We went along to the Sydney Festival First Night last night, along with a few hundred thousand other Sydneysiders. I don't think it was quite designed to cater for the numbers they got, as moving around and actually getting in to see anything wasn't easy.
We arrived fairly early and grabbed a bite to eat, then went in search of a drink. The typical Sydney wowserism when it comes to alcohol was in play. We'd been told not to bring alcohol, yet all the kiddies from the suburbs seemed to have plenty. Those of us who'd obeyed the rules were confined to drinking in defined, fenced-off bar areas nowhere near the music. Sydney really needs to get over itself with alcohol. At a festival anywhere else in the world there would be a wide range of bars with a wide range of drinks, scattered throughout the festival.
Anyway, so we wandered along Macquarie Street to see what was happening. Not a lot really, though I bumped into Stevie K who I worked with at Pilat Media in London. Then we went in search of some takeaway booze so we could have a drink, but every bottle shop in the CBD had ridiculous queues out the door.
Next we wanted to see Santogold, the only act I really wanted to see that night. We couldn't even get close to the entrance to the College Street stage, unfortunately. Though I heard wafts of her singing, and a glimpse of her on a big screen.
At this point we beat a strategic retreat back to the People's Republic of Newtown. Less people, and more pointedly less suburban drunk kids. Ahh, must be getting old!
Not sure what they can do to improve circulation of people for next year's first night. I imagine the logistics of all those people in the city streets wouldn't be easy. Still, it was a fun night of wandering around town, then a few drinks with the droogs back in the safety of our home turf.