Newcastle: the world’s least ironic hipster mecca

Newcastle Hipster??

Newcastle is a hipster mecca? Really? If you look around Newcastle you’ll see that locals are too busy enjoying themselves at our great beaches and parks, or strolling along the harbour or mountain biking or just chilling in great cafes to have time to be studiously ironic.

Nonetheless, the Seattle Globalist has named Newcastle as one of Five Global Hipster Meccas Even Cooler than Seattle. It all seems to be linked to the excellent Renew Newcastle started by Marcus Westbury (he’s a bit of a hipster). The Globalist had Newcastle ranked alongside Reykjavik in Iceland, San Cristobal de Las Casas in Mexico, Tokyo in Japan and Bangalore in India as some of the coolest cities in the world, so-called “global hipster enclaves”.

Here’s how they described our fair town:

Amazing story of a ghost town reborn into Bohemian paradise. Marcus Westbury, a festival director in Newcastle, came up with an ingenious tactic for reinvigorating the over 150 empty storefronts of the city’s derelict downtown. Securing agreements from landowners he invited fledgling artists, designers and food cooperatives to use the storefronts for free, or until their businesses were stable enough to pay rent. Dilapidated buildings turned vibrant arts district; like a hipster fairy tale come true.

Ok, so you’ll see more hipsters in the first ten meters of Crown Street, Surry Hills than you will in a week in Newcastle….but otherwise it is great recognition that this is a cool town with a lot of creative people doing some amazing things. And the city’s rebirth over the last decade has been a modern fairytale. So we’ll take the accolades, find some skinny jeans and black rimmed glasses and get back to enjoying ourselves.

Craig Wilson is managing director of Sticky, a digital agency based in Newcastle, Australia & founder of Urban Insider. Craig blogs as Mediahunter, is a contributor to the collaborative series of world-wide marketing books The Age of Conversation 1, 2, 3, contributes to Marketing Magazine and Digital Ministry.

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5 comments

I start wearing white jeans and now, we’re called a hipster mecca

Note to self: ditch the ironic black rimmed glasses before this gets out of control.

Marcus westbury

I find it interesting that we are claimed to be this creative Mecca … Yet a lot of people struggle to find outlets

Alex Garred

Wow! Food coops?! A hipster mecca isn’t complete without a food revolution…and food trucks. Are there food trucks yet?

The food truck revolution has started here in Newcastle…get on to @harrysjoint to follow the Harry’s Food Truck serving the famous schnitzel wraps around the streets of Newcastle.

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