The 2011 Sydney Festival launches tomorrow night as Festival First Night takes over the heart of the City centre with music, dance, movies and cabaret.
Now an established event on the City's cultural calendar, Festival First Night will offer entertainment for all tastes across eight sites in Hyde Park and surrounds, Martin Place, the Domain and Chifley Square.
Beginning at 3pm, the afternoon and early evening program is oriented towards children and families. In Hyde Park you can join in dancing with Lah Lah's Musical Wonderland, join in a community ukulele play-along or watch movies of early Australian vaudeville on the Hyde Park Silver Screen.
Music and vaudeville style entertainment continues through the night in Hyde Park with Eddie Perfect, Nashville's The Dynamitesand iOTA and the cast of Smoke & Mirrors.
In The Domain, Emmylou Harris and her Red Dirt Boys will preview her forthcoming Sydney Festival concert at the State Theatre. Earlier, Nukkan Ya Ruby will celebrate the life and music of Australian performers and musicians including Ngarrindjeri singer-songwriter Ruby Hunter, with Paul Kelly, Renee Geyer, Tiddas, Dan Sultan, Amos Roach, Dave Arden and Archie Roach.
Live music will also feature in Martin Place and Macquarie Street, with performances including Hanggai from China's progressive music scene, Senegal's Daara J Family, hip-hop collective Arrested Development, Orkestra del Sol TaikOz.
At Chifley Square, New Zealand artist Michel Tuffery M.N.Z.M. presents First Contact, a 12-storey high multi-media projection artwork based on Captain Cook's exploration of the South Pacific, with a live soundtrack by DJ Nomad alongside South Pacific dancers and drummers.
Refreshments will be available in Cathedral Square, where a large screen will televise the Martin Place entertainment.
The Sydney Festival, supported through the City's Major Festivals program, continues until Sunday 30 January.
- Sydney Festival First Night: Saturday 8 January, 2.00pm to 11.00pm at various locations in the CBD.
- First Night Program: www.sydneyfestival.org.au/uploads/file/SYDFEST_FFN_SCHEDULE.pdf
- First Night Site Map: www.sydneyfestival.org.au/uploads/file/FFN11Map.pdf
- Sydney Festival: www.sydneyfestival.org.au