To compliment the London Olympic Games, the city blacktop of Regent Street was transformed into a large outdoor public performance area, “culminating as night fell with angels descending on zip wires over Piccadilly Circus, and 1.5 tonnes of feather floating from the sky,” recalls The Guardian’s Lyn Gardner.
Many of us seek out buskers and street performers when visiting the city and with the activities of the various cultural events that take place during Dubbo’s festival season many of these concepts are becoming a more regular sight around our static little city too.
Venturing along Macquarie and Talbragar Streets can usually be a mundane task, but coming across jazz musicians and discovering a seemingly impromptu parade have become highlights during the past few months.
Outdoor events such as these rarely get mentioned in pre-festival advertising, instead they tend to focus on the gala dinner or premiere opening events.
When streets are cordoned off for public performance the disruption to everyday life often overshadows the promise of the event but, as Lyn Gardner goes on to say, “it's the disruption to the fabric of everyday life that is so transforming.”
It is, in fact, the disruption that we should be welcoming.
“Public space in recent years has become increasingly privatised so that it often feels that we are only allowed to walk and shop in it.” Further to that point, it appears that we only allow ourselves to occupy public spaces for routine tasks.
As morning and night markets, street performers and outdoor cultural events become a more common occurrence in Dubbo, particularly during the later months of the year, it is refreshing to see more unfamiliar faces gracing the fresh air and taking advantage of the experience.
We can only hope that this is not just a fad but a trend on an incline and that we are drawn to local outdoor events on a more regular basis.