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City of Newcastle splurges on events


City of Newcastle has revealed its latest attempt to boost the COVID disrupted local economy, today announcing 31 events and initiatives that will benefit from a $1.1 million cash injection.

15 projects that promote, beautify and develop the city centre and Darby Street have shared in a pool more than $930,000 under the Special Business Program, while a further 16 events and activations have received $177,000 from the Event Sponsorship Program.  

City of Newcastle Deputy Lord Mayor Cr Declan Clausen said the funding will help activate public spaces and strengthen the city’s reputation as a destination for tourism, business and events.  

“Not only will businesses stand to reap substantial economic gains from the unique and engaging events and activities funded, the projects will breathe life into the city centre and encourage people to spend locally,” he said.

“These funding programs are more important than ever in the wake of COVID-19 and its unprecedented economic and social impacts on our community. 

“COVID-19 has caused major disruption to the city’s vibrant event calendar, so it’s heartening to see this financial boost go towards reinvigorating COVID-safe sporting, cultural and entertainment events that will attract visitors to Newcastle.” 

One recipient of the funding is Newcastle’s Sailfest.

After a cancelled 2020 event, Sailfest will be back for a special regatta on the harbour and celebration of all things sailing in April next year. 

“Newcastle Harbour provides a perfect stage for people on the Foreshore to see everything from Olympic-class boats in action through to model yacht racing,” Newcastle Yacht Club CEO Paul O’Rourke said. 

“We are grateful to receive financial support that enables us to continue this event in 2021.  Sailfest brings together people from all walks of life to celebrate the sport of sailing and enjoy the beauty of our harbour.” 

Festive cheer will also once again sweep through the city centre, with Christmas in the City receiving a helping hand.

A life-size Christmas tree maze will pop up in Civic Park and Santa will be flying in from the North Pole for a week of free family photos.  

“Local businesses will be hoping for a strong Christmas trade to see off what has been a tough year for the retail and hospitality sectors,” said Enigma Newcastle Managing Director Peter Chapman.

“By providing fun, playful and free family activities in the City Centre we’re expecting a positive flow on effect to our unique hospitality and retail traders while also providing jobs for people working in the events and entertainment sector.”


Live Spots – City-wide initiative to establish live music ‘spots’, creating ambiance and passer-by entertainment for business precincts; creating income and promotion opportunities for local musicians.   

Creative Newcastle – An ambitious project to bolster Newcastle’s arts, business and night-time economy sector, through digital development, data collation, promotion and events.  

City Lights for Social Change - Permanent lighting array for Civic Park creating a spectacular lightscape to attract people to walk from and through Hunter and King Street, Civic Park to Darby Street.  

Discover Newcastle Mobile Adventures - A digital app-based treasure hunt game designed to bring families, tourists, school and social groups into the city centre and promote foot traffic to different landmarks and highlights of the city’s business precinct.  

Made In Newcastle - A city-wide undertaking in collaboration with local businesses, regional tourism, and Newcastle’s vibrant arts community to run a series of events over many months in 2020 – 2021. 

Newcastle Food Month - month-long project promoting what makes Newcastle and the surrounding precincts a gastronomic playground.  

Archaeology Alive Walking Tour - showcasing archaeological excavations undertaken in the Newcastle and Darby Street SBR area, and delivered through the City of Newcastle App.  

UP&UP Street Art Workshops – Create Your Space - will activate Wheeler Place with interactive street art workshops and live painting exhibitions during the New Annual Festival in February 2021.  

Christmas in the City– will activate spaces in the City Centre and Darby St, attracting people to the areas prior to Christmas and encourage people to spend at local businesses 

The Little Green - is a celebration of nature, music, giving and community in the form of a space-making installation in the Hunter Street Mall area.  

Newcastle Food Month Marketing Campaign – HUNTERhunter in collaboration with the Newcastle Food Month, will undertake a 3-month multi-faceted digital and traditional media campaign to promote the Newcastle Food Month Festival. 

Chalk the Walk, Newcastle - 3D artwork trail in key City Centre and Darby Street outdoor locations. 

“Created in Newcastle” by The Real Film Festival 2020 - will deliver new ways of reconnecting film, arts and culture across city precinct businesses to strengthen the Newcastle business sector. 

Open House Newcastle - is an immersive installation, to be located at the old Newcastle Station, inviting the community to walk through spaces entirely created by, and using local retailer products. 

Makers & Traders Newcastle– “Project 360” will use virtual tours and podcasts to enable visitors and locals to experience Newcastle’s creative offering; encouraging bookings, sales and connection through an integrated checkout.  A beautifully designed Treasure Map will make the navigation of creative opportunities and experiences easier for visitors and locals alike. 


Surfing the Spectrum – will provide autistic children and their families support to come to the beach and participate in 30 minute surfing lessons.  

Australian Walking & Cycling Conference – exploring the potential for walking and cycling to not only provide for transport and recreation, but as solutions to the challenges of liveability, health, community building, economic development and sustainability. 

Bloody Long Walk – 35km walk through Newcastle finishing at Newcastle Beach, raising money for the MTIO Foundation. 

Celebration of Cricket – two major junior cricket carnivals attracting participants from around NSW, in support of junior sport and visitation for participants and their families to Newcastle. 

King of Concrete – Australia’s premier skateboarding bowl competition at Bar Beach Skate Park.  

Sailfest – The second annual SailFest Newcastle Regatta will incorporate the prestigious TP52 Gold Cup, iconic ‘Cock of the Harbour’ race and historic Newcastle Harbour Regatta, offshore yacht racing and inshore activities such as Olympic Class dinghy and keelboat racing, along with TrySailing events for junior sailors and families. 

Newcastle Comedy Festival – 2 week non-stop comedy celebration featuring international stars, homegrown legends and next-big-things across 22 shows utilising a range of local venues.  

Junior Theatre Australia – week-long festival including student workshops, professional development, celebrity performances, pilot workshops, award ceremonies and performances of new theatrical works. 

Newcastle Show – a centre ring show of livestock parades, show jumping and attractions such as fireworks, agriculture pavilion with displays and judging, exhibition centre; show bag and sideshow alley with carnival rides, games and shopping.  

Girls Day Out – Multisport participation event focused on building the interest and participation of girls in a variety of sports, particularly those traditionally dominated by male participants. 

Australian Water Polo League – support for the Hunter Hurricanes home games at Lambton Pool and a unique event at Queens Wharf allowing water polo to be played in Newcastle Harbour.  

Newcastle Jets Women – support for the Newcastle Jets W-League campaign, with their home matches played from No 2 Sportsground for the upcoming season.  

T20 Bash – short form cricket competition held across multiple venues around the City; hosting visiting teams to compete against local clubs over the summer.  

New Run – Newcastle’s premier running festival, now in its 15th year, offers runners a marathon, half marathon, 10km, 5km, and 2km events along Newcastle’s coastal and harbour shorelines.  

Newcastle Beer Fest – celebration of independent craft beer, featuring 35 brewers from across Australia, hosted at Foreshore Park and including a range of entertainment offerings in the salute to beer. 

By Hook and by Cook – Newcastle will be the place to catch, buy, eat, cook and enjoy seafood as part of an inclusive and collaborative event to celebrate and highlight the Newcastle seafood industry. 

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