Sydney is a mixture of many distinct communities – micro cultures which have evolved from, and become synonymous with, suburbs and regions of the city. Newtown is the traditional home of the university and alternative crowd. For over a century Kings Cross has been the destination for all things rowdy and seedy. The inhabitants of the eastern suburbs are acknowledged as the ‘new money’. Their historical counterparts, the ‘old money’, prefer the broad leafy streets of the north shore. Not to be confused with the northern beaches, where tidal fluctuations are considered more important than those in the market. And then there are those cultural hubs that have formed along ethnic lines. The Italian flavour of Leichardt goes well beyond the tortellini and gelato served up in the Forum.
Each of these communities plays an important role in defining the city at large. In order for strong identities to evolve and flourish, a high degree of concentration is necessary. Cheap college bars can only sprout where there is a critical mass of cheap college students (that’s not an insult, I was one for eight years). Old English pubs rely on a clientele who can afford to pay for pints at a price that ensures the Edwardian decor and poison ivy can be maintained. It is therefore essential to note that the idea behind Sydcomm is not to undermine these microcosms.
The idea, rather, is to provide a space where all Sydney siders and visitors feel welcome to come and enjoy the company of other Sydney siders. Through interviews, public discussions and artistic performances, SydComm would provide a catalyst for people to engage with each other – including those who do not fall in the same