Sydney Festival First Night

(7pm 7 January 2012, Domain Stage)

Thank you, Julian Morrow, MC.

Hello, everyone, and welcome to Festival First Night. I would like firstly to acknowledge the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, the traditional custodians of our land, and to pay my respects to their Elders. I also acknowledge the 200 nationalities who make up this wonderful City.

Festival First Night is when the people of Sydney reclaim the streets and laneways of our city, and what a feast of music, performances and spectacle we have had on and above our streets tonight.

While just across the way the Art Gallery is staying open to show its great Picasso exhibition.

And here in the domain, we're about to welcome a fantastic like up of musicians.

But before we do, I'd like to thank our partners in both the private and government sectors who enable us to put on this fabulous festival - ANZ our major sponsors of first night and the NSW government.

Now could you please welcome Ricky Lyons to do an official Welcome to Country and enjoy the Festival.