The annual Sydney Road street party has been going strongly for around 25 years and each year it gets bigger and better. There is something wonderful about walking down the middle of Sydney Road, one of the busiest throughfares in Melbourne. Many thousands attend this colourful, bustling event. Tented stalls along the pavements provide snacks and small plates, most belonging to the Sydney Road restaurant community. On offer are Pintxos from the new bar Basco Brunswick, sate and other Indonesian snacks from one of my favourite restaurants, The Uleg, French offerings from my favourite cafe, Choukette, and small plates from Albert Street Food and Wine, just to name a few.
The closure of Sydney Road extends from Victoria Street in the North to Edwards Street in the South. At each intersection, bands pump out the music from large stages, with chairs and tables set up for those who need a rest from walking or dancing.
The street party marks the opening of the Brunswick Music Festival which runs through March. Many performers include a gig at Brunswick Music Festival before or after they have performed at Womad or Port Fairy folk festival. There is an equal balance of local and overseas performers. Over the years I have enjoyed hearing many stirring performers, purchasing their CDs to bring back sweet memories.Meandering through the crowds, brass bands and dancers seem to materialise from nowhere as they weave a path through the masses. Some stalls were very well patronised on the day (this year on March 1). Notice how many hats are being tried and purchased. This hat stall does a roaring trade on the blindingly sunny day. Put the event in your calendar for next year and come along and enjoy the party!