Beachside cinema, street games, live music and light installations are just some of the treats planned for Manly this April for the exciting new initiative set to entice everyone back out for fun!

PLAY MANLY, a new ten-day festival attracting visitors back to Manly, will reactivate the beachside CBD day and night from 21 April to 30 April 2022. The free event, which invites visitors from across Sydney and regional NSW to come ‘PLAY MANLY’, will showcase the diversity of experiences on offer for people of all ages through six themes: light, art, music, food, games and stories.

Lambros are just one of the bands on the live music schedule during PLAY MANLY (image credit Salty Dingo)

The event will bring the Manly CBD to life as a joyful playground of sensory and interactive experiences. Among the activations planned are:

  • Light installations, projections and illuminations to surprise and delight
  • Laneways with hidden gardens, interactive projections and unexpected sound activations
  • A free, beachside, outdoor cinema showing short films
  • Interactive history and storytelling displays
  • Murals and interactive displays
  • Street games for kids of all ages to play – from life size Scrabble to mazes
  • Live music
  • Local food and beverage experiences

Local businesses are being invited to join the program and extend the fun into their premises and operations.

Hayden Quinn, Ambassador for PLAY MANLY. © Salty Dingo 2022 CG

Northern Beaches Council in collaboration with Experience Manly has secured $850k funding from the NSW Government, as part of Investment NSW’s CBD Revitalisation Program. Council is working  with the newly formed tourism organisation, business and the community to deliver the event.

Manly has been hit hard over the past two years of COVID restrictions, with visitation down by 77%. Northern Beaches Mayor Michael Regan said PLAY MANLY is a key part of the plan to bring life, and visitors, back to town.

PLAY MANLY will light up the Manly CBD with installations (artists impression).

“Manly has always been a playground for kids and grown-ups alike – seven miles from Sydney and a thousand miles from care, as they used to say,” said Mayor Regan.

“This new festival aims to boost economic recovery and social connection by bringing visitors back for day trips and extended stays. We’re encouraging local businesses to join the event program.

“The event aims to reconnect Manly with its community, its local businesses, and visitors, after such a long and challenging period these past few years.

A blend of roots reggae and dub – Black Bird Hum will play at Play Manly

“PLAY MANLY will put the area firmly back on the map, with ten days of entertainment and interactive activities, running day and night.

“Street art, light projections, live music, free family street games and all the best of Manly’s vibrant food and drinks scene will come together in an exciting and fun experience between the wharf and the surf. We’re inviting all of Sydney and NSW to come play, and stay, here at Manly.”

Rockpool tours will be part of PLAY MANLY (image credit Salty Dingo)

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Main image credit: Salty Dingo 

You may also like to read about the upcoming Taste of the Beaches Foodie Festival – click here:
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