With initiatives like the City of Sydney’s Live Music Task Force and the easing of licensing regulations, Sydney is regaining its reputation as a live music hub.
Courtyard Sessions is part of that reawakening. A program of summer gigs held on Friday evenings in the courtyard of the Seymour Centre organised by The Festivalists.
“It’s a series of free outdoor gigs showcasing Sydney’s best up-and-coming talent and it’s every Friday night so it’s a great way to usher in the weekend,” says Mathieu Ravier, Director of The Festivalists.
“It’s a chance to discover new music outdoors in the dappled sunshine under the trees in a courtyard – it’s a beautiful kind of setting,” he continues.
In its third year, Courtyard Sessions has a reputation for introducing bands that have gone on to gain mainstream success.
“Panama played there the first year. They’ve just been selected to play at South by Southwest in March – the biggest music industry conference in the world,” says Ravier.
Christo Jones, a symphonic pop artist, is taking to the stage for the second Courtyard Sessions performance, January 24.
Jones is a one-man band appearing with a self-built rig that has all sorts of instruments, including guitars, samplers and keyboards.
“Courtyard Sessions is a really exciting program and it’s the perfect time of year, where Sydney is coming alive,” says Jones.
“I always like playing unique spaces. An outdoor concert provides a really unique experience for punters and it’s going to be a great environment for artists,” he says.
The Festivalists have selected 11 of Sydney’s most exciting emerging artists with a diverse mix of genres from dance music to bluegrass for Courtyard Sessions.
The program kicks off with the enchanting Twin Lakes from Newcastle on January 17 and closes with Little May, March 28.
“Little May are a kind of indie-folk band from Sydney who are getting a lot of traction at the moment. We were really excited to lock them in,” says Ravier.
“I’m really looking forward to the Green Mohair Suits… this kind of country, folk, bluegrass band. They’re incredible live,” he continues.
There are also vintage games, roaming performers, a gourmet barbeque and the Daylight Savings bar.
“There’s a barbeque and a pop-up bar,” says Ravier.
“It’s just kind of a good way to say goodbye to the working week and start enjoying the weekend.” (PG)
Jan 17-Mar 28, Seymour Centre, City Rd & Cleveland St, Chippendale, free, seymourcentre.com