Parades and Fiestas in Bondi Beach
Things you may not know about the team at Caribbean Sydney..
The Bondi Beach Latin American Festival
The Bondi Beach Latin American Festival has been Australia’s longest running and most iconic Latin American Festival. A festival where, for over 40 years, old friends would meet and new friends would be made, dancing to the sounds of Latin America while enjoying the colourful cultural displays and savouring the tastes of the region.
After a break of a few years following withdrawal of resourcing support by the local council, the Bondi Beach Latin American Festival was reinvigorated and successfully returned in 2016, with a new team. The team was built around the passionate world music radio show hosts from not-for-profit arts organisation Bondi Association of Arts and Music Inc (BAAM), the operator of local online community radio station Bondi Beach Radio, including event artistic director DJ Dante Rivera, commercial director Christopher ‘Caraz’ Rosario, BAAM major events partner Canvas Events, and director of marketing from Caribbean Sydney. The team at Caribbean Sydney worked on the planning and marketing of the festival.
From 2016 to 2020, the festival re-established itself as a Latin highlight of the Sydney cultural calendar. Attendees experienced sizzling street market-style food served alongside the best of Sydney’s live Latin influenced music, DJs, dance lessons, traditional folkloric performances, and were lead by a colourful parade alongside Bondi’s renowned beachfront.
The unique Bondi Pavilion layout provided multiple stages and areas, including the Main arena showcasing Latin musicians, the Folkloric arena featuring traditional cultural performances, the Dancehall providing a variety of complimentary dance classes from Sydney’s best latin dance schools, the Beats and Eats arena with delicious food options and DJs, and the Balcony bar with an amazing view across Bondi Beach.
The Caribbean shares its borders with Latin America where there is a flow of cultural crossover, therefore the addition of Caribbean Sydney on the board was a favourable partnership. For example, showcasing the Caribbean roots of popular music and dance genres such as salsa and bachata.
Organising a major calendar event at the iconic Bondi Pavillion, Bond Beach, is a sizeable task with months of planning involved. The Caribbean Sydney team along with other stakeholders arranged and attended planning meetings, liaised with council and community, and developed and executed organisational plans for a safe and successful Bondi Beach Latin American Festival.
This was an enriching experience, and it was great to work with so many wonderful partners including the Sydney Latin community, over 150 amazing artists and performers, the event management and volunteer team, council events and cultural staff, event sponsors, media partners, sound and staging contractors, food and beverage partners, and market stall operators. We were grateful to be part of such a diverse and excellent team.
Some of Caribbean Sydney’s noteworthy contributions to the Bondi Beach Latin American Festival include:
1. A foreshore parade along Bondi Beach, including Latin American cultural groups and dedicated Caribbean section.
2. Coordinating the Latin dance classes and introducing Caribbean dance to the complimentary dance class area.
3. Creating networks between Latin and Caribbean DJs within the Eats and Beats arena.
Caribbean Sydney also sought to provide opportunities to local Caribbean businesses. We put forward and suggested vendors to the planning board with the goal to support the Caribbean community while also further enriching the festival.
For us at Caribbean Sydney, there is nothing greater and more fulfilling than contributing to the multi-cultural landscape of Sydney, allowing cultures to shine and connect in a fun celebratory environment. We look forward to the future and hope to continue to be a support for this festival and more.