The Sydney Festival and Sydney's summer are synonymous. It's a time to celebrate and make the most of our great weather and our fabulous summer evenings. And it's a time for enjoying world class artists and performers in the company of our families and friends.
This week the Festival Program for 2015 was launched and it's jam-packed with great events and shows for all ages.
Including the City's own Lawn Library, which returns this year to nestle amongst the trees and host a program of activities, workshops and conversations all Festival long.
From 8-25 January, 10am-11pm daily, you can sit back in Hyde Park, relax and catch up on your reading in Sydney's sunniest library. I'd love for you to come and join us during Family Week for story time, children's art activities, music jams and so much more.
Each year, the Sydney Festival delivers some key aspects of our City Cultural Policy: to provide innovative cultural experiences and opportunities that are accessible, diverse and bold and to prize big ideas and promote Sydney as one of the world's leading creative cities.
Apart from the performances, there is the buzz the Festival generates, with over 1000 artists and performers in town. There's the excitement of seeing something challenging or different that makes you look at the world in a different way. And there is the joy of discovery, and seeing people, especially children, experience something new for the first time.
I have many fond memories of Sydney Festivals past. Like the experience of our Festival First Nights, when we closed off our streets for great music and entertainment. Or listening to the Sydney Symphony present music inspired by Shakespeare's plays interspersed with readings by John Bell. And we've had some great jazz concerts in the Domain. For me, this year's highlight was the inspiring Black Diggers - a captivating acknowledgement of the contribution of Aboriginal service people which had its world premiere at the Opera House.
As with every Festival, I'm sure 2015 will surprise and delight in new, different and unexpected performances, whether dance, theatre, music or cabaret.
Sydney Festival is the high point of Sydney in summer and I can't wait to sit down and go through the Festival program to pick out some "must sees". If you're enjoying the same things, please say hello.
The full program of events can be access here: http://www.sydneyfestival.org.au/2015/all