The businesses of Darlinghurst, Surry Hills, and Potts Point are throwing open their doors and preparing to play host to an 11-day program of events, encouraging Sydney-siders to once again kick up their heels in the area, after months living within their 5km radius. Taking place from 25th November until 5th December HAPPY HOURS is the first festival to emerge this summer and offers over 100 mouthwatering food and drink deals, plus performances in smaller bars and venues – inspiring city dwellers to rediscover their neighbourhoods.
The festival is a collaboration between Darlinghurst, Potts Point and Surry Hills chambers of commerce, funded by the City of Sydney grants program. Locals are encouraged to support small businesses to get back on their feet following over a hundred days of lockdown.
The financial impact on the area has been felt significantly and this time is crucial for the economic recovery of businesses. After the previous lockdown, every single business surveyed by Darlinghurst Business Partnership (DBP) said that their income had decreased compared to the same time in the previous year and their greatest concern was that they would never be able to trade at the same capacity again.
Highlights from HAPPY HOURS include food & drink deals, bottomless brunches and live music in venues right across the precinct – from jazz musicians, fiddlers and banjo players to cellists and DJs spinning vinyl. Comedy nights and poetry slams will also be featured.
“We felt it was so important to give performers a chance to perform again. It’s been a long time between curtain calls”.” says Festival Director, Lorraine Lock
Join Elly-May and her band and expect classics by everyone from Dolly to David, peppered with special guests and salted with surprises Saturday, 30 November at Low 302.
Xmas Under the Sea with Seann Miley Moore posing as a life drawing model, hosting a singalong and discussing all the deep and meaningful things. Wednesday 1 December at Chingalings.
STYLE STORIES: THE GLITTERING MILE
Live Podcast & Fashion Parade about the fashions of the Cross once called the Glittering Mile. Wednesday 1 December at Grand Days Bookstore
SUMMER? I HARDLY EVEN KNOW HER!
Sydney’s finest queer comedians, writers and performers will enamour you with stories of sinewy, sexy summers. Sunday 5 December at Stonewall.
An immersive adventure of queer magic, a one-night-only event, hosted by Queer Sydney. Sunday 5 December at Dulcie’s Kings Cross.
MEET ME ON STANLEY
Stanley Street, a foodie’s dream destination, comes alive with food and drink deals, outdoor dining and performance. Think Dean Martin crooning Italian love songs at Bill+Toni’s, Flamenco music at Bar Tapa and the cool sounds of jazz emanating from Restaurant Verde.
The full line up is being continually added to and can be viewed at happyhours.sydney
Activities will run throughout the day, and night, with key operating times being 5-7pm. There will be other events during the days, giving opportunities for early birds and night owls alike to get involved.
Speaking about this year’s event, DBP’s President Stephan Gyory commented, “It has never been more important for Sydney to support its local businesses than in 2021. With over 18 months without international tourists, many struggled to keep afloat. Our precincts have the best that Sydney has to offer, and now is the time to show them our love. We know that locals will come out in their droves during HAPPY HOURS, like they’ve done before, to support these neighbourhoods”.
For the last two years, Sydney’s small business owners have faced uncertain times, living in limbo for extended periods as the country came to grips with the pandemic. One such owner is Nina Purton of the Silly Tart Kitchen in Potts Point, she spoke of how events like this really help bring in new customers:
“After 4 months of being closed and having radically reduced trading conditions, hospitality is looking for all the support it can get right now. Festivals and promotions really help us get the word out that we are open for business. I know in the past, having done this before, that not only do our regulars love it, we manage to get a whole new clientele that comes through the doors because of these events.”
HAPPY HOURS runs from 25 November to 5 December in Sydney’s Darlinghurst, Surry Hills, and Potts Point neighbourhoods.