CBDs Revitalisation Program
Funding for councils, businesses and cultural institutions to run activations and events that engage the local community and attract visitors. Discover the successful projects.
About the Program
The NSW Government is investing $50 million in the CBDs Revitalisation Program to encourage people back into CBDs across Greater Sydney, Wollongong and Newcastle and boost the state’s economic activity.
Successful projects – Round 3
In Round 3, the NSW Government has approved approximately $21.25 million to 40 projects. Successful applicants will deliver events from July to October 2022.
Garden Social, Royal Botanic Garden Sydney
On the Tarpeian Lawn of the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney, an opportunity for locals and visitors alike to connect to the RBG and to the Sydney CBD. Visitors can reconnect with Country, with a heightened appreciation for green space and community during a time of transition and healing following the pandemic, and natural disasters.
Pleasures Playhouse Theatre and Bar and Dixon Street Activations - Chinatown, Sydney
A multi-week event series pop up in the Harbour City Cinema and Dixon Mall, bringing together some of the best Chinatown eats, diverse music, art and great drinks. The cinema will be transformed into a black box multi-arts space and stage for events and performances. A collaboration of industry-leading experts in hospitality and the arts.
Sydney Waterfront Whale Tales - Western Harbour Waterfront (Walsh Bay to Blackwattle Bay)
Six-week outdoor exhibition trail of 30 spectacular life-sized individually-painted whale tail sculptures along Western Harbour waterfront walk from Walsh Bay to Blackwattle Bay, sharing stories of Country and place, and engaging 500,000+ participants in a “treasure hunt”.
Sounds of the City - Macquarie Mall, Liverpool
Showcasing live and local music to activate Liverpool CBD’s central spine, Macquarie Mall. South West Sydney's up and coming local talent will be accompanied with entertainment activities, dining offerings and aesthetic installations.
Spring Wonderland - World Square, Sydney
Celebrating all the best of Sydney's CBD in spring. This unique, innovative and transformational space in World Square brings to life a unique world of arts and entertainment for all ages, including ice skating, creative workshops, themed bars, live music, igloo dining, artists markets and cinema screenings.
Pitt St Mall Art Alive - Sydney
Pitt St Mall Alive showcases Sydney's love for art and culture through a program of events including hero art piece, adult and kid workshops, outdoor cinema and live music and roving entertainment catering to visitors' day and night.
Winter On Q - Campbelltown City Centre
An infusion of artistic and cultural installations and activations, to complement the existing city centre OnQ and ForumQ revitalisation projects across Campbelltown. The festival includes performance art, interactive installations, creative events and activations.
Fleurs de Villes FEMMES, Royal Botanic Garden Sydney
An installation of up to 15 one-of-a-kind, adorned mannequins, each portraying a woman of note, and created by a different local florist as well as a host of bespoke events including workshops, flower markets, and a talks program with horticultural experts and florists.
Parramatta - Your Sports Field
Bringing sports to life throughout the CBD with giant sports props codesigned by artists and local community, expressing what sports means to them. Vibrant, welcoming and fun free activations including pop sporting zones, screening sports events, talent appearances, skill workshops, and more.
The Sydney Shimmer Festival - Forbes Street and St Peters Lane, East Sydney
A celebration of the vibrance of Sydney, of cultures, history, nightlife and creative lives. Running for 5 epic days and into the night, telling stories through immersive and interactive performances with light and art installations, projections, music, and creator and makers' markets - creating a playful atmosphere.
Barangaroo Food & Wine Festival, Barangaroo, Sydney
A 3 day 'street food' style showcase of the Streets of Barangaroo's best hospitality venues, NSW wines and entertainment. Vendors will offer small plate options, from fried chicken to five star dining, and visitors can experience the NSW Wines Urban Cellar Door at Exchange Place.
Winter At Parramatta - Parramatta CBD
A three-part program featuring Winterlight in Prince Alfred Square, the SoundWest local music program across a host of multiple venues, festivals in Parramatta Square and the Sydney Science Festival.
TEDxSydney in the Square
This outdoor, public, free program will extend the reach and accessibility of the flagship TEDxSydney conference held at Sydney Town Hall. For 3 days, TEDxSydney in the Square will activate Sydney Square outside Town Hall, with curated programming showcasing TEDxSydney talks, films, performances, live Q&As, interactive installations and public art.
Bankstown Winter Weekends
Curated events, activities and installations in Bankstown's CBD cultural precinct, including pop-up café and digital stories, local performers and well-known artists, world music and food festivals, art and décor along Saigon Place and the heritage trees of Olympic Parade, and Arts Centre activations.
Blacktown Day and Night
Increasing connections and engagement in the city centre, a program of events and activations in partnership between cultural institutions and commercial and creative suppliers. Lighting, live music, micro-festivals and place-based walkable events at 3 key Blacktown locations, encouraging visitors of all ages to experience the diversity of local business and culture.
Sydney Festival: Oxford Street: In the Wake of Progress - East Sydney
Sydney Festival will transform Taylor Square on Oxford Street with work by internationally renowned Canadian Photographer Edward Burtynsky (Tate Modern, Guggenheim New York), creating a free outdoor visual art experience running nightly during August. Titled 'In the Wake of Progress', this compelling work will draw crowds to Oxford Street with directional audio set up, music by indigenous artist iskwē and producer Bob Ezrin (Lou Reed, Peter Gabriel).
Manly Alive revives the live entertainment scene, featuring 70+ artists within 15+ venues. High-calibre performers including contemporary, country and classical music and comedy performers, in intimate one-of-a-kind settings, creating exclusive experiences for visitors.
Flow and Glow - Wynyard, Sydney
In Flow and Glow's second instalment, an array of glowing moments for all to experience in this vibrant reimagined destination. Showcasing where history meets art, hospitality meets entertainment and demonstrating how these elements can come to play in both day and night.
Winter Warmer Festival - Wollongong
A vibrant 8-day all-inclusive food, beverage and entertainment festival celebrating Wollongong CBD’s offerings. Featuring unforgettable experiences, immersive activations, dining spaces and local performances highlighting the year-round night life and events in Wollongong.
Front & Centre - YCK precinct and Barrack Street, Sydney
A four-week festival that showcases Sydney’s best female artists, musicians and creatives in the laneways of the YCK precinct. Front & Centre will feature an exclusively female programme of events within small bars across the precinct, culminating in a major Live From YCK event in Barrack St.
Powerhouse Late - Powerhouse Museum
A free program featuring curated exhibition tours, talks, workshops, live music, film screenings and performance at the Powerhouse on Thursday nights 5pm – 9pm each week. The program is developed and delivered in collaboration with the Powerhouse Creative Industry Residents.
Chatswood Giant Foodie Trail
Celebrating all that Chatswood is known and loved for...it's culturally diverse dining and food offerings, Chatswood Food Trail will hero six giant food installations spread throughout Chatswood CBD such as the giant dumpling and giant bubble tea, creating fun and quirky photo moments. A Food Passport with special dining offers and rewards will encourage exploration of the city, whilst live cooking demonstrations, roaming performers and evening live music will see Chatswood come alive!
Waterway Wonder - Hurstville
Sea-Stainable Hurstville is a community event focussing on local sustainability by heroing the nearby Georges River. It aims to:
- Educate the local community through group sessions and raise awareness of key partner initiatives (eg Georges River Keeper, Take 3 for the Sea, reverse garbage and Return & Earn)
- Engage and inspire an active change in behaviour by utilising recyclable materials in art
- Captivate the community, by showcasing the power of kinetic energy through marvellous lighting displays
Park Sounds at Sydney Olympic Park
Park Sounds builds the night time economy of Sydney Olympic Park, delivering over 40 activations supporting live music, venues and local businesses in an innovative, safe activation program.
Eastside Hubs Festival - Darlinghurst
A four week activation of the ‘hubs’ around Eastside Sydney with a focus on performance, cabaret, drag, spoken word, art and live music. Discover Eastside's cool bars, art galleries, speakeasies, cafes, restaurants, run by passionate local small business owners.
The Sydney Fringe Sideshow and Runaway Gardens - The Rocks
Building on the success of its February 2022 micro-pilot season, the Sydney Fringe Sideshow/Runaway Gardens will transform the historic Rocks Precinct into a festival hub with small capacity immersive activations and a Spiegeltent program of cabaret, live music and comedy in First Fleet Park.
Feast for the Senses - North Sydney
A multi-sensory experience curating innovative, theatrical food and beverage, multi-layered technology and live performances to deliver a “gastrophysic" experience. Exciting themed zones provide the backdrop for amazing food bites and beverages enhanced by scented haze, flavoured fog, sound effects and lighting.
Sydney All-Nighter - Sydney and Parramatta
A free event featuring top national and local music talent, almost 24 hours of programming, 8 iconic venues, 2 Sydney precincts. A diverse and inclusive line-up showcasing the best of Sydney’s safe, vibrant music and nightlife culture and representing each venue’s unique local identity and community.
Art in the Heart of Haymarket - 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art
Igniting the Sydney CBD with public art activations, participatory events and learning opportunities, bringing together contemporary and traditional Asian diaspora cultures to unite communities. Through a suite of programs, audiences will enjoy a range of one-off and recurring unique cultural experiences.
Luminous features a program of activities within cultural institutions after dark, alongside a creative mental health program for returning CBD office workers.
Surry Thrills Festival - Surry Hills
Presented by Hotel Harry and The Downtown Surry Hills Precinct, a collective of venues and businesses in Sydney’s most creative and vibrant precinct: Downtown Surry Hills. Stay, play, dine, relax. All day. All night. All welcome!
Dark Day Dark Night - Barangaroo
Inspired by DARK MOFO, a celebration of all things dark and decadent. A winter-time feast and tasting experience celebrating fire, the theatre of food, and Australia's most intriguing and inventive breweries and wineries. A creative arts program applying fire to cooking, making art, and performance.
ICONIC - A Penrith cultural celebration
A celebration of everything that makes Penrith special. Spread through the Penrith CBD, catering for all ages through targeted programming. Watch live art, join in the fun, cheer on your hometown team, grab a drink or bite to eat, and enjoy an overnight stay – all in the Penrith CBD!
Lights In The Lane + Your House - Wynyard
Shell House is a multi-level fine dining, bar and bistro collection in one of Sydney’s heritage listed jewels - a new cultural centre of gravity, born to lead the renaissance of the CBD. Taking the groundbreaking OUR HOUSE program and extending it over Brookfield Place, Wynyard Lane and Wynyard Park for two weekends in late August, this is a forward-thinking, inclusive and diverse festival of place.
Fairfield Winter Fest
Turning Fairfield CBD into a vibrant destination with live music, family friendly activities such as a skating rink, art installations and food stalls.
The Wednesday Social - Macquarie Park
Lunchtime events to attract people back to the Mac Park CBD and increase social connectedness with the workforce community and locals. Activating laneway pockets and rarely used spaces within Mac Park to host events including food trucks, outdoor dining, and entertainment.
Winter Festival - Darling Harbour
A winter experience like no other. "Fire and Ice" takes the fresh chill of winter and warms it with cosy heart-warming food, drink, and the connectivity of experience through fireworks , it is an opportunity to experience the best that Sydney has to offer!
Forage The Rocks
You don’t always associate foraging with an urban setting, and that’s exactly what makes this such a delicious collision. This winter, Forage The Rocks invites people to explore… to wander our laneways and follow their senses. To immerse themselves in heritage and culture, discovering all the hidden gems that are almost too good to share.
ICC Sydney - Gadigal Country Dreaming Stories
The Gadigal Country Dreaming Stories are digital activations showcasing life of traditional custodians of Tumbalong (Darling Harbour).
Community members are invited to discover and celebrate First Nations traditional culture via daily interactive experiences within ICC Sydney and Darling Harbour precinct from 1 September to 31 October 2022. The digital artwork will be presented on ICC Sydney/Aware Super Theatre’s external signage in the Darling Harbour precinct.
Successful projects – Round 2
In Round 2, the NSW Government committed approximately $15.5 million to 24 projects for delivery between March and May 2022.
23rd Biennale of Sydney (2022), Art After Dark
Art After Dark will take place each Wednesday evening of the Biennale, featuring interactive art experiences, organic wines and locally sourced food.
Weekly musicians, a large scale temporary public art installation throughout the Chatswood CBD, accompanied by a food trail and animated projection on The Concourse.
Liverpool Alive at Night
Fortnightly weekend night markets, arcades and laneways connected with light art installations and temporary dining spaces to encourage exploration and use of underutilised areas.
Xstatic Wonderland Festival
A family-friendly music and arts festival centred around a huge Mad Hatter’s Tea Party with a rabbit hole and three stages for 2500 people.
A 10-day festival featuring light art, projection mapping, facade artwork, street games, concerts, history exhibition, outdoor cinema, local markets, mural paintings and a showcase of local brewers and distillers.
Morphing an iconic Barangaroo location into an art park, bar and immersive theatre experience, epic in scale and creativity.
Indian New Year Festival Feast
At the Riverside Theatre, there will be music, dance programs by local schools in classical, cultural, fusion and Bollywood format, a locally commissioned multilingual play, food trucks and restaurants serving vegetarian and vegan food.
107 on The Rocks
A month-long program of exhibitions, installations, workshops, activities and cultural experiences alongside a pop-up bar, live music and performances.
Park Sounds will bring vibrancy to the precinct and supports the live music sector, major venues and local businesses, delivering 58 activations through an innovative program.
Flow and Glow
A 2-day event where history meets art, hospitality meets entertainment and demonstrating how these elements can come to play in both day and night.
Pitt St Mall, ALIVE
A 2-week vibrant Pitt St Mall takeover showcasing everything our great city has to offer from dining, live music, modern art, fresh food and entertainment for the entire family.
Into the Woods @ Chatswood
An enchanted woodland by day with giant art installations, unique photo moments, native wildlife and sustainability workshops, and light, art and culturally diverse entertainment and dining by night.
Parramatta's new pop-up performance spaces, food and drink, street activations, stunning lighting displays and large-scale projections at Terrace Amphitheatre by the river, Eat Street Carpark Rooftop Bar and Harris Park's Little India.
A local, creative, curated place-based festival celebrating and promoting Wollongong’s unique and evolving laneway culture and recent status as a global Bike City.
INTERSECTIONS by YCK Laneways
A 6-week program involving chefs, artists, musicians and designers from across Sydney collaborating with venues to deliver new and unexpected experiences.
A 30-day festival celebrating food, drink, arts and culture, located in the heart of the CBD in the beautiful Wynyard Park precinct.
Autumn Alive: City Activation Series
A month-long series of activations leveraging unique elements of Newcastle CBD: our cultural institutions, night-time offerings, public domains, and boutique local businesses.
On Q Autumn Cultural Program
An infusion of artistic and cultural installations and activations, performance art, interactive installations and creative workshops throughout the Campbelltown CBD.
A composer generated soundscape paired with cocktails, performance art, dining and visual masterpiece entertainment across two evenings.
Blacktown by Night
A curated program of live music, film, workshops and art, including extended hours at the Arts Centre and a suite of free and ticketed events throughout the Blacktown CBD.
Eggsville Community Art Trail
A trail featuring 12 vibrant, metre-high eggs strategically placed throughout Hurstville, each one representing a core community or cultural group essential to Georges River.
MPeXpo (Macquarie Park Expo)
MPeXpo will be an innovation-themed event series, culminating in a major open-air street festival bringing Macquarie Park’s community together.
Chippendale Wine & Dine
A 'Taste of Chippendale' mixed with the best 'Young Guns of Wine' in the state, the 3-day event will attract discerning foodies to experience bite sized tasting dishes from local restaurants with a silent disco, DJs and wine masterclasses.
Successful projects – Round 1
In Round 1, the NSW Government committed $12.23 million to 6 projects delivered from late 2021.
Sydney Street Party Series
Funding support for venues, bars and galleries to activate precincts through street entertainment, food offerings and late night retail offerings.
Culture Up Late extension
Extension of the successful program activating the state’s cultural institutions. This will drive attendance rates, by promoting the experience of visiting museums and galleries after dark.
Lights of Christmas
Funding to undertake a Christmas lighting show on the façade of St Mary’s Cathedral, which has been successfully delivered for the past 11 years.
Sydney Fringe Festival
Activation in The Rocks running from in February 2022, including:
- Bernie Dieter’s Berlin Underground (internationally acclaimed pop-up cabaret immersive experience (ticketed)
- Sydney Fringe Sideshow with small activations throughout shopfronts, vacant properties and existing. businesses in the precinct
- Weekend of Street Performance with outdoor stage at First Fleet Park with roaming performers throughout the precinct.
Support for film festivals (such as the Korean, Arabic and Japanese film festivals) to be hosted across Sydney, Western Sydney and South Western Sydney in independent and commercial cinemas (including outdoors).
Sydney’s Open for Lunch
Funding to support a series of ‘long lunch’ pop up dining events, in line with public health orders, celebrating local restauranteurs and suppliers in locations across the city.
Councils, businesses and cultural institutions were eligible to apply under the Program, which has been phased over 3 rounds of funding.
Eligible CBDs and urban centres are:
- Macquarie Park
- North Sydney
- Sydney Olympic Park
Reporting and closures
Round 3 applications closed on 27 April 2022.
Successful applicants are required to report on their projects as per their funding agreements, and will also be required to participate in evaluation activities conducted by Investment NSW.
If you have any questions regarding this Program, please contact Investment NSW.