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The Calyx - Event Operations Guidelines

Set in the heart of Sydney’s Royal Botanic Garden, The Calyx boasts stunning architecture and the largest vertical floral display in the Southern Hemisphere.  
Considered one of Sydney’s most unique and show-stopping venues, The Calyx offers spaces for all event types. Whether you’re looking for an intimate setting or space to hold a large function, The Calyx has the flexibility that allows you to create an intimate event experience. This premium venue is the perfect setting for something truly spectacular and is bound to enchant all guests. 
The uniqueness and sensitivity of the Calyx demand increased awareness whilst onsite. These operations guidelines have been prepared to help guide event logistics. All clients and contractors are required to abide by these guidelines.

The Venue

The Calyx can be divided into separate event spaces or exclusively hired as a full venue.
Movable opaque glass doors in the exhibition space and foyer can connect all indoor spaces. 

Function Spaces

With a combined square meterage of 207sqm the Function Space can be used as one entire
event space or can be closed off to provide up to 3 separate workshop-type spaces. 

Functionality and included equipment

  • 2 x 9 panel wall mounted screens
  • Wall mounted speakers with connectability to wireless hand-held microphone and audio system
  • Retractable blinds over glass ceiling and on all glass walls

Exhibition Area

The Exhibition Space houses The Calyx’s ever-changing living botanic exhibition, the design and theme of which changes annually. With the stunning backdrop of one of the Southern hemispheres largest living green walls and surrounding garden beds, the glass roofed horticultural exhibition space is ideal for all event requirements.

Functionality and included equipment

  • Wall mounted speakers with connectability to wireless hand-held microphone and audio system

Foyer

This entrance space provides an area for guest reception & arrival, food & beverage service, cloak room and pre-dinner drinks. 

Functionality and included equipment

  • In-ceiling speakers with connectability to wireless hand-held microphone system and audio
  • 1 x 65” TV on portable stand

Island Terrace

The large outdoor pergola structure with central pond and island can be utilised as part of a full venue hire and is closed off to the public during events. Access to the island is weather dependant.

Functionality and inclusions

  • Rigging points on grey beams only.
  • A choice of coloured up-lighting of the external white beams is available to fit the event clients’ brand or theme.

Please refer to Event Venue Plan here

Air Conditioning

The Calyx is a climate-controlled space. The Exhibition Space climate control is adjusted to provide the optimal environmental conditions for the horticultural displays whilst the Foyer and Function Spaces are programmed for standard temperatures. These temperatures cannot be adjusted.

Amenities

Male, female and accessible toilets with baby change facilities are available within The Calyx.

Audio Visual

Screens

  • 2 x 9 panel screens in Function Space
  • ​1 x 65" TV on portable stand
  • Full specifications available upon request.
  • Full connectivity to multi purpose media player

Audio

  • Wireless hand-held microphone system suitable for speeches
  • Wall mounted Speakers throughout venue
  • WIFI control of Audio equipment

The Calyx audio system is suitable for speeches and general background music. Screens and speakers have full connectability to a WIFI controlled multipurpose media player. Full specifications are available upon request.

For events with amplified music or complex requirements, an external audio-visual supplier will need to be engaged.

Booking Times

Early Morning

  • Full venue or Function spaces
  • 7am -10am

Daytime

  • Function spaces
  • 9am - 4pm

Evening

  • Full venue, exclusive use
  • 4pm - midnight

Full Closure

  • Full venue, exclusive use
  • 7am - midnight
  • upon application

Catering

All event food and beverage catering is supplied by the exclusive venue caterer. Our exclusive venue caterer is licenced to serve alcohol, and follows the Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) principles outlined below:

  • not serving alcohol to minors
  • not serving intoxicated persons
  • providing enough food and water
  • ensuring the quiet and good order of your party

Venue Security will ensure RSA principles are adhered to and will remove any intoxicated persons from the venue.

Cleaning

Venue management will clean the venue prior to your event. The site must be left clean and tidy with all hired furniture, equipment and rubbish removed.

Commercial Filming & Photography

Commercial filming & photography within the Calyx and RBG (including recording, broadcasting, or webcasting) may only be carried out with the written consent of RBG and if approved must be done in accordance with the conditions of consent issued by RBG. Applications must be submitted for assessment. Fees and charges may apply.

Covid-19

Electronic check-in upon arrival at The Calyx is mandatory for all guests, suppliers, and contractors.
The Calyx has Service NSW COVID Safe Check-in QR codes placed at entry points.

To streamline the check-in process, we recommend that all guests and suppliers download the Service NSW application on their phone prior to arriving on site.

The event hirer must comply with the COVID-19 Safety Plan developed and implemented by The Calyx.

Decorations

All event decorations need to be planned and installed as free-standing items. Attachment of decorations, signage, banners, or other items to internal or external walls, trees, buildings, heritage features or other fixed structures including the white framework on the Terrace is not permitted.
Rigging points on the grey beams on the Calyx terrace may only be used for static displays and are subject to approval.
All decorations, hardware and debris are to be removed post event.

Extended Event Footprint

Any activities at The Calyx that propose an extension of the footprint beyond the agreed licensed area are subject to approval. Applications must be submitted for assessment and such activities must operate in line with the Trusts venue management principles. Additional venue hire fees may apply.

First Aid

A First Aid Kit and defibrillator are located at The Calyx; the location of both are illustrated on The Calyx Evacuation Diagram. Rangers and event security can provide First Aid. 

Furniture

There is minimal furniture supplied at The Calyx. 

The following furniture and items are available for use for your event, subject to availability.

  • 60 x conference chairs
  • 1 black lectern (with The Calyx branding)
  • 17 wooden benches

It is the hirer’s responsibility to arrange all other necessary furniture for their requirements. If required we can provide a list of suppliers who operate in the Garden on a regular basis.

Under no circumstances are any items of Calyx provided furniture to be left exposed to weather at any stage. 

Ground Cover and Turf Protection

Lawn use is strictly subject to approval.
Event sites in RBG are all sensitive to excessive use. To assist with reducing damage and subsequently the cost and impacts of repairs, any events with an approved extended footprint beyond the built area of The Calyx and onto turfed areas, must use appropriate ground and turf protection (such as terratrak, terraplas and/or pro-flooring products).
Where bump in requires sustained movement for assembly from the road edge onto turf, boards or protective flooring must be used to create a path to minimise the wear on turf, compaction of soil and damage to underground services. 
Activities requiring vehicles to drive over &/or to be position on grassed areas is subject to approval. The event Hirer must supply all protective boarding.

Heaters

The Event Hirer may use outdoor heaters subject to the provisions of the City of Sydney Outdoor Dining Guidelines and Australian standards in relation to storage and handling of LP Gas outdoor heaters including:

  • Outdoor heaters will only be approved where the safety of people and property is not compromised.
  • Outdoor heaters should turn off automatically if overturned to prevent injury to patrons and damage to property; and
  • Outdoor heaters should be turned off when the outdoor dining area is not in use.

Horticultural Considerations

The Calyx is a significant horticultural asset. Event staff, contractors and visitors are not to harass or feed aquatic life or birds, pick flowers, take cuttings of plants or otherwise damage animal or plant life. The Green Wall and floor display are significant assets of the Calyx. Extra precaution around these areas is necessary. Any damage to this could incur additional costs. 
Early notice and approval are required for any activities or infrastructure requiring the introduction of foreign material (such as mulch, sand, woodchips etc.). The complete removal of any introduced materials is required by the completion of bump out.
To protect the valuable living collections housed in‐ground at the Royal Botanic Garden and surrounding Domain, no living plants are permitted in soil whatsoever. Any plant item containing soil content is not permitted on site.
The trees are among the most significant living and historical assets, and we are committed to their protection. Your co-operation in planning your event with this in mind is appreciated. Event infrastructure must be planned around the existing location of trees.
No fixtures of any kind are to be attached to any part of a tree.
Marquees and infrastructure must be placed outside the Tree Protection Zone (TPZ) which is located within the dripline of any tree canopy and/or 3 metres from the base of any tree.

Items and Activities Prohibited

The following activities are prohibited at The Calyx (exemptions for these activities will not be granted):

  • living plants, weeds, soil, or seeds
  • animals (except guide dogs)
  • untethered balloons (for decoration &/or release) 
  • bat and ball games 
  • confetti (incl. biodegradable confetti)
  • fireworks / pyrotechnics
  • fires (including kerosene lamps and bamboo torches)
  • glitter
  • party streamers
  • release of any lanterns (biodegradable or otherwise)
  • rice (i.e. as wedding confetti)
  • signs affixed to trees or any existing structures
  • sparklers
  • standing in garden beds

Items and Activities requiring Approval

Should you require any of the following items at your event or wedding, please contact your event coordinator to seek approval.

Balloons
Some balloons may be permitted within The Calyx. Balloons must be weighted and cannot be tied to any structure or tree.

Candles
Open flames are not permitted however candles placed on solid flooring within glass candleholders (to prevent exposure of naked flames and leaking of wax on surfaces), may be approved on application. Flameless candles are encouraged.

Car displays
Static car displays may only be permitted on the lawn to the north of The Calyx. Tracking matting must be installed for any vehicle movement on the lawn. There is no capacity for static car displays on the Terrace or inside The Calyx.

Chandeliers or hanging structures
Rigging points located in the Exhibition Space and on the Island Terrace may only be used for static displays. Relevant documentation to be submitted.

Flowers
Only cut flowers or cut foliage are permitted. Soil and weeds are forbidden within The Calyx. All foliage to removed by the event hirer at the conclusion of the event.

Flower Petals
Flower petals are welcome but must be removed at conclusion of the event or wedding.

Gas outdoor heaters
See 'Heaters'

Inflatables

Light structures/ logo’s

Performing artists

Performers are not permitted to rig off any existing rigging points or off the building. Events will need to arrange a free-standing structure and engaged a licensed rigger for sign off.

Sculptures

Lighting

All internal areas are lit with dimmable down lights and track lighting
Externally, the Terrace, Island and Calyx surrounds are lit with spotlights and coloured up lighting.

For any events taking place after-dark, RBG has limited lighting available for guests to navigate their way on foot to and from The Calyx. 
Any additional lighting will need to be organised by the Event Hirer at their expense. With pre-arrangement, event security can be booked to provide escorts to the exit gates. 

Parking

Metered parking is available along Mrs Macquarie’s Road, Art Gallery Road and Macquarie Street. Secure undercover parking is available at The Domain Car Park and Opera House Car Park.
There is no vehicle access to The Calyx Loading Area for event clients, patrons &/or guests.
Vehicle access to the Calyx Loading area is available for approved suppliers of equipment for loading and unloading purposes only. All vehicle must park on Mrs Macquarie’s Road.

Power

There is both three (3) phase power and single-phase power available throughout The Calyx. 
Refer to power plan here.
All relevant Australian Electrical Standards must be adhered to by the Event Hirer &/or its contractors, suppliers &/or event clients on site. 
All electrical leads and portable power tools must be tested and tagged. Electrical leads laid on the ground must be covered with cable protectors. Electrical power points must not be overloaded. 

Public Liability

All Event Hirers, including all suppliers on site will need to supply evidence of Public Liability Insurance to the value of $10 million. 

We reserve the right to request evidence of insurance prior to confirming your booking. Such evidence should be in the form of a Certificate of Currency issued by the insurer (not the broker).

Security & Staffing

A security guard is required for the duration of your event from the commencement of bump-in until the conclusion of bump-out.
A minimum of two guards are required for up to 100 patrons with a further one guard required for each additional 100 patrons.

Security guards will be hired by the Events and Venue Coordinator based on your event’s requirements and at the Hirer’s expense.

Signage

Clean” venue requirements apply to event sites on Trust lands, including The Calyx. All promotional or branding signage must be internal to the event site, displayed only during site occupation times and not obviously visible to the general public from outside the site.
The banner spaces (19) within The Calyx Foyer are available for use for the duration of an event.
All signage is subject to approval with specific conditions applying to any event signage that do not meet the above conditions.

Site Plan

Site features at The Calyx need to be considered when developing the site plan for each event. Under no circumstances may emergency access points be impeded.
The Event Hirer must provide a Site Plan detailing all infrastructure and proposed layout for each event to Events and Venue Coordinator no less than 14 days prior to, and with final confirmation at least 2 working days before the event so planning for operational requirements and impacts can be considered and implemented. 

Smoking

There is strictly no smoking inside the Calyx. The designated smoking area for patrons is the pathway behind the women’s amenities at The Calyx. Cigarette buttes must be placed in the receptacles provided.  

Sound Management

The Calyx is committed to the effective management of sound to minimise the impact of events on other visitors, users, and the local community.
Noise levels emitted from the use of The Calyx must not exceed the background noise level by more than 5dB between the hours of 7.00pm - midnight when assessed at the boundary of any affected residence.
The most suitable music and sound levels for events at The Calyx is generally of an ambient background sound level (e.g. small groups of live musicians or a DJ).
Bagpipes, drums, and other amplified systems (such as electric guitars and keyboards) may be permitted as long as compliant with all sound limits and noise control requirements are maintained.

Telephones

If required during your event the phone numbers for The Calyx are (02) 9231 8188 and (02) 9231 8104.

Temporary Infrastructure

Freestanding structures must be erected in a manner which complies with Australian Standards and does not damage the ground or turf. All temporary structures must be correctly weighted, not pegged or staked into the ground. 
The bump in and bump out of infrastructure must be carried out under Trust supervision, and the area barricaded to be made safe for the public. Access for public and emergency vehicles must be maintained at all times. 

Traffic Management & Venue Access

Event Hirer access for bump in/out

During event occupation, approved vehicles can access The Calyx via Access Road off Mrs Macquarie’s Road for deliveries only. View Calyx vehicle restriction information here.
No parking or storage is permitted in the loading area or Access Road.
Prior to occupation, a schedule of your access requirements will need to be provided to the Events and Venues Officer. Ranger/event security requirements are determined based on the Production Schedule details.
There are 3 Authorised Service Vehicle Parking marked bays on site, for use only by suppliers or contractors actively undertaking maintenance, servicing works and or loading/unloading supplies for The Calyx; their use is subject to availability.
Stopping vehicles within 4 metres of fire hydrants, fire exits and or sliding doors is strictly prohibited. These areas must always be accessible for emergency services & evacuations

There is no vehicle access to The Calyx Loading are for event clients or guests. Bridal vehicle access is not permitted. 

Guest access

Accessibility
For details of accessible facilities and pathway access to The Calyx refer to the accessibility map here.
Drivers with a Mobility Parking Scheme permit may park for free for the duration of their stay at any metered parking space on Mrs Macquarie’s Road. The closest accessible parking to The Calyx (two spaces) are located at the entrance to Access Road, outside Woolloomooloo Gate

Pedestrians
Morshead Fountain Gate (on Macquarie Street, opposite the State Library of NSW) and Woolloomooloo Gate (on Mrs Macquarie’s Road) are the closest access points to The Calyx. Please refer to site map for further information.
On exiting the event guests will be directed to the Morshead Fountain gate. All guests must be off site by midnight.

Coaches
The bus stop at Woolloomooloo Gate on Mrs Macquarie’s Road may be used for coach drop-off and/or pick-up. Coaches must then find alternate parking. Prior notification of the use of coaches is requested, however use of the bus stop and parking spaces is on a first come first served basis.

Ferry
The closest wharf to The Calyx for private ferry charters is the Man O’War Jetty, near Queen Elizabeth II Gate. It is then approximately a 15 minute walk to The Calyx. Circular Quay is an approximately 10-minute walk.

Taxi
The closest drop-off point is at the Garden Palace Gates located on Macquarie Street.

Train
Martin Place is the closest train station to The Calyx. Circular Quay and St. James train stations are also close-by.

Trees

No fixtures of any kind are to be attached to any part of a tree in the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney.

Wind Management

All event related items need to be planned and installed with sufficient weighting to secure to the ground. The Trust requires a safe work method statement from the supplier with risk mitigation strategies in the event of high wind incidents (e.g. umbrellas, outdoor heaters, banners/flags, marquees, fence & scrim). If necessary, the event hirer must engage a Site Safety Sign Off to sign off on the event site at their own cost.

Wi-fi

Guest WIFI is available at The Calyx for use during your event – a password will be provided for your guests by request.