I visited the Festival of the Winds today at Bondi Beach. I'm really glad i made the trip this year. This was the place to be for thousands of visitors on a hot sunny day!
There was major traffic on all routes leading towards Bondi and Bondi Beach. I don't think weekday peak traffic would be as busy. I think Waverly Council and their partners have done a very impressive job promoting this event, notwithstanding the fact that it was a beach day on a weekend!
I found my usual place to park (secret!) and decided to take the ocean walk between Bondi and Tamarama. It is a very popular walking trail for locals & visitors because you find stunning views of the coast. On the return trip however I decided against the coastal walk when returning to my car (because I didn't want to die, climbing the Mt.Everest of steps from the base of Tamarama Park).
Shortest Convention Ever
I packed my kit initially for OZ Comic Con Sydney at Glebe Island. The main car park was already full on arrival. The traffic controllers directed us to the car park for White Bay Passenger Terminal as expected. They ran shuttle buses between these two locations, but it wasn't an option for me because I needed direct access to the venue to unload my gear. The traffic controllers wouldn't let me in to drop off the kit, so I decided to let my passenger go and enjoy the rest of the day elsewhere. After all what a beautiful day it is in Sydney.
The over flow car park is circled. The star is the site of the temporary convention centre.
These accessibility issues I discussed last month on social media with photographers and cosplayers out of Sydney. The temporary convention centre was a black spot for public transport and there was limited direct access. This means for exhibitors, photographers and cosplayers who normally come to a convention with heavy duty equipment, demand for access and car parking means we have to fight with staff, volunteers and exhibitors at 7am when the venue's on-site car park opens. A logistical nightmare for everyone in such circumstances.
Prior to any convention or photo shoot, I always scout the location to determine any potential issues that could arise on the day. This means there would be no surprises and I would have contingencies in the event that things don't go according to plan. Today's back up plan was to visit the Festival of the Winds.
The Sydney Exhibition Centre at Glebe Island website suggests that there are 510 parking spaces. I don't think that number is accurate. About half the spaces were reserved according to my friends who were there on Saturday. They seem to be reserved for shipwrights and port workers, which makes logical sense. Glebe Island has been home to Sydney Ports Authority for some time. I've had meetings here before when I worked as a Town Planner. The remaining was taken up by staff, volunteers and exhibitors who are working at the convention. Reports by a few friends on site suggested that the main car park was full before 8.30 am and traffic controllers were already in place directing attendees to the overflow site.
The over flow car park is at the White Bay Passenger Terminal with a further 470 parking spaces. However it is a bit of a distance from the venue (maybe 2km). The website suggested no visitor access on foot to the venue, but we discovered that the traffic controllers on the ground permitted attendees to use a staff back door to access the convention coming from the over flow car park.
The shuttle buses weren't running very frequently so we saw a lot of attendees just walking to the convention centre from the over flow car park. I brought along my coffin with the full arsenal of studio lighting equipment. I'm not subjecting it to the kinds of abuse of towing it over unpaved or uneven surfaces to the convention centre. It certainly won't fit on those little shuttle buses!
Road to Bondi
This is the east bound traffic on Syd Einfield Road, connecting to Bondi Road. We inched our way at a pace that even pedestrians would have made to the intersection in half the time!
Bondi Beach, gorgeous sunny afternoon
Overall a very relaxing day at the beach. The highlight for me was talking to a photographer with an unusual contraption. It was a 6 metre Manfrotto stand with a plate and three GoPro's attached. The photographer said it was three GoPros with modifield ultra wide angle lens to cover the full 180 degrees field of view. He was taking photographs and filming for the Occulus Rift. He would use the footage from the three cameras and stitch it together into a full panorama experience. It certainly wasn't something you would see every day seeing as Occulus Rift is in development and only SDK 2 has been released. SDK 3 is going to be released in a few months. Occulus Rift IP was recently bought by Facebook but the development of the technology is still underway.