BEAMS Art Festival, Chippendale

The streets of Chippendale were alive last night with a great sense of art-fuelled community.
BEAMS is a yearly festival of art, music & food – held in Chippendale, around Central Park Mall.
On for only one night per year, there is a whole lot going on at this unique arts festival.

What is BEAMS about?

Nicky Ginsberg (BEAMS Arts Festival Director) summed up the festival perfectly in this quote I pulled from the ‘about’ page on the official BEAMS website.

BEAMS is a flash in the night of colour, form, movement and sound, descending upon the streets of Chippendale to illuminate the creative talent of Sydney. This multi-disciplinary arts festival showcases work from the whole spectrum of the arts, with creatives coming together in the hundreds to surge the voltage of ideas and inspiration.

Nicky Ginsberg – BEAMS Arts Festival Director

Festival Highlights

One highlight of the night was the great music – there were opera singers in one street, a DJ playing dubstep in another, and a reggae-style band pumping up the crowd in another. The streets were full of people dancing and having a good time, from the beer garden to the silent disco. There was also an open dance floor in the park area playing classic club jams, which we definitely stopped to have a dance at.

100 Metre Long Graffiti Wall

The smell of spray paint was thick in the air as we walked through the street where dozens of artists were creating their own style of work on the 100 metre long graffiti wall. There was great diversity in the style and skill of the artists involved – and all the pieces were very impressive.

Streets Full Of Art, Music and Food

Apart from all the art and music happening on the night, there was also a crazy amount of food.
The food district of the festival was mostly in Kensington Street, next to The Old Clare Hotel – featuring a long communal table where everyone could sit down and eat the food truck fare. This area of Chippendale is already packed full of great restaurants, and on BEAMS night – you get all that plus more. Many of the restaurants had special festival night menus, and the rest of the street catered to dozens of food stalls and a few of Sydney’s classic food trucks. Because it was so busy, we actually skipped this area and dined over at Coco Cubano at Central Park Mall, for a few drinks and a meal before heading out to explore the rest of the festival.

Picture above are some of my personal favourite art displays of the night. This laneway featured several different lights and moving pictures displayed over the alleyway walls, as pictured above. Further down the lane there was a terrace house lit up with disco balls, lights and a smoke machine pushing purple smoke out into the lane and creating a great atmosphere. At the end of the street there was an acoustic performance happening, and a hoard of people gathered around, soaking in the talent.

Overall, it was a great night. I loved seeing so many creatives and art-admirers alike come together for a lighthearted night of dancing, drinking and eating in the street. I also love Chippendale in general, which over the years has become home to so many great art galleries, interesting restaurants and so much creativity.

I can’t recommend BEAMS enough, and if you get a chance to go next year – don’t miss it. 

BEAMS occurs for only one day during September, every year. Catch it next September, 2017.

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