The BEAMS Arts Festival last Saturday was a whirlwind of colour, light and sound. 8 urban backstreets were transformed into an alfresco exhibition space. The air was filled with vibrancy and euphoria as the laneways of Chippendale sprung to life for one night. Hosted by the Chippendale Creative Precinct, the festival showcased the artist talent of Chippendale and the wider Sydney community. The Chippendale Creative Precinct is a not-for-profit organisation that promotes Chippendale as a cultural hub and Sydney’s premier arts destination, akin to Chelsea of New York.
The boutique arts festival offered a unique blend of art, performance and music. Attendees were treated with a spectacular array of site specific art, installations, sculptures, interactive media, video, animation, dance, performance, DJs and live music. Programmed by sound guru Funkdafied, this year’s festival saw a greater profusion of musical artists and genres, including soul, funk, hip hop, jazz and indie rock. Eight piece band, The Rhythm Hunters were a highlight of the night that captivated the audience on Dick street and had them begging for more.
In its second incarnation, BEAMS has attracted significant media attention. BEAMS received Australia wide television coverage as it was featured on Channel 10’s, The Project. Noteworthy print media articles include: The Daily Telegraph, Sydney Morning Herald, Spectrum and Time Out Sydney. This year, BEAMS attracted a crowd of around 10,000 people which is a testament to the growing interest in the festival. BEAMS is a family-friendly festival that has something for everyone. Lantern making, dove paper cutting, painting and sculptural workshops enabled attendees to tap into their inner creative genius. Lightwell’s interactive work ‘Brain Battle’ invited participants to compete in a struggle to increase their projected brain size by directing their brain waves. This playful work encouraged the audience to participate, not just spectate. A futuristic glow-in-the-dark photo booth designed by Momento Pro was another highlight that saw festival-goers dress up in fluorescent props and have their photo taken.
Roving performers from the Actors College of Theatre and Television (ACTT) wandered the streets and interacted with the audience, further enhancing the jovial ambiance of the festival. The Dancekool performers enticed large crowds all through the night, mesmerising the audience with a galactic breakdancing showdown. Delicious food from some of Sydney’s best eateries and gourmet food trucks was available and guests were invited to dine at a communal outdoor table. The long table on Little Queen Street was draped in white tablecloths and adorned with over 500 colourful, hand painted candle holders. These beautiful objects were crafted by the skilled artists of Studio ARTES, a not for profit organisation that supports artists with disabilities
The BEAMS Arts Festival was sensory feast that enabled participants to immerse themselves in a kaleidoscopic playground. BEAMS would like to extend a huge thank you to all our generous sponsors, particularly Frasers Property and Sekisui House who supported the BEAMS Arts Festival and made the magnificent program possible.