Sydney Festival Opening Night

(7pm, Sydney Theatre, Walsh Bay)

Thank you, Christopher, [Tooher, MC], and welcome, everyone, to the first night of Sydney Festival 2015.

I'd also like to acknowledge:

  • His Excellency, General The Hon David Hurley, AC, DSC, Governor of NSW and
  • The Hon Troy Grant, MP, Acting Premier of NSW

As Lord Mayor it has been a great honour and inspiration to be chair of Sydney Festival over the past 10 years, and at times it has been quite exciting and tonight I am delighted to welcome all our guests and to thank you all for helping make this great summer celebration possible.Over the years we've forged a strong partnership with the NSW Government and as we near the Festival's 40th anniversary, we also celebrate our many industry partners and supporters who've helped us cement its reputation as one of the world's great festivals.

We want Sydney to be a lively cultural centre which enjoys the best of international creativity while enjoying and fostering our many creative people.

The Festival is a terrific way of doing that, while making culture and creativity widely accessible.

It does that through the program and especially through elements like the Festival Village, now in its second year of expanded music program, free events, family week and the City's own Lawn Library.

And of course, it does it through the free Domain concerts - as much a part of Sydney in summer as cicadas or lazy day at the beach.

This year, there are four concerts: Summer Sounds in the Domain with a Brazilian beat; the classic Symphony and Opera in the Domain, and the much-anticipated Triple J 40th anniversary Concert, Beat the Drum.

And these are only a few of the highlights of Sydney Festival 2015.

So thank you all. It's exciting to be here for the official first night and to wish you all a great festival over the next three weeks. Thank you.