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The Festival of Place

The Festival of Place... in your streets

About the program

‘The Festival of Place… in your streets’ launched in October 2021 as part of the Alfresco Restart Package to support community wellbeing and economic recovery through the reimagination of streets as places for people.

The program was developed as a response to the pandemic to breathe new life into local centres and revitalise public spaces with activations across NSW. The Festival of Place Open Streets, Summer Night Fund and Long Summer Nights programs are complete, and Round 2 of the Streets as Shared Spaces program is underway.

These programs pave the way for longer-term changes by providing more and better public space, and have made us creatively think about how we use our streets. Transforming and re-energising our streets during the day and as part of the 24-Hour Economy has been key in getting NSW moving again.

Since launching, the programs under ‘The Festival of Place… in your streets’ have made a real difference to local businesses and brought communities together across the state. We worked in partnership with councils to improve the quality of public spaces in the short and long term, with over 100 projects already completed in the time since the Alfresco Restart Package was announced.

‘The Festival of Place … in your streets’ supports the Greener Public Spaces Premier’s Priority to increase walkable access to quality public open space in urban areas across NSW providing more, better and activated public space.

  • Streets as Shared Spaces Program - Round 2:
  • 40 councils across NSW have been offered grants of up to $500,000 for trial projects that test permanent changes that strengthen the amenity, accessibility and economic vitality of high streets and surrounding areas.

  • The Festival of Place Open Streets Program:
  • The department partnered with the 12 former LGAs of concern and the City of Sydney in areas most impacted by lockdowns to open streets across Greater Sydney for community events and activities, from December 2021 to May 2022.

  • The Festival of Place Summer Night Fund Program
  • Close to 90 councils across NSW received up to $15,000 for free activations or events to enliven public spaces in and around local centres and high streets, from January to April 2022.

  • Long Summer Nights Program:
  • The Rocks, Darling Harbour, The Domain and Wynyard Park celebrated a long summer with re-imagined and newly created areas with outdoor dance floors, live music, theatre, and comedy shows under the stars.

Wynyard Park

Wynside Out saw the transformation of Wynyard Park into a micro festival of food, play and fun to draw CBD workers outdoors.


Open Streets Program

We supported councils in Greater Sydney most impacted by lockdowns to open streets for community events and activities, re-energising streets and supporting economic recovery in local centres.


Summer Night Fund Program

We supported councils to put on free and safe activations and events, creating opportunities for people to connect and bring The Festival of Place to you – wherever you are in NSW.


Streets as Shared Spaces Program

We’re supporting councils to trial projects that test permanent changes to their high streets.


Long Summer Nights Program - The Rocks

Celebrate a sweet summer in The Rocks with an immersive take over of markets, laneway cinemas, immersive entertainment, colour and music.


Long Summer Nights - Darling Harbour

Plunge into the 'Summer of 20You' at Darling Harbour - from water activities, interactive installations, live music, outdoor dance stations and more.

Contact us

Contact the public space team for more information at: PublicSpace@planning.nsw.gov.au