The largest island in Sydney Harbour, once used as a prison, is not usually the top of visitors or locals to-do list. Cockatoo Island is home to the remnants of prison cells, military guardhouses and the remains of what was one of Australia’s largest shipyards; and it is this World Heritage listed island and it’s seemingly abandoned warehouses which is the backdrop to Red Bull’s X-Fighter Finale.
The usually laid back island was a buzz with hundreds of people putting the finishing touches to the event, press conferences being held, track testing taking place; and as a Red Bull MOBILE Scout, I was granted behind the scenes access to some of the areas as they were being transformed.
The area known as the Plaza was once home to a number of shops on the island including a store, sheet metal shop, and cooper shop. These buildings were demolished during the 1990s to create a multi-purpose entertainment area and is the main stage of the X-Fighers Finale with the area being covered with tons of dirt and then moulded into perfect jumps. It’s home to the grandstands, VIP areas, standing area and Friends of Red Bull balcony.
To put into perspective of how close Cockatoo Island is from Sydney’s CBD, you only need to glance out into the harbour to catch sight of the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge in the distance.
During the islands time as one of the largest shipyards, what is now referred to as the Campground was home to the plate yard – the area where the steel was delivered, cut and bent to shape. Today, one of the activities you can take part in when visiting Cockatoo Island is to go camping. Yes, this does mean sleeping in tents! Whilst some of the tents remain, a lot of the area has been turned into one of two Expo Areas.
In the Expo area you will find huge screens so you don’t miss any of the action, food, drinks, sponsors tents (including Swatch, Fox, Yamaha and of course, Red Bull MOBILE!) as well as heaps of music coming from the Red Bull beats van!
Since this is the only event where you can check-out Red Bull MOBILE and the World of Red Bull before the 29th of September I encourage you to head to the Mobile tent and have a go with the new HTC Cha Cha‘s. They’re great phones, especially for people who love Facebook! Also, there is opportunity to come and hang out in the Red Bull MOBILE lounge, so watch out for that!
The Industrial Precinct and Heavy Machine Shop
Originally home to a foundry, blacksmiths and turbine shop, the industrial precinct and heavy machine shop is the area which is ‘behind the scenes’ and off limit to most spectators. Most of this area has been left unchanged, including the rail tracks which line the pavement.
In the industrial precinct you’ll find all the corporate catering, media centre (where press conferences are held and I turn to jelly when my Journalism hero is standing less than a foot away..), the Riders Pits where the bikes are stored, and the Riders lounge.
As I mentioned before, the area has been left largely unchanged, and when decorating the area, the same principals have applied. From the use of industrial fencing, leaving wooden pilons where they lay or new takes on original features such as the Red Bull fridges being made with a stone exterior to give it a real warehouse feel, despite the plasma TV screens mere metres away.
Cockatoo Island has been completely transformed from just an island into a stadium ready to be packed with 11,000 X-Fighter fans and from what all of us Red Bull MOBILE Scouts got to experience today the X-Fighters Finale is going to be an amazing night!
I have written this post because I have been chosen as 1 of 8 Red Bull MOBILE Scouts testing out their new HTC ChaChas, taking part in wicked experiences including taking Sydney by storm to check-out the Red Bull X-Fighter Finale held on Cockatoo Island.
If you choose to sign up with Red Bull MOBILE please be sure to read the terms and conditions associated with your contract.
If you choose to drink Red Bull I hope you’ll drink it in moderation.