NEWCASTLE's tourism chief is "confident" the city's transport network and businesses will be able to cope with the tens of thousands of visitors attending the weekend smorgasbord of events.
Newcastle Tourism Industry Group chair Kent Warren estimated 100,000 people - including locals - would attend events spanning sport, music and culture on the city's busiest weekend of 2019 so far.
"The atmosphere is going to be unreal," Mr Warren said.
"It's not going to be as busy as the V8 weekend, but at the same time it's going to be great.
"There are still rooms available but we expect the city to fill and that includes short term letting like Airbnb."
Mr Warren said the ease of accessing Newcastle by air as well as the growing transport, accommodation and bar and restaurant options made the city an attractive destination both for event organisers and visitors of all ages.
"We're not just a pub town now."
Mr Warren said while businesses may have preferred the events to be spread across the month, overall "it's fantastic, we love it".
"I think things will cope fine - there is enough supply to cope with demand," he said.
"If people come here they'll get a great experience, I'm confident of that.
"If we can show we can host multiple events at the one time we will just get more events."
The Knights' season opens with a clash against the Cronulla Sharks on Friday, the Jets take on the Central Coast Mariners on Saturday and Surfest's main events, the World Surf League qualifying series contests, will wrap up at Merewether on Sunday, which is also St Patrick's Day.
The Drop Festival and Live at the Foreshore will be held at King Edward Park and Newcastle Foreshore respectively on Saturday, followed by Up Down Festival at the foreshore on Sunday.
Newcastle City Police District Superintendent Brett Greentree said a "high-visibility police operation" would be in place at the festivals and officers would maintain a "strong presence" across all events, targeting anti-social behaviour and criminal activity.
"We’re regularly reminded of the negative effects alcohol and drugs can have on people’s health and behaviour," he said.
"We will be targeting those intent on bringing any illegal substance into the events.”
He said anyone under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or who feels unwell, should seek professional medical attention.
“The weather is forecast to be wet all weekend, so revellers are encouraged to look after one another, stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water – not alcohol, and keep safe and dry in the weather conditions.”
Kylie Minogue will perform at Bimbadgen Estate and a Holi celebration held at Dixon Park, both on Saturday.
The Barrelled Wine, Beer and Food Festival will span the weekend at Jefferson Park.