Alanah, a business development manager at Working In, recently attended the fabulous Sydney Festival 2013 – three weeks of diverse arty entertainment. Here she tells us what it was like:
Those of you who have been lucky enough to be travelling through Sydney in January would have experienced the last throes of the “Silly Season” (that heady, fun time that occurs between the Melbourne Cup in early November and Australia Day on the 26th of January where summer is enjoyed and corporate attire takes a casual approach). But most importantly, you would have experienced the Sydney Festival!
The Sydney Festival is a major arts festival held in Australia’s largest city. For three weeks each January, Sydney Festival offers a diverse program of around 100 events involving over 1,000 artists delivering 300 performances from Australia and around the world covering dance, theatre, music, visual arts, cross media and forums. Literally it has everything from burlesque circus to New York rap to Russian theatre; from contemporary dance to family programs to traditional Indigenous arts practice.
The Festival always kicks off with a bang and this year it featured an enormous rubber ducky. Honestly, he was huge! He hung out in another Sydney icon Darling Harbour for the length of the festival much to the delight of people of all ages. If there was any doubt, my Facebook newsfeed was filled with ducky photos for the entire three weeks. “Day One” also offered up a free Soul Review concert in the Domain (central Sydney parklands) where 60,000 people came together to get down to Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings and other bands. To see some of the highlights of Day One; a marathon with hype girls for example; check out this YouTube clip!
More than any other cultural event, Sydney Festival defines Sydney’s personality. Global, local, challenging, light hearted, diverse and inclusive are just some of the words that spring to mind when I think of what the Festival means to our city. I don’t always get involved in the festival activities as January is a busy time, however when I have, I have seen some amazing sites in some breath-taking venues that remind me why I am so pleased to have chosen Sydney as my home.
Lastly, the Sydney Festival helps to proves that Australia is not the cultural wasteland that some people may think! Yes, buildings in Australia are considered “heritage” if they are over 100 years old, but Australia is a unique land, both ancient and yet so young with a melting pot of cultures which all come together under a common cultural purpose for three weeks. Best of all, with a population approaching five million, Sydney’s a big city, but Sydney Festival works hard to make sure it doesn’t feel that way.
*Photos from Sydney Festival Facebook page.