The NSW Government and City of Sydney have unveiled a new COVID-safe, pop-up outdoor performance venue and concert series. Sunset Piazza – an Italo-themed summer pop-up stage – will come alive from 28 January to 21 March with a series of performances spanning contemporary pop, comedy, hip hop and indie rock.
Located at Cathedral Square opposite Hyde Park, Sunset Piazza is a key outcome from the NSW Government’s Summer Summit and part of the City of Sydney’s Al Fresco City initiative – a revitalisation project aimed at transforming the city into an outdoor cultural experience.
Replete with artisan providores – serving everything from crostino to cannoli – attendees can enjoy a pre-show aperitivo and sip on a spritz or a Negroni as they settle in for a selection of Sydney’s best DJs, pre-show.
“Together with the NSW Government, we have committed $20 million towards an al fresco city this summer and beyond, “said Lord Mayor Clover Moore. “Sunset Piazza will give residents, workers and visitors a safe way to return to the city and enjoy live music and performance. This will enliven our city centre in a Covid-safe way and support artists and local businesses especially impacted by Covid-19.”
The initial Sunset Piazza line-up includes pop-folk darling Alex The Astronaut; Adelaide MC and musical polymath, Allday; the iconic and much loved, Ben Lee; energetic 15-piece Latin American ensemble Cumbiamuffin; 2020 Triple J Unearthed Artist of the Year, JK-47. Sydney’s favourite jazz vocalist Emma Pask; classical music mavericks Ensemble Offspring; and purveyors of queer parties and good times, Heaps Gay also join the program.
Elsewhere across the first announced line-up are one of Australia’s most hyped and outspoken MCs, Kwame; legendary Australian multi-instrumentalist James Morrison; the incomparable Opera Australia; party-ready production duo Peking Duk (DJ set); dancefloor slayers Sneaky Sound System; and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra Brass Ensemble.
The first suite of programming will also include two comedy galas, featuring Lawrence Mooney, Merrick Watts, Bec Charlwood, Floyd Alexander-Hunt, The Umbilical Brothers, Akmal, Lizzy Hoo, Rebecca De Unamuno and Tahir as MC.
On performing at the Piazza, Alex The Astronaut said: “I love the feeling of going to a new stage, I always get a rush of adrenaline when I get to a venue and see the layout and imagine what the show might look like. I grew up in Sydney so I’ve driven past Cathedral Square so many times but I’ve never walked through it.”
“After last year, the whole world has experienced and continues to experience so much upheaval so I think if we can come together in a safe way and tell stories and let people get away from what they’ve been through for an hour or so, it’d be a really healing thing for everyone involved.”
Sunset Piazza is an invitation to Sydneysiders to come out and safely celebrate the Harbour City this summer. With performances across 32 nights, we’ve got your culture covered, but with limited tickets per performance, tickets will sell out.
All events will follow COVID-safe regulations and guests are reminded to follow the latest NSW Health advice regarding social distancing, hygiene and staying home if unwell.
Cathedral Square, Corner College Street and St Mary’s Road, Sydney (opposite Hyde Park)
Performances: 28 January to 21 March 2021
Information and Bookings: www.sunsetpiazza.com.au
Image: Heaps Gay (supplied)