Parramatta Lanes uncovers and rediscovers Sydney’s cultural he(art)land this October

Sydney art and culture connoisseurs, mark your diaries: Western Sydney’s premier art and culture festival, Parramatta Lanes returns for four nights from 12 October – promising to be bigger and better for its 10th birthday year.

Over the festival period, Parramatta’s CBD will transform with wondrous light installations, inspiring artworks and dynamic art displays that celebrate Greater Western Sydney’s unique and diverse culture.

“After two years of COVID, we’re thrilled to have Parramatta Lanes back to its full artistic and cultural best,” said City of Parramatta Lord Mayor Cr Donna Davis. “We’re very proud of how this event has evolved to become ingrained in Sydney’s cultural calendar, and we’re encouraging art lovers from across Sydney to come and explore Parramatta Lanes.”

This year, more than 50,000 festival goers from all walks of life are expected to lose themselves in the rich cultural tapestry of Parramatta Lanes. Those lucky enough to live and work in the area will also uncover a treasure trove of creative talent that’s right on their doorstep.

In addition, Parramatta Lanes will provide social media die-hards with an artistic wonderland and a selection of stunning backdrops. For example – the illuminated gargantuan humanoids (from renowned Australian artist Amanda Parer’s Fantastic Planet exhibition), are joining the event to loom over festivities.

These peaceful giants are sure to give Laners something to contemplate and more importantly, Insta-worthy photo opps. The can’t-be-missed figures can be found in Parramatta Square, St Johns Lawn, Lennox Bridge, peeking around the side of the stage at Centenary Square and greeting entrants to the Eat Street Carpark.

Local creators will also step into the spotlight over the four nights to inspire creativity with displays around the city. Parramatta Square provides the canvas for Flower People – a digital display by Western Sydney artist and musician Kalanjay Dhir, whose work draws on themes from science-fiction, spiritual texts, and popular culture.

Inspired by local floral including Parramatta Wattle, Rafflesia and the Red Spider Lily, Dhir’s Flower People will feature on the PHIVE façade with visitors also able to interact with 3D printed models in the public domain.

Bubble Therapy by HOSSEI will be roaming each night of the festival, with costumed performers engaging visitors with bubble blowing and bubble-themed opera.

Specially commissioned street banners from Rosie Deacon will be scattered throughout the city, Curious Legends’ oversized light-up puppets will wander the festival, and graffiti art covered oil drums turned bar tables designed by Taylan Varol will be featured in Centenary Square.

Showcasing the budding artists of the University of New England (UNE), a photo exhibition and art displays will be proudly presented on Church Street. More UNE-made artworks can be found behind the UNE Campus on Church Street, and the UNE Carpark (Erby Place car park) features a projected, looped pixel video artwork from CLIPPED.TV.

After all the excitement, Laners can head to Baba Ghanouj’s Shisha Zone to relax while enjoying some soul-nourishing cultural programming.

Parramatta Lanes was awarded the Best Cultural, Arts or Music Event at the Australian Event Awards 2021 and the 2022 Local Government Week RH Dougherty Award for Innovation in Special Events.

Parramatta Lanes 2022 takes place from Wednesday 12 to Saturday 15 October (5.00pm – 10.00pm). For more information and full program, visit: for details.

Image: Amanda Parer’s Fantastic Planet gargantuan humanoids – photo by Parer Studio