyed from Friday, 1 September 2023. Throughout September, Sydney Place will be transformed into a vibrant canvas hosting a variety of engaging art installations and dynamic activations by retailers. 

A festival highlight is the Sydney Fringe Block Party, a one-night-only affair on Saturday 9 September that promises an unforgettable experience, featuring live entertainment, theatrical performances and immersive art showcases. Sydney’s finest visual and performing artists will inhabit the precinct, with multiple stages, DJs and jaw-dropping live performances from the world of circus, cabaret and drag, extending from day to night. Sydney’s favourite disco doof, Poof Doof, will pop up with their Pride Patrol truck featuring entertainment including DJs Victoria Anthony, Danni Issues and Charlie Villas, and drag performances by Faux Fur, Karna Ford and Kalin Klien, among many others. Whilst enjoying the entertainment, visitors can enjoy food and drinks from Sydney Place’s wide selection of retailers offering curated menus for the festival, including Dopa by Devon, Burger Point, ToastieSmith and more. 

Sydney Fringe Festival Sydney Place art

Sydney Place will be transformed into a living gallery with artwork on display from a diverse group of renowned visual artists. Artists such as internationally-acclaimed James Gulliver Hancock will activate Sydney Place with art installations in shop fronts, offices, restaurants and walkways, allowing patrons to imagine, explore and discover. 

This vibrant display will feature a combination of traditional art forms and new interactive AI technology, allowing passers-by to engage in the process of AI-generated art by simply interacting with an immersive digital touch screen. Visitors will have an experience that responds to every touch and movement of the user, generating unique digital art for each interaction. Audience participation is central to the meaning of the work, inviting visitors to engage with the concept of self and place. 

As part of Sydney Place’s living gallery, an Art Walk will be activated throughout the precinct, encompassing a large-scale mural by Indigenous artist David Craigg, a staircase activation, and an immersive series of murals by James Gulliver Hancock that span throughout The Bridge and Sydney Place retailers. Projections, light and AI-generated technology will bring the precinct to life, including a Body Mapping experience that uses AI technology to assess the quantity of joy the user possesses, responding with an interplay of light and fairy dust to energise the user. 

Visitors will also encounter a suspicious ‘DO NOT PRESS’ big red button installation that invites the curious to uncover the unexpected. Two art vending machines will be situated throughout the precinct, providing the opportunity for visitors to take home a piece by their favourite artist. All profits raised from the art vending machines will be donated to a selection of Art Aid charities.

Sydney Fringe Art Occupation is a month-long free event, held from 1-30 September 2023 at Sydney Place, 180 George St, Sydney. Find out more here