A weekend of creative play with Rumpus

In 2019 Sydney Craft Week is thrilled to extend further afield to include events from Greater Sydney and Beyond. Rumpus, based in the Illawarra area, join the festival line-up with two incredible events, celebrating craft, community and play. Let's get to know Rumpus and all about one of their event's Jamboree: A Creative Weekend Escape.


Let's begin by having you introduce us to Rumpus and your Sydney Craft Week event Jamboree: A Creative Weekend Escape.
Rumpus got started by Caitlin Marshall and Lizzie Rose, social entrepreneurs based in the Illawarra in 2013. We began supporting local artists and makers, with a local Suitcase Market. It is now a well-respected agency that delivers ‘purposeful play experiences’ to communities and workplaces across Sydney and the Illawarra.

In just 6 years, over 10,000 people - from refugees and public housing tenants to employees at billion-dollar software companies - have taken part in over 300 workshops ranging from traditional cooking classes to Beach Fishing and Life Drawing.

Since 2016, participants from across Australia, have journeyed to Mt Keira to enjoy a weekend of feasting, creative workshops, music, dancing, yoga, wine and surprises with Jamboree Creative Escape. Time Out Sydney called it “The First event of its kind in Australia”.

What are some of the highlight craft activities you have planned for the weekend and can you tell us about some of the teachers leading these making sessions?
South Coast textile and print artist Helena Geiger is bringing her exquisite expertise in batik to Jamboree, infused with her indigenous heritage and design influence.  Angela Forest will be inviting us to immerse ourselves in the verdant, vivid and viscous, with a painting workshop set up in the rainforest. 

Once again we are joined by sculptor and installation artist, Sharnie Shield, who will experiment with large-scale sculpture techniques and plant life to form a piece of collaborative installation art outdoors.  Together we will create an immersive playful structure from organic matter suspended in a special area of the rainforest.

Play is the theme of this year's Sydney Craft Week. How do participants engage with 'play' over this experiential weekend retreat and how important is the concept of play when you are curating such an event?
At Rumpus, we're all about play. 

Jamboree is approached with the concept of Play at the forefront. Our workshops are situated with the rainforest as the backdrop and lyre birds as the soundtrack. Some classes are held outside with a campfire as the central focus, others involve dancing through a bushtrack. Our Friday night feast includes a long table dinner with chandeliers, fairy lights and an all-in crafternite for the whole camp. From the moment of arrival to departure, there are pockets of Play interwoven throughout the whole event. It's this concept of purposeful Play, that we incorporate into design, and delivery to ensure our participants experience a full Creative Weekend Escape.

What do you hope people take away from the Jamboree experience?
Recharged, refreshed, connected and inspired by new creative practices that they can do at home to improve their wellbeing on an ongoing basis.
Check out the highlights from 2018 to give you a sense of the experience:

When is the event and how can people find out more, or buy a ticket?
It's happening in the lush rainforest of Mt Keira (just one hour south of Sydney), from Friday 18 October at 5pm to Sunday 20 October at 5pm. Choose between glamping, camping or shared chalet accommodation.

All tickets include $1,350 in value:
•    Three half-day Masterclasses with experts, valued at $900
•    Experiential nature-based makers morning with expert craft artisans, valued at $100
•    Gift bag, valued at over $100
•    All food and beverages (including Friday Night Feast, champagne on arrival, barista coffee, local, seasonal nourishing meals, organic chocolate, bliss balls and treats, never-ending fair trade tea) valued at $250
The all-inclusive tickets start from $755. Grab your ticket at

For more information about Rumpus visit their website:

Rumpus are also presenting a second Sydney Craft Week event: Commuter Craft - featuring crafty workshops on the move!

The full Sydney Craft Week program will launch in September 2019. Stay tuned. 

Images: Community around the Campfire; Working with Beautiful Textiles. Photo: Jon Harris