Photos by Ai-Ling Chiou and Mark Phillips
Monday, March 6, 2023
IN blazing sunshine, tens of thousands of people filled Sydney Road on Sunday for the first street party in three years.
The long gap since the last Sydney Road Street Party was held in 2020 was no deterrent as Brunswick residents and visitors of all ages soaked up a day of music, food and community.
Even the weather gods were smiling as the festival was blessed with warm and mostly sunny weather throughout, with the first drops of rain falling just as the final acts took to the eight open air stages at 5pm.
Predictions of public transport chaos due to the closures of both trams and trains on Sunday mostly did not eventuate with plenty of staff on hand to provide directions and assistance.
Sunday was officially the 30th anniversary of the Sydney Road Street Party – a milestone that would have been celebrated in 2021 if not for the COVID-19 pandemic.
Revellers took advantage of the good weather to sample the huge variety of food from all over the world and to enjoy music for every taste, from the punkish Cable Ties on the Engakeng-end (Song) Stage to African grooves from Black Jesus Experience on Kulin-bulok (Community) Stage along with and family-friendly entertainment provided by Riot Baby on the Gaaban (Happy) Stage.
Merri-bek Mayor Angelica Panopoulos opened proceedings at midday on Sunday by launching the Brunswick Music Festival, followed by a smoking ceremony conducted by Wurundjeri man Daniel Ross.
Sydney Road was closed between Brunswick Road and Victoria Street for the day, as were cross streets in that area, but traffic flowed smoothly around the site of the street party and by Monday morning there were no signs of the activity from the day before.
As well as a welcome chance for the Brunswick community to come together, the street party was a showcase of the Sydney Road shopping strip, with 140 stalls and food and drink venues in particular doing a roaring trade throughout the day.
“The Street Party brings so many people to our vibrant shopping strip, and we thank everyone from near and far who not only enjoyed the immense entertainment on offer, but also embraced our businesses too,” said Sydney Road Brunswick Association Manager Troy Stuchbree.
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