Over the long weekend I could not spread myself to the extent of attending the Grand Final of the National rugby League competition. What with covering the Cosplay convention and the Manly Jazz Festival the only way I could cover grand final activities was the circus would have to come to me. And so it did…

Around the corner from where I live is the Easts Rugby League club and at 1.30am to thousands of ecstatic fans the victorious Sydney Roosters team appeared on the rooftop brandishing the Grand Final victory trophy. A trumpeter blew, drums banged, flags waved, and over a loudspeaker system Queen’s song ‘We Are the Champions’ soared into the night sky. Fans stayed with the proceedings until 2.30am. There was a large police contingent which was not used due to the happy and good spirited nature of the fun filled proceedings.


Kirsten Siddle

A MIDNIGHT VISIT  is Sydney’s first large-scale immersive theatre experience.  Sited in Newtown, it opens to Previews soon and we caught up with Kirsten Siddle one of the Creative Producers.

A MIDNIGHT VISIT  draws on the works and worlds of the macabre master Edgar Allan Poe as inspiration, inviting Sydneysiders into an immersive playground.   From the creative minds of director Danielle Harvey (Festival of Dangerous Ideas, Antidote festival, All About Women), creative producers Kirsten Siddle and Simon Hayward,A MIDNIGHT VISIT brings together influences from experiential work Sleep No More and escape rooms, to the pop culture worlds of David Lynch and Stranger Things .

SAG:                      So you must be fairly busy about now with the event opening to previews on September 19. 

KIRSTEN:              (laughs) We have been bumping in for months now!  We’ve been in the venue for over 3 months and we have built over 34 sets.

SAG:                      It’s big picture artmaking isn’t it?  What are the inspirations for such a big undertaking?

KIRSTEN:              That’s a really good question, why are we so crazy enough to do this?  Danielle Harvey and I have been curators and programmers for some of the country’s biggest performing arts organizations and centres and we felt that there were things missing from our arts scene. Continue reading A MIDNIGHT VISIT IS COMING: INTERVIEW WITH ONE OF THE CREATIVE PRODUCERS


Hatz Fitz & Cara
Hat Fitz and Cara can in no way be mistaken for a dainty duo. They are festival favourites throughout Canada, Australia, Europe, and the UK and it has been said they pack more energy into one song than most have in an entire career. A unique combination of hill-style Gospel blues with old timey flavourings and stripped down to just voices, guitar and vintage drums, Hat Fitz & Cara embellish impeccable rootsy originals with soulful vocals reminiscent of a time once forgotten.

The little coastal village of Culburra Beach is two hours from Sydney and every May it plays host to a celebration of music, culture, art, food, craft, surfing and fun.  This year the festival runs across the Mothers’ Day Weekend (11-13th May) and it’s the perfect way to spoil mum. Continue reading BURRADISE MUSIC FESTIVAL: GIVEAWAY PASSES


The Sydney Royal Easter Show was first held in 1823 and was granted use of the word Royal by Queen Victoria.

Over the last century the show has survived and thrived due to its move from Moore Park to Homebush.

Many of the fixed pavilions at Moore Park have become sound stages for Fox Studio.

When one says that the show is an institution on Sydney’s cultural calendar, the word calendar is not the Gregorian version. As Easter is determined on a lunar basis, the show’s duration moves around the months of March and April, revolving around the fixed days of Good Friday to Easter Monday. Continue reading SYDNEY ROYAL EASTER SHOW 2018


Chris Blanchflower blowing harp

Come and celebrate the life and times of one of the great harmonica players, Chris Blanchflower – best known for his contributions to Greg Quill’s band, Country Radio. He played in many different ensembles over the years and also did some great sessions work. Chris passed away in February this year.

Chris was also a walking encyclopaedia of Country, Blues, Folk, Rock and Jazz.

Always ready to lend a hand to a friend in need or “have a blow” with any musicians that were playing any place, any time. No gig too small. Having Chris play harp in your band was like having Eric Clapton sit in on guitar. Continue reading “WAILING FOR CHRIS” @ THE BRIDGE HOTEL, ROZELLE


As part of next month’s 40th anniversary Mardi Gras and for the first time in the parade’s history, an Opera House float will roll up Oxford Street.

Titled Out at the House, the glittering Sydney Opera House float will feature a 10-metre sparkling replica of the famous sails and a 70-strong group of marching ushers, dancers and orchestra members, led by the legendary Dame Joan Sutherland, played by long-time Opera Australia employee Bobby McKenzie.

The float will also feature comedian Gerry Connolly playing Queen Elizabeth II and ‘a Maestro’ from the Sydney Symphony Orchestra ‘conducting’ the marching group.

With just over a week until Mardi Gras, the Opera House today gave a sneak peek of the float design by parade veteran George Savoulis, together with the costumes to be worn by staff and performers on the night, designed by Academy Award-winner Tim Chappel.


Vivid Sydney Lights Dinner Cruise

Ringside seats to Vivid Sydney lights, a relaxing dinner cruise and a spectacular cabaret show! Captivated by the idea already? Touted as one of the best Vivid Sydney Lights cruises, this authentic paddlewheeler treats you to a visual Vivid spectacle on the harbour as well as to a jaw-dropping show on the inside! You really don’t have to think twice; book a Vivid Sydney Dinner any day between 25 May and 16 June 2018 cruise into the lights on Sydney Harbour! A promising time you won’t forget anytime soon, the mouth-watering dinner & a touch of bubbly is sure to elevate your Vivid Sydney dinner cruise experience!

25-May-2018 to 17-June-2018

For more about Vivid Sydney Lights Dinner Cruise, visit https://www.sydneyshowboats.com.au/sydney-harbour-cruises/vivid-sydney-festival-cruise
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This year the rock and pop chicks decided to go glamorous and the blokes wore the traditional grunge. Although the headline acts did not walk the carpet, the presence of so many up and coming musicians gave the Red Carpet a very special buzz.  Featured image is of Samantha Jade. All images by Ben Apfelbaum (c).


A Festival of Fraudulent Facts

Recently  the Bondi Pavilion hosted a talk with the title of FRAUDULENT FACTS, HOAX HEADLINES AND MALICIOUS MEDIA.

 Jan Fran, Alex McKinnon,Sandra Sully, John Barron

Images by Ben Apfelbaum

Presented by the Mark and Evett Moran Nib Literary Award and  the Walkeley Foundation, it an expert channel of journalists including John Barron, Sandra Sully, Alex McKinnon, and hosted by journalist  Jan Fran.

The consensus of the Panel seemed to be that in order to keep reporting quality stories the panelists relied on tried and tried sources and in local crime news, police media reports rather fantastical social media.

The panelists lamented that some people in the community held misguided views such as the denial of climate and the link between autism and vaccinations.

The more you presented these people with objective facts and scientific studies, the more they doubled down on their prejudices.

The panel sought to present quality news to their target audiences who hopefully were sufficiently open minded to receive their accurate news reports.

More information about Fraudulent Facts, Hoax Headlines and Malicious Media :  http://www.waverley.nsw.gov.au/recreation/calendar_of_events/events/fraudulent_facts,_hoax_headlines_and_malicious_media