The traders around Queen Street have had a rough year.
The inner west strip (whose populated stretch is actually on Elizabeth Street) has long been a go-to for weekend diners and shoppers – those drawn to the prospect of a crunchy Red Door Bakery pie, a lazy Sunday brunch at Queen Street Cafe, or a one-off vintage buy at Hype and Seek.
But over the past 18 months it’s been a little tougher to reach. Traffic and road closures caused by the long-running South Road works and an upgrade to the Croydon railway station have deterred many would-be-customers.
It’s been so bad, in fact, that traders in the area reportedly took out loans and sold their homes to keep their doors open.
In a bid to lift their spirits (and bring people back to the area) the City of Charles Sturt enlisted the help of Hype and Seek owners Genevieve Drewer and Dexter Campos to throw the Queen Street Music Festival.
Despite the name they’re actually closing off Elizabeth Street (between Day Terrace and Robert Street). “There’ll be pretty lights, hopefully good weather, a good atmosphere, and everyone can just relax and have a bit of a party,” says Drewer.
The music line-up features rock, psych, punk and country from Wireheads, The Dunes, Avant Gardeners, Workhorse and The Bitter Darlings.
“It’s about good music, more than anything,” Drewer says. “Dexter has been in bands forever and we both love music, so for us, this is a bit of a dream come true – we’ve always wanted to curate a music festival.”
As for food and drink, they didn’t need to look too far: traders along the strip including Queen Street Cafe, Croydon Social and Red Door Bakery will keep their doors open. Retailers such as Hype and Seek, Curious Orange, One Small Room and Croydon Bookstore will also be open for business.
“This is a way for the whole community to come together towards the end [of the roadworks],” says Drewer. “Just time for a bit of celebration and lifting everyone’s spirits.”
Queen Street Music Festival is on Friday April 6 from 4pm to 9pm at Elizabeth Street, Croydon. Entry is free.