I love the Twilight at Taronga events and try to attend at least one concert every season.
Now in its 18th year, Twilight at Taronga is a series of open-air concerts held in front of the concert lawn inside the grounds of Sydney’s Taronga Zoo. In the line-up over the past few years there has been an emphasis on tribute bands however this year there’s a return to featuring original artists.
Over eight weeks there will be 18 concerts featuring a range of talent including Irish group, The Commitments, and local legends including Jimmy Barnes, James Reyne, Richard Clapton, Jenny Morris, Daryl Braithwaite and Ross Wilson.
It was a perfect summer’s evening where it was beautiful and warm with not a breath of wind. We arrived at the Zoo at around 6.30pm and walked through the gates then along the paths of the zoo that led us to the concert lawn. You’re not going to have a lot of space to roll out your picnic rug as there will be more than a few tickets sold and so you’ll be sitting ‘cheek by jowl’ with other ticket holders.
Most people pack their own picnic hamper or you can buy food at the venue. We were a party of six and chose to bring our own food. I made meatballs and macaroons, my sister brought an antipasto plate with some dark chocolate goji berries and my mother brought figs wrapped in prosciutto and some nougat.
Then we come to the drinks and this is where it unfortunately gets silly. You used to be able to bring your own alcohol but new rules (there’s always new rules) have been put in place and BYO is now banned and all bags are checked on entry. You have to queue to buy drinks and the range is limited and the prices fairly steep. Carl tried to buy a bottle of wine and a couple of beers but was told that isn’t allowed. He could only buy either the wine or the beer so he came back with the beer and I went down and bought the wine. Ridiculous. Anyone would think Carl was staggering but if you’ve been reading my blog for a while you will know that Carl always has issues with security.
Whoever wrote the new rule book should actually have it thrown at them because the other rule is that if you buy a bottle of wine they open it for you and give it to you without the lid. I said, ‘Where’s the lid?’ And the woman said, ‘You’re not allowed it’.
‘Why can’t I have the lid to the bottle of wine?’
‘You just can’t have it’.
‘But I’m sitting on a lawn and if I put the bottle down it will fall over so I need the lid.’ I won’t tell you what happened from there because it just became more ridiculous.
Anyway, I made it back to our picnic spot and then we bumped into friends we hadn’t seen for years except on facebook. We had a good chat to them and I instagramed a few images then another friend sent me a comment on one of the images saying she was there as well so it was like a reunion. And everyone was dressed in either shorts or a pretty summer floaty dress and there was a great atmosphere (except where you buy the alcohol!)
As Carl was wandering around the front of the stage there was a professional photographer on stage taking a few images. He saw Carl and said to him, ‘Are you singing tonight?’ And Carl looked a bit confused and said, ‘Uhm, no’. Then the photographer said, ‘Well you should be. I was on the same cruise and I heard you singing karaoke. They should let you sing on this stage’.
Unbelievable. What were the odds!
We enjoyed our picnic as the sun began to set and just as we had polished off the nougat and goji berries the support band started. We took our seats on our picnic rugs and settled down to watch the show.
The Whitlams came on at around 8pm and played for over an hour with an encore performance. Tim is very witty and tells funny stories yet a lot of his songs have sad lyrics. It was a sold-out concert with enthusiasts leaving their picnic rugs to dance in front of the stage. After an encore, The Whitlams left the stage at around 9.30 and we headed back up the hill to the Zoo’s main entrance.
It was a fantastic evening filled with good company, great weather and a fantastic concert and we hope to be back again before the season ends.
Tickets are selling out fast so here’s the link so you don’t miss out.
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