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Creative Projects

This year’s Festival celebrates the stories and people of Surry Hills through dance, song, public art and installation. Find out about how you can get involved in the art projects we’re developing below: The Mills of Surry Hills, the Surry Hills Song Comp, Surry Hills Lives & the Revolutionary Dance-a-Thon.

The Mills of Surry Hills

Take part in creating an enormous bold and interactive installation across the Festival site. An art project for all ages, the Mills of Surry Hills brings together community to share many smiles and stories whilst creating a fun artwork.

Inspired by a “Community Fun Fair Spinning Wheel”, the interactive artworks represent the spinning cogs of Surry Hills’ industrial and rag trade heritage; the self-sustaining energy, creativity, innovation and entrepreneurial spirit of Surry Hills.

Mills of Surry Hills – FREE Workshop Program 
Surry Hills Market, Shannon Reserve – Saturdays 5 July, 2 August, 6 September, 10am to 2pm.

Mills of Surry Hills artwork by Nigel Sense

Surry Hills Song Competition


Be in the running to perform your original work on stage at Surry Hills Festival.  Finalists will perform on Festival day and the winner will be judged by an industry panel. The winner will have their original work recorded at Soundwork Studios ( We are looking for original compositions to capture the Stories, Love & Tales of Surry Hills. You can portray the history, your own experiences or anything you love about something or someone in Surry Hills.

In developing your ideas, be sure to visit the link below for some creative inspiration. We thank talented local writer, Alli Sebastian Wolf, for compiling these short Stories about Surry Hills.

Submissions Close 22 August 2014.

View stories & inspiration


And don’t be shy. Surry Hills has a colourful wild history and we want to hear all your tales! Enter the form below to apply.


Surry Hills Lives


Local creatives Esem Projects love digging up the documentary histories of Sydney suburbs and Surry Hills is one of their favourites.

A classic, controversial ABC documentary of the 1960s called ‘Living on the Fringe’ filmed the people of Surry Hills & Redfern out on the streets, back when the area was a poverty-stricken blight on Sydney’s aspirations as a modern city. These and other scenes of Surry Hills will be featured in a series of intimate projections on the day.

If you have a recording or story you’d like to share as part of this event the Surry Hills Neighbourhood Centre would love to hear from you. To contribute images or stories, email us at or Facebook or bring them to Surry Hills Market, Shannon Reserve, Saturdays 5 July, 2 August or 6 September.

Revolutionary Disco Dance-A-Thon

Join the flash disco revolution raising funds for community programs. Dig out your green eye shadow, glam frock and jelly pipe pants for this incredible opportunity. Produced by SEET DANCE, you will learn Disco Moves in free dance lessons. Then invite your friends, family and work mates to sponsor your fabulous Disco Debut on Festival Day!

If you are an individual, a local club, business or company – please register below. We will then contact you with your Disco Dance A – Thon Fund Raising Booklet and Terms and Conditions.