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Coldplay take over hipster streets to shoot A Sky Full of Stars video with fans

After an hour of haggling to move media - especially TV cameras - out of the way to allow for 'natural' footage of a global superstar rock band wandering casually down a busy footpath in Sydney, it happened. Coldplay wandered casually down King Street in Newtown, as part of the shoot for the A Sky Full of Stars music video clip.

An advanced team of oversized bouncers swept all before them like an All Black forward pack to clear the way for the band. This reporter stood side-on to a skinny metal pole, trying to blend into King Street despite a healthy waistline and was bizarrely left untouched by the security. I'm sure I made the shot. 

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Coldplay dances down King St Newtown

RAW VISION: Coldplay shoots the video clip of A Sky Full of Stars in front of the Martin Luther King mural in Newtown. Phone vision.

Martin and the rest of the band - each dressed like a colourful one-mand band - glided close by, good humoured and determinedly stuck to their parts, singing and joking amidst the giddy mayhem of fans, cameras, the output of a bubble machine and the faint waft of marijuana pervading the general vicinity.

This was Coldplay doing a One Direction: inciting fan frenzy in the manner of a boy band, although each of its members are in their mid-30s. Word on the street is a rough edit of the Sky Full of Stars video might even appear on YouTube by Tuesday evening. 

The British indie rock group is also in Sydney for a one-off promotional gig on Thursday and used social media on Monday afternoon to call for 250 fans to appear in the video shoot.

Coldplay asked wannabes to "bring a smile" and assemble at 11.30am at the Courthouse Hotel on the corner of Australia Street and Lennox Street in the inner west suburb.


A director told the 250 expectant extras assembled that Martin would emerge from Mary Street, beside Kelly's Pub, and walk down King Street stopping to sing in front of the famous Martin Luther King "I have a dream" mural where he would be joined by the rest of the band before finishing the clip outside The Hub.

The Hub is an iconic local building that once, amongst other things operated as a porn cinema, and is being refurbished as a live music venue.

The extras are expected to dance and "go crazy".

Josh, one of he organisers, warned volunteers "there are some pretty eclectic people around here so just be careful with your personal belongings."

Coldplay had their 250 volunteers by just before 11am, but fans were arriving long before.

"I heard somebody say there were sleeping bags here," said Josh McConaha, a 23-year-old Sydney university student originally from Cincinnati in the US.

The expectant waiting fans were ushered into the garden bar of the Courthouse pub, although a soft drinks-only rule was applied. They occupied themselves singing Coldplay songs and swapping stories.

Georgia Hammett 18, wasn't sure what to expect from the shoot: "Maybe we will run down the street dancing, who knows?"

Georgia Quigley, 21, was clearer in her hopes for the day: "I'm just hoping to swing some free tickets [for the Enmore gig]. I missed out."

Another organiser, who didn't want to be named said the volunteers would not receive a free ticket to the gig but would eventually have their names listed on the credits for the song clip.

He said the Courthouse Hotel was chosen because it was close to the location for the clip.

A bar attendant from the Courthouse, who didn't want to be named, agreed Newtown was an unexpected location for a Coldplay video clip and added alcohol was off the bar because "they don't want everyone drunk in the video".

Newtown is usually more closely associated with niche hipster and art-rock projects than world-famous stadium-filling acts singing epic ballads with lyrics like A Sky Full of Stars, which goes: "Cos you're a sky, cos you're a sky full of stars / I wanna die in your arms / Cos you get lighter the more it gets dark / I'm gonna give you my heart."

But the invitation proved so popular on social media, it filled the parkside Newtown streets for the first half of Tuesday.


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