10 things you can’t miss at this year’s Newtown Festival

We are slowly closing in on the annual Newtown Festival and we couldn’t be more stoked. Dubbed this year as ‘Newtopia’, the day’s theme highlights Newtown as one of Sydney’s most vibrant cultural hubs with local business, artists and communities coming together on what has become one of the best days of the year. The 2015 artist line up is one of the best ever, with a pretty endless array of extracurricular activities filling out the day, you’ll most probably be tearing around the entire time trying to take it all in, eventually ending up in bed at 8pm from over-exhaustion (or you know, passing out). So that doesn’t happen, here is a little guide to keep you focused, in a rough chronological order. Yes we’re awesome, we know.

STIFI newtown fesitval

Newtown Festival can be pretty overwhelming, there are loads of bands, good food and booze stalls. So you don’t wear yourself out trying to do everything, here are 10 things you can’t miss throughout the day to keep you in check.

Dog Show

Pretty much the best reason to get out of bed before midday on a Sunday, the dog show is a Newtown Festival staple. Rego is at 9, from there on its all about the dogs with celebrity look-a-likes, stamina comps, dog poo picking up comps, speed comps and a beauty pageant for ugly dogs. Yeah it’s all pretty great stuff.

DOG SHOW newtown festival

Eco Fairies

The other reason you’re up before midday on Sunday is that you’ve got kids. Good for you. Newtown Festival have got all your early-morning-crazy-kid-energy-waster needs sorted. There is a kids stage with activities running across the entire day, kicking off bright and early with things like the Eco Fairies who teach educational songs about doing good things for the planet. Hippy kids are happy kids.

newtown festival kids tent

Le Pie

Ok it’s almost midday, it’s time for tunes. Le Pie has had a ripper year, scoring big with her brand of lo-fi pop that saw her tearing up Bigsound and securing a slot at Fairgrounds Festival alongside Royal Headache and Father John Misty, among others. She’s also a bit of a hero around Newtown. Be sure to grab a patch of grass at the Essential Stage and let Le Pie cure that fresh hangover.


Speaking of local heroes, Flowertruck have become almost synonymous with the local inner-west music scene since cartwheeling into it back in 2014 with their sunny, hook-laden take on post-punk/pop. They play right after Le Pie so there’s no need to lose that prime piece of grass real estate. It’s probably OK to start drinking again too so get your mate to grab you a tin and soak up the kaleidoscopic sounds of Flowertruck.

Newtown Locals

On the topic of beer, you should probably lace your stomach before drinking copious amounts. This year the Newtown Locals have got you covered. It’s basically a big love in for all the local purveyors of good eats with places like Mary’s, Bloodwood and Blackstar Pasty banning together in teams to develop their take on three sweet and three savory food items harkening back to classic fairgrounds food.


Betty & Oswald

While you digest those tasty eats, you probably won’t want to be moshing in 30 degree heat all that much. Head over to Newtopia village for Betty & Oswald for some more relaxed vibes. Betty & Oswald reflect all the best things of the grainy black and white era of the 20s: Django Reinhart, surrealism, whisky bars and rambling swing music. It’s all pretty heavy on the nostalgia front, and that’s most definitely a good thing.

Writers Tent

While your heart rate is at a minimum, you might as well attempt to be somewhat intellectual and the writers tent is where all things scholarly go on at Newtown Festival. At 2:40 there is a little promotion for Jo Wallace’s Human of Newtown book, a coffee table version of her Human of Newtown blog which celebrates the eclectic nature of the suburb as seen through its inhabitants.


Zen Studios School of Rock

Everyone wants their kids to be a rock star one day right? Local rehearsal space legends Zen are putting on a performance with the best and brightest from the Zen Studios School of Rock which is bound to be power-chord, Ramones cover heaven, and that’s awesome. Oh and their motto is “Jack Black free. We promise.” 

The Laurels

Ok it’s pretty weird that we haven’t made it to Federation Stage yet, but The Laurels kick off 4pm and you can’t miss that. The Federation Stage uses the Camperdown Memorial Rest Park as a natural ampitheatre, which is pretty awesome when there are 5,000 people crammed into it. Fresh from a tour with Nick Allbrook celebrating their new single Zodiac K, The Laurels are known for putting on a pretty catastrophic show. And I mean that in the best possible way. Maybe bring some ear muffs for your kiddies though.

Jinja Safari

Wrapping things up at Newtoptia will be Jinja Safari in all their drum-banging, chorus-chanting glory. There’s usually an array of weird instruments and a shit load of energy at a Jinga Safari show, which is pretty much perfect for the final hour of Newtown Festival. The band are in the process of writing album number two down in Tassie, so here’s to hoping they’ll be bringing some new tunes with them.