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YCK Laneways present: Front & Centre

  • Things to do, Fairs and festivals
  1. A fire dancer
    Photograph: Cassandra Hannagan
  2. An engaged audience at Since I Left You bar
    Photograph: Cassandra Hannagan
  3. Retro Sweat it out with Bacardi-Martini
    Photograph: Supplied Retro Sweat it out with Bacardi-Martini

Time Out says

Women are in the spotlight at this thrilling festival of music and creativity in the YCK Laneways precinct

YCK Laneways, the nightlife hub found between York, Clarence and Kent Streets, is switching on a brand new festival from August 1-31 that’s all about showcasing female and non-binary talent in arts and culture. The precinct’s surfeit of top bars – including PS40, Sammy Jnr, the Barber Shop, Burrow Bar, the Duke of Clarence, the Swinging Cat, Uncle Ming's, Jolene's, Prince of York, Santa Catarina, Grandma's and Papa Gede’s – will be thronging with over 50 events platforming artists, DJs, jazz musicians, singers and creatives in exciting and unexpected experiences. Most events are generously free, though bookings are recommended.

Program highlights include Pho the Girls Social at Since I Left You, a night of good vibes steered by Pho the Girls, a female and non-binary DJ collective who are diversifying the decks and having a blast doing it. Over at Temperance Lane restaurant Esteban, Sydney-born artist Nanami Cowdroy will showcase her stunning skills in live art sessions. Dig into sophisticated Mexican food and sip on mezcal cocktails as you watch Cowdroy create sweeping monochromatic drawings. For more late-night hijinks head to Stitch Bar, where irresistibly glamorous international showgirl Porcelain Alice – a former Miss Burlesque NSW – will tear through the venue with an act best described as ‘sideshow supermodel with a dash of danger’.

To keep the festival vibes going throughout the month, YCK venues will also be shaking up limited edition Bacardi-Martini cocktails inspired by the female characters of Moulin Rouge! The Musical (currently playing at the Capitol Theatre). Sip on drinks including Stitch Bar’s sweet Red Diamond, featuring Bombay Sapphire gin, Cointreau, Aperol, rhubarb syrup, grapefruit juice plus strawberries and cream foam, or Satine's Margarita, a slinky Esteban creation made with Patrón tequila, St Germain, strawberry, apple and lime.

Love the '80s and keeping fit? The Lycra-loving team from Retrosweat will host Retrosweat It Out with Bacardi-Martini – an hour of freestyle aerobics to fabulous '80s dance tunes on Sunday August 28. It's free, but registration is essential.

Finally, the festival will close with a three-day extravaganza of enlightening workshops, delicious foodie masterclasses and big-hitting live music – also led by female creatives – under the banner of Live at YCK. Tickets to all Live at YCK events are just $20 each. Front and Centre is funded by the NSW Government’s Revitalisation Program and proudly supported by Bacardi-Martini and Time Out.


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