The annual Wiggles Big Show is a monumental event that travels across the country every December. In Sydney, the show is at the Allphones Arena, Homebush. While the Wiggles do a lot of regional touring all year round at smaller venues, their Big Show is their most popular as they go all out with staging, cast and props.
This was our second Big Show, and the first year that the Big Show included a second short show added on, called “Cinder Emma”, a fairytale story with some traditional Wiggles songs woven into the old Cinderella story, but told with typical Wiggles humour. Expect men in drag and lots of jokes for the parents.
Going to a Wiggles show is a full-on experience somewhat akin to rock show, with very tiny groupies. I find the shows overwhelming so I’ve jotted down a few helpful tips for anyone considering attending a Wiggles show in the future.
Book tickets early and quickly
Book them literally as soon as they go on sale. The front sections sell out within minutes, I kid you not.
Book seats up the front
This is important particularly in the Big Show as the areas are massive – if you’re too far from the action kids can’t focus on the show.
Book seats on the aisle
We accidentally booked aisle seats this year and they were wonderful. Putting your kid in an aisle seat means not only can they see the action for the entire show even if there is a large adult in the seat in front of them, but they can also jump out of their seat and dance in the aisle.
Allow plenty of time for parking or public transport, slowly walking to the arena, picking up tickets, re-printing tickets once you’ve lost them (oops!), going through security, lining up for merchandise, getting snacks, going to the bathroom, and then finally finding your seats. We were an hour early and it flew by.
We live a long way from the Allphones so drove and parked in the very pricey car park. You can book a spot online for $25 for all day parking, or pre-pay when you get there for the same. They do have hourly rates that are a bit cheaper, but if you are planning on making a quick getaway after the show, I’d advise prepaying parking as the lines at the parking stations get very long.
It’s impossible to get into the show without buying some kind of Wiggles merchandise. I can never say no, and I always regret the purchase as whatever we buy always breaks the same day. This time we bought a bow set that lights up. It was too small for my four-year-old’s head. Annoyingly another $22 down the drain. Last time it was a Dorothy the Dinosaur fairy outfit – the wings and skirt elastic BOTH broke before we got the outfits home. No more Wiggles merch for us!
You can take water bottles and prepackaged snacks into the arena. I did try taking a Subway sandwich in last year and they wouldn’t let me, so it appears the rule is no food bought fresh nearby as they want you to buy the burgers and chips the have on sale inside the area instead. The show was on a crazy hot day so we did splurge on ice creams ($4.50 for a Golden Gaytime and it was totally worth every cent).
During the show
I was unprepared for the amount of parents and children who did not stay in their seats. Children were set loose in the aisle to dance and run around while the parents either stayed in their seats or got up and down chasing their kids. Being in aisle seats the people next to us drive me nuts getting up and down the entire first half while they rotated who chased their kids up the aisle and who got to sit down and check their Facebook page. The normal theatre etiquette rules do not apply here!
If your child wants to meet a Wiggle, make a bow, dog bone, sign or rose for Dorothy and hold them up during the show. The Wiggles personally run around and collect these, so have your camera ready.
The majority of the kids wear Wiggles costumes or colours that are similar to the Wiggles. There’s no need to buy one, they’re pretty easy to make.
The Wiggles show was the highlight of my daughter’s week. Possibly life thus far. While Hot Potato isn’t personally my favorite song (sorry Wiggles!) my daughter loves it, and seeing her dance and sing with a big smile plastered on her face was just the best thing ever.
Wiggles tour dates.
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!