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How will you play Manly?

How will you play Manly?

Sydney’s newest beachside festival, PLAY MANLY, has unveiled details of the ten day and night program which will bring the Manly CBD to life from 21 April to 30 April, 2022.

Using six themes – light, art, music, food, games, stories – the event offers free experiences and activities for visitors of all ages in one of Sydney’s most picturesque and historic settings.

Among the highlights of the festival are:

  • Interactive lighting tracks your movement to sprinkle ‘fairy dust’ on your path
  • More than 20 live music performances including bands such as Lambros, Eagle Eye Jones and Buffalo Grass Boys
  • Beachside cinema

PLAY MANLY Ambassador, cook and local resident Hayden Quinn, said the event will be a joyful playground of sensory and interactive experiences.

“I love living in the Manly area and I love sharing this place with people – Manly is made for visitors and we want to bring people back to this glorious part of Sydney,” said Hayden.

“PLAY MANLY is about bringing the CBD area to life with lots of fun and free activations.

“An ordinary laneway becomes an interactive play with light, while a giant red button in the middle of The Corso beckons those who dare to press it and see what happens.

“There’s games to play, 3D art to climb through and secret gardens to explore, while weekends will get loud with live performances on The Corso stage.

“Most importantly, the local businesses are getting into the PLAY MANLY spirit with their own offerings and experiences for visitors to enjoy and there are so many different food and drinks options in this town you could happily eat all day!

“We’re inviting people to come for the day or stay a little longer at one of the many accommodation options.”

You can find the event program at playmanly.com.au

Here’s a few highlights to get you started on how to plan your play:


  • The Corso’s palm trees turn into audio ‘equalisers’ each night through the magic of light
  • Manly Town Hall goes under the sea
  • Harbourside and beachside promenades illuminate with colour
  • St Matthews Church becomes a stunning colourscape
  • PLAY MANLY illuminated sign for your selfie moments


  • Two giant new street art murals by artist Reubszz
  • Step inside the Beating Heart, a sculpture alive with light and sound
  • Try your hand at still life drawing and painting in the Manly Library Creative Space
  • Tree Art workshops will have you binding, weaving and twining
  • Happy hour with live performances at Manly Arts Gallery and Museum, including artists Billy Blain and Peta Morris, and musician Noah Bloom


  • Live performances in The Corso stage on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings
  • Bands include The Buffalo Grass Boys, Lambros, White Wizard, Eagle Eye Jones and more
  • Listen out for Manly Keys – is someone playing that piano… or not?
  • Live music at many local restaurants


  • Explore Manly’s diverse food and drinks scene – look out for:
  • Discounts on meals, coffee and drinks
  • Special menus and dishes created by many of the local dining and takeaway outlets
  • Experimental food workshops
  • Specials on gourmet picnic hampers


  • Giant Scrabble and Chequers will get your mind and your body moving
  • Explore the glow-rope tunnels inside and out
  • Can you throw the beanbag in the Cornhole?
  • Colouring-in for kids of all ages


  • Beachside outdoor cinema to enjoy Flickerfest short films while the surf breaks
  • Stroll the history and heritage storyboard walks on South Steyne and The Esplanade to learn more about the area – from the rich indigenous history to giant photographic prints showcasing more recent times
  • Book a guided rockpool tour to hear more about the marine environment and it’s local inhabitants

Local businesses are also getting into the playful mood, with many offering special discounts or activities, including:

  • Night dives
  • Kids SUPBall Parties
  • One hour, get one hour free Kayak adventures
  • Bookstore open mic night for storytellers, poets, musicians and more
  • Meet the photographic artist night
  • Picnic hampers
  • Jewellery making demonstrations
  • Manly by night photography workshop
  • Outdoor cycle classes
  • Snorkelling and ecowalk tours
  • Sound healing experiences

To plan your play! Find out more at www.playmanly.com.au

Follow on Instagram @hellomanlyofficial and Facebook @hellomanly

Source: Hello Manly

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