Newcastle Now

Our Projects

The Headphone Project

In 2013 an event known as Urban Surge inspired the creation of a giant headphone sculpture big enough to house speakers through which instruments and music could be amplified. These giant headphones would then be used by buskers and musicians to entertain crowds on the street.

This ideas was brought forward by urban designer, Mark Tisdell, who with the assistance of a fabricator, an electrical engineer and graphic designer, brought the idea to life. The project was completed in May 2015 amidst widespread publicity and interest and the giant headphones now stand as permanent fixture in Darby Street and have been the catalyst for many boutique music events.

The giant headphones can be booked in half day slots during the day or evening. There is no cost however, a six channel mixer, microphones and instruments are required. Performers are welcome to supply their own mixer or can hire one for $25. A refundable $50 security deposit, photo ID and compliance with Newcastle City Council busking regulations are the only requirements. For bookings, send an email with the words Booking Request in the subject line to

The Headphone Project is maintained by volunteers and has its own Facebook page (

The Headphone Project was made possible by Newcastle Now, the Darby Street Advisory Group, Worksil Australia, and Newcastle City Council.

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