Newtown Arts and Culture
What's on in Newtown
What's on in Newtown? A lot! Check out a gallery, wander the backstreets to see breathtaking street art, browse a dusty bookstore or take in a burlesque show. A thriving music scene and two of Sydney's best annual festivals also keep this quirky hot-spot on the map.
Music Art and Theatre
An eclectic community of artists, musicians, writers, alternate therapists, European immigrants and uni students call Newtown home. This diverse, unpretentious precinct is at the heart of the inner-west's arts and culture scene.
The suburb's been immortalised in song (The Whitlams 'Blow Up the Pokies' for one) and today, funk, punk, folk rock and more dominate the kicking music scene. Catch a weekend band at The Marlborough, support aspiring musos at The Sandringham and Town Hall open mic nights and don't be surprised if you stumble on a busker in a three-piece suit crooning Frank Sinatra songs.
If performing arts float your boat, check out the programs at the Seymour Centre or The King Street Theatre. Take in dinner and a show at New Orleans-inspired venue The Vanguard, or see who's playing at the Enmore Theatre; the likes of Fat Boy Slim, Oasis and even The Rolling Stones have played there in recent years.
Arts and culture come to life during the precinct's festivals; part of the Sydney Fringe Festival is held in Newtown each September, and in November, the usually quiet Camperdown Memorial Park morphs into the lively Newtown Festival, complete with market stalls, music acts, an open-air bar and much more. On quieter days, the park is a peaceful place to sit with a coffee or a picnic. Art lovers should take a peek at the Beehive Gallery and Kerrie Lowe Galleries on King Street, and the White Rabbit Gallery in nearby Chippendale. The area's also rich in street art, starting with King Street's famous 'I Have A Dream' mural featuring Martin Luther King and the Aboriginal flag (locals are campaigning for the mural to be heritage listed). Of course, the nature of street art is that it comes and goes, so the best way to see it is to wander the backstreets, camera in hand! Have fun.