(6pm, Wednesday 23 October 2012, Sydney Town Hall)
Thank you, Simon [Marnie, MC]. Hello, everyone, and welcome to Town Hall. I'd like firstly to acknowledge the Gadigal people of the Eora nation, the traditional custodians of our land, and to pay my respects to their Elders. I also acknowledge the people of 200 nations who call our city home. Thank you to Michael West for your Welcome to Country and Uncle Max for the smoking ceremony.
I also welcome
- Her Excellency Professor Marie Bashir, AC, CVO, Governor of NSW
- Premier of NSW and President of Sydney Festival and
- Michael Crouch, Chairman of Zip Industries, Sydney Festival's Principal Sponsor
Tonight, as we launch Sydney Festival 2013, we mark 36 years of a unique partnership that has joined the State, the City and the corporate sector in support of one of the world's most successful events.
It is a global showcase of art and popular culture, reaching an extraordinary range of people across the full Sydney demographic, testimony to the richness and vitality of Sydney life.
It is welcoming, accessible and always engaging across the breadth of the City.
This year, we move away from the much loved Festival First Night and while that is disappointing, Lieven has designed an opening event that will attract a wide and very enthusiastic audience.
I am proud that this year the City increased our funding and $800,000 of the City's $2.3 million sponsorship is going to support the Day One event. I hope next year, the Festival will be able to count on renewed sponsorship from all sectors.
This year our parks and City villages will host a range of events.
Town Hall itself will be transformed into an exciting new venue, Paradiso at Town Hall, taking its name from the fabulous Amsterdam rock venue, Paradiso, with live bands and DJs.
We remain committed to making Sydney Festival accessible to the widest possible range of people, with Captioning and Audio Description for some performances and ensuring accessible website, ticketing and booking procedures.
2013 will also provide affordable tickets through the Tix for Next to Nix booth in Martin Place and the About an Hour series, as well as the regular free events.
It is, once again, a fantastic line-up and I congratulate Lieven and everyone at Sydney Festival. It's going to be a great one!