Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Hot and sticky at Newtown Festival

Newtown Festival 2010, Camperdown Memorial Rest Park, Newtown
Sydney weather is still confused at the moment and is every bit as variable as Newtown locals. The annual Newtown Festival took place on an extremely sticky and hot Sunday that threatened with non-eventuating storm clouds in the afternoon, with huge crowds packing into Camperdown Memorial Rest Park for music, food, market stalls and a good deal of sweating (and red hot sunburn for some).

Crowds fill the park
A huge array of market stalls sprawled all over the park, with lots of cheap sunnies, hats and jewellery amid Mexican wrestling masks, bird call whistles, frypans and lollies from Happy High Herbs.

Sitting roosters

Home made jams and preserves - also here

Some pretty serious helmets

Wrestling masks and more

Potted succulents
There was also entertainment aplenty with three music stages spread around the park, as well as the colourful crowd. Thundamentals, a hip hop outfit from the Blue Mountains, was on the main stage as we were in that shadeless area, and proved a crowd pleaser in the searing sun.

Main stage ahead with Thundamentals

Main stage crowds

Locals peruse the stalls

There were also plenty of food offerings in three areas for the hungry festival-goer; of course including the ubiquitous Turkish gozleme, various sausages on rolls (including chorizo and bratwurst), the very popular twisted spiral chips, Thai, Himalayan and Hare Krishna cuisines.

Food stalls area

Seafood paella
Looking for something more substantial, we opt for seafood paella first, although one disappointingly short on seafood. Of the entire bowl, there was one pre-cooked prawn and a single ring of calamari. The bright yellow rice was however nicely cooked with a good depth of flavour about it, though probably not any real saffron.

Beef burger from Ribs and Rumps
One stand I hadn’t seen at markets and festivals before was Ribs and Rumps – probably not all that familiar to those in the Inner West, or indeed me. With burgers and chips on offer in a tented makeshift kitchen, we couldn’t pass the thought of a juicy beef pattie.

The burger bun was just a supermarket variety, a little dry and sweet, but the thick, pink-centred meat pattie impressed with its beefy flavour and maintained juiciness, helped along by a tangy thousand island-like sauce on the lettuce and tomato.

Someone seems to have stolen someone else's spots...

Feeling hot, hot, hot...
Roaming about the park with candied peanuts, we also passed by the Boost stall (my first market sighting of one) for more required liquid refreshment, which seemed to be a common theme for all, whether it was cans of Boags, snow cones or young coconuts.

Snow cones and fairy floss

Young coconuts
Adding to the already tropical feel, we spied punters clutching the traditionally shaped peeled young coconuts with straws and even cocktail umbrellas – and backtracked them to the stall where the coconuts were piled high; their tops being split open with a few deft chops.

Hacking open the young coconuts
The young coconuts weren't really cold as promised but did a great job in rehydrating us and providing many minutes of entertainment trying to scoop the soft, gelatinous flesh from within through the tiny hole on top. So subtle is the young coconut flesh that it almost doesn't even taste like coconut.

The sizzling hot crowds

Parasols - sun protection of choice

St Stephen's Church in the background

Naww... sausage dog!
Newtown Festival goers are renowned for partying on in the myriad of nearby pubs and bars after the festival (with police well prepared for the kicking-on celebrations all over King Street). After several solid hours of sweating it out at this year's bigger Newtown Festival, for me home time was not so much reluctant as looking forward to an icy cold drink, a shower and perhaps a nap.

Leaving Newtown Festival

Everyone, everywhere gets in on the party mood
Another awesome year for the Newtown Festival - congrats to the organisers and see you next year.


MelbaToast said...

Wow, it looks SO crowded. It's getting bigger and bigger each year. I couldn't handle the crowds last year so didn't go this year, but I really feel like I've missed out. The coconuts like yum - I had one in Thailand last year and LOVED it!

Lorraine @NotQuiteNigella said...

What a fun day out! I love coconut water (but yes much more refreshing when it's icey cold) :)

Tina said...

Hi MelbaToast - It's downright huge! I missed last year, but this year surely made up for it!

Hi Lorraine - Yeah, I had imagined icy cold, so was a little disappointed.

john@heneedsfood said...

Oh dear, a tight-fitting tutu. That's one way to keep the inner thighs cool. I didn't go to the festival though I did hear those rappers all the way in Ersineville

Tina said...

Hi John - Any way to keep cool...!


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