Celebrations, Film Festivals and Celeb-Spotting in Sydney

During the early months of 2005 I rented an apartment overlooking Hyde Park in central Sydney, Australia. Those months were spent enjoying everything Sydney had to offer me and also going to celebrations, festivals and concerts around the city. It seemed as though there was something always going on and I didn't want to miss a thing.

 

Australia Day

Celebrated on the 26th January, Australia Day celebratesĀ the arrival of the First FleetĀ at Sydney Cove in 1788. Waking early to the sound of engines I peered through the curtains to see a line of classic cars positioning themselves along the edge of Hyde Park.

After breakfast it was off to join in the festivities, setting off along the road down to the harbour looking at the cars that their owners took great pride in. There were cars from all eras and though I'm no fanatic, it was hard not to appreciate their owner's joy in their history.

At the harbour I took my place to watch the Ferrython, a race between the gold and green ferries that would normally move people across the water. They race between Circular Quay and Shark Island before returning to the finish line under the famous Harbour Bridge.

In the evening, Darling Harbour was full of people each vying for the best spot to watch the fireworks show, along with a huge video screen in the middle of the water. For me the show seemed to go on for hours and I didn't want the celebrations to end.

 

Tropfest

Tropfest 2005 LogoAs a film fan, this had to be my favourite event, but I was just one of 90,000 who turned up to The Domain at the end of February for the short film festival.

I'd managed to secure a spot near the stage next to a small area which I soon realised was a VIP area, as I ended up stood next to Superman director Bryan Singer, who was one of the judges on the day. He was joined on the judges panel by Oscar winner Geoffrey Rush who unfortunately I only saw on stage.

The day was spent watching the 16 finalists, some comedic and some dramatic but all of which had to incorprate an umbrella in some way. The highlight though was when out of a small tent near where I were standing came the late Heath Ledger who went on to present an award.

The winner in 2005 was Australian Summer.

 

MTV Australian Video Music Awards

I'd read that the awards were heading to Sydney and were to be held at Luna Park, across the harbour from the opera house. As I'd never been there, I took the ferry early in the day to have a look around. Luna Park is not very big and despite there being a large ceremony in the evening there were very few people around.

As I walked through the park a small group were walking towards me and on closer inspection the person at the centre was Bryan Adams. Before cameras could be whipped out from my bag he'd disappeared through a side door. However the disappointment didn't last long as I soon bumped into Daniel McPherson, Ja Rule and XZibit.

As the rain began to fall, celebrities began the walk down the red carpet with their own personal umbrella assistants. In the UK this would have been rammed with teenagers screaming out their lungs, but this was a more quiet affair as I leaned on the railings watching as Carmen Electra, Green Day, Dannii Minogue, Natalie Imbruglia and The Osbournes all casually walked past.

Have you joined in with Australia Day, experienced Tropfest in Sydney or celeb-spotted around the world?