Increasing our bandwidth

A bandstand modernisation and rejuvenation project dedicated to the arts.

In the early 20th century a growing appreciation for outdoor public recreation saw green spaces created throughout our city. Peppered through these parks were bandstands – structures designed to give a platform to local musicians and entertain park-goers and passers-by. Today, our parklands are again being celebrated for their critical role, as communities weather the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet these bandstands sit unused and silent.

We propose a program that reactivates the existing bandstands to provide a platform to local musicians who have lost their stage due to COVID-19 venue closures, and a community who has lost its connection to the arts as a result. The rotating program would visit the bandstands throughout the city – from Parramatta to Camperdown, Ashfield to Centennial Park and Belmore Park to Balmoral.

Power and lighting upgrades would provide the basic infrastructure for musicians to plug and play, tap-and-go tech can support donations, while graphic markings fanning from the bandstands assist with social distancing requirements, while also creating a sense of place.

The use of the bandstands could also extend to local school bands practice, to artists to use as a gallery and for local theatre groups to perform. When not hosting a physical performance, the bandstands could be equipped to broadcast recordings of local musicians throughout the park (via speakers) and via an online radio channel.

We want the bandstands to sing with activity once more – and reconnect Sydneysiders to the arts as they commute through, walk the dog, or sit and listen.

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