Community invited to join the party on Darby Street

13 Oct 2022

An outdoor stage with live music, roving performers and pop-up stalls will ensure an unforgettable street party along Darby Street this Saturday.

The community event will run from 10am to 8pm, with performances designed to entertain diners making the most of the large outdoor dining platform installed between Sanctum and Goldbergs restaurants and activate the revitalised Headphones Courtyard.

Council Street will be temporarily closed between Darby and Dawson streets to create an authentic street party atmosphere with live music on an outdoor stage as well as a pop-up bar and food stalls. Shoppers enjoying Darby Street’s renowned eateries and boutiques will have the chance to win tickets to see Elton John perform in Newcastle.

The free event is being hosted by Canvas Event with support from City of Newcastle. Deputy Lord Mayor Declan Clausen said it was the perfect way to encourage more people to enjoy everything on offer along one of Newcastle’s most iconic streets.

"We're committed to providing safe, shared open spaces for our community while supporting local businesses and this event is a fantastic way to achieve this vision in conjunction with the initiatives being trialled through the Streets as Shared Spaces program," Cr Clausen said.

“Darby Street's rich connections to art, culture, music and food ensure this precinct is much loved by locals and visitors alike. This trial will allow us to gain valuable feedback to guide more permanent changes as part of a potential future upgrade of this precinct under City of Newcastle's Local Centres Program.”

The Darby Street trial has been made possible with a $500,000 grant from the NSW Government through the Streets as Shared Spaces program (Round 2) and funding from City of Newcastle's Urban Centres Revitalisation Program.

The second round of Streets and Shared Spaces program is providing funding for councils across NSW to undertake temporary intervention projects that improve local streets and pavements as shared spaces, to trial innovative ideas that test and build the case for more permanent changes.

“These innovative and creative projects will allow people to dine under the stars and create spaces to relax and connect, which will support local business operators as they bounce back from the pandemic,” New South Wales Minister for Infrastructure Rob Stokes said.

“We’re reimagining our streets as better places for people, which will drive an increase in foot traffic and bring the community together to enjoy the vibrancy our state has to offer.”

The street party will also deliver a boost for local retailers and hospitality venues. Shoppers who spend $50 or more at participating venues will be given the chance to win one of two double passes to see Elton John when he performs at McDonald Jones Stadium in January next year.

Nici Palmer, owner of Blackbird Corner on Darby Street, said she is excited for the street party and hopes its success will allow the event to grow in the years to come.

"We really hope that this trial will help improve foot traffic along our fabulous street, and I'd love to see the Street Party become an annual event, celebrating all of the unique things Darby Street has to offer."

The City of Newcastle is supporting a number of events along Darby Street throughout the six-month Streets as Shared Space trial. Details of upcoming events can be found at