NSW Deputy Premier and Minister for the Arts Troy Grant and Minister Assisting the Premier on Western Sydney Stuart Ayres, today welcomed the start of Sydney Festival 2015, highlighting the Western Sydney program for the first time will be running alongside the Sydney program for the full three weeks of the festival.
Mr Grant said hundreds of thousands of locals and visitors are expected to celebrate Sydney Festival 2015 with the NSW Government investing more than $5 million to ensure the Festival’s success.
“The expansion of the Western Sydney program this year shows how popular and successful this event is, and how central it is to celebrating summer in Sydney,” Mr Grant said.
“The NSW Government is again providing dedicated funding for Sydney Festival’s Parramatta program in 2015 in line with the NSW Liberals & Nationals Government’s aim to increase arts participation in Western Sydney.”
Mr Grant said Festival organisers are reporting ticket sales already ahead of last year with more than 60 per cent of tickets sold, demonstrating the popularity of Australia’s best and biggest summer festival.
“Sydney Festival 2015 is a great summer celebration of artistic activity and I encourage everyone to come along and support home-grown and international talent,” Mr Grant said.
“Sydney Festival offers residents and visitors a great opportunity to experience the arts in Australia’s cultural capital. The annual summer festival is a boost for our economy and in particular hotels, restaurants and the retail sector.”
Mr Ayres said he was proud the Parramatta Program will run for the full 18 days with demand so strong that two extra nights were added to Tex Perkins’ Far From Folsom, Johnny Cash tribute at Parramatta Gaol.
“The NSW Liberals & Nationals Government brought the talent and magic of Sydney Festival to Western Sydney with a specially curated program in 2012 and this extension is another exciting addition to the artistic and cultural event calendar of our West,” Mr Ayres said.
“2015 is the first year the Parramatta Program will run alongside the whole Sydney itinerary which reflects the demand and appreciation for art and major events in the local community.”
Sydney Festival reaches an overall audience of more than half a million people during its three-week run, through both its ticketed program as well as free events.
The 2015 program features 179 events (85 free), 495 performances (138 free), 1067 artists, and 25 of the city’s finest venues and outdoor locations.
Venues include the Sydney Opera House, Parramatta’s Riverside Theatres and Carriageworks, as well as the Festival Village at Hyde Park.