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The Surry Hills Festival will be significantly reduced in scale this year, a result of extensive renovations to its usual location of Prince Alfred Park.

Organisers said this year’s event would be “creative, intimate and have a community picnic feel”. Although in previous years the Festival has had between five and seven stages, this year entertainment stages will be limited to two small parks – Ward Park on Devonshire Street, and Shannon Reserve on Crown Street, while the White Horse Hotel and Surry Hills Library will also host events as part of a ‘satellite’ operation.

Festival co-ordinator Cathy Wills remained upbeat, optimistic the Festival would attract a different vibe this year. “I think hopefully it will bring a different element – that it will move from being a celebration of the Festival on its own, to Surry Hills itself – as a resident I think it’s a fantastic area.”

For the first time also, the Festival will be alcohol-free, with no liquor sold by any of the stall vendors, and a ban on BYO. “The surrounding areas are well-served, and honestly I think people can enjoy their festival beverages at funky bars and hotels along the strip,” Ms Wills said.