Press release from Sydney Festival

Sydney Festival today announced the line-up for the new 10 day festival, Sydney Festival Parramatta, running January 13-22, 2012. Sydney Festival Parramatta will welcome local audiences and will have the rest of Sydney jumping on trains and RiverCats to be where the action is.

Geoff Lee MP, Member for Parramatta said “The NSW Liberals & Nationals Government is committed to attracting major events to Western Sydney and this expansion delivers on that promise and showcases some of the best that Parramatta has to offer.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for Western Sydney families to attend and enjoy Festival events in their region.

“To be able to enjoy a concert or stage performance without having to travel into the city will be great for families and seniors. It will also be a boost for the Western Sydney economy as visitors eat, drink and maybe do a spot of shopping.”

Sydney Festival Director Lindy Hume said, “Sydney Festival has been coming to Parramatta regularly since 2003, and we’ve had some hugely popular and ground-breaking Festival moments in recent times. The generous support of the State Government and Parramatta City Council enables Sydney Festival to present this newest addition to its program in the true heart of Sydney’s burgeoning population.”

Lord Mayor of Parramatta, Cr Lorraine Wearne, said she was pleased that this year, for the first time, Parramatta had its own dedicated program of events and that with a growing population of two million people, the State Government had recognised the need for cultural festivities in Western Sydney.

“Over the past two years, Parramatta has shown it is capable of attracting and hosting major events that have brought many communities together and showcased the diversity of our region.”

Cr Wearne added that with a thriving dining culture, one of the busiest performing arts centres in Sydney and with plenty of parklands and open spaces, Parramatta is a great option for major events and festivals. “One of the great things about this Festival is that it will feature many of our local artists from the Parramatta Artists Studios and the Information and Cultural Exchange (ICE), which will only encourage more local creativity and expression throughout Western Sydney,” Cr Wearne said.

The Festival includes an exceptional line-up of local and international theatre, music and film in Riverside Theatres, while the Festival’s newest venue, The Idolize Spiegeltent in Prince Alfred Park, will feature a wondrous mix of music, cabaret and maybe more than a little mayhem.

There’s also a program of free events, with the Parra Opening Party taking over the streets on January 14; and a concert under the stars with Dan Sultan, Busby Marou and special guest Kasey Chambers at the Old King’s School site on January 21, as well as activities popping up all over the CBD.

Parra Opening Party will feature dance performances in crowded shopping areas, art installations literally growing out of empty shop spaces, free films, plus the chance to get involved in workshops and art-making with local artists including Parramatta Artist Studios.

For 2012, the Festival received $500,000 in supplementary funding from the State Government, matched by an increased commitment by Parramatta City Council, enabling the Festival to significantly expand its program in Parramatta as the focus of its activities in Western Sydney.

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