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Sydney Could Soon Have Three More Major Outdoor Music Venues

2 March 2023 | 9:13 am | Mary Varvaris

The three permanent venues would resemble shells and be found at The Domain in Sydney’s CBD, The Crescent in Parramatta Park, and Thompsons Creek Regional Parkland in Bradfield.

(Artist impression at Thompsons Creek Regional Parkland, Bradfield)

Sydney could soon gain three more permanent outdoor live music venues in a proposal outlined by Cedar Mill Group, with the support of Business Sydney and Business Western Sydney. You can read the full proposal here.

The three permanent venues would resemble shells, as pictured above, and be found at The Domain in Sydney’s CBD, The Crescent in Parramatta Park, and Thompsons Creek Regional Parkland in Bradfield.

Cedar Mill Group, Business Sydney and Business Western Sydney have mapped out the case for “Greater Entertainment for Greater Sydney: Permanent Performance Shells in Sydney’s Iconic Parklands,” with the proposal promising to “revitalise Sydney’s outdoor entertainment sector, bringing over 2,300 permanent jobs and $450 million to its economy every year.”

Cedar Mill Group have received urban planning consultation from Hatch RobertsDay and teamed up with Sound Diplomacy to make a case for the necessity of permanent outdoor venues across Sydney.

“Permanent performance shells are acoustical, high-tech sound shell structures designed to improve the sound and clarity of performances, enhancing both the performers' and patrons’ experience,” a statement reads. These venues can boost Sydney’s CBD and Western Sydney's economic, cultural and community benefits by hosting gigs, festivals, movie screenings, community events and performing arts shows.

In Australia alone, we already have permanent outdoor pavilions such as Melbourne’s Sidney Myer Music Bowl and Riverstage in Brisbane, both of which are beloved by international and local artists. The Sydney proposed shells “can fill a venues void between theatres and their capacity for up to 2,000 people, and arenas that can hold more than 20,000.”

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Cedar Mill Group Founder and Managing Director Paul Lambess commented in a press release, “The Greater Entertainment for Greater Sydney report demonstrates that Sydney cannot reach its growth potential while its cultural and entertainment offerings fall massively short of cities such as Melbourne, the defacto cultural capital of Australia.

“Greater Sydney lacks a permanent home for cultural, entertainment and community-based outdoor events, discouraging performances from coming here which, in turn, reduces tourist activity and ultimately disadvantages its economy and residents.”

David Borger, Executive Director of Business Western Sydney, added, “A performance shell in the Crescent outdoor space in Parramatta Park is a much-needed addition to Australia’s fastest-growing city, Parramatta. The event space will complement Parramatta River’s evolving Cultural Precinct with the new Powerhouse Parramatta and the redevelopment of the Riverside Theatres.

“Further west, a performance shell in the early development phase of Bradfield will help anchor the city, create a cultural destination around which the city will evolve with and offer easy access to the airport and surrounding regions.”

Paul Nicolaou, Executive Director of Business Sydney, believes that the performance shells could lead to an entertainment renaissance in Sydney after years of lockout laws. “They [Permanent performance shells] will help the CBD finally recover from lockout laws and pandemic restrictions and allow people to enjoy and connect outdoors in new ways. The knock-on benefits will help Sydney compete for top talent, investment and tourism from within Australia and the world.”