Sydney Festival 2022 - Annual Review (single page format)

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THAW, photo by Jacquie Manning

If the sign of a successful festival is a change in perspective of how we see our city, country and selves, then this January’s Sydney Festival won audiences, game, set and match. — HELEN PITT, THE SYDNEY MORNING HERALD




Snapshot 2022


Artistic Vision


Access and Inclusion














Special Thanks



Director’s message


The Sydney Festival 2022 program was designed to be outdoor, indoor and online. Despite several significant challenges including the ongoing global pandemic, a new strain of Omicron (which peaked at 50,000 cases per day in our first week), unpredictable weather patterns due to La Niña and a boycott, we successfully delivered 79 events and employed 952 artists at a time of great uncertainty for the live performance sector. Our festival themes: HOPE, CHANGE, UNITE and RECOVER were devised to unite artists with audiences and recover culture safely to our city. Hope – signifies our dreams for the future – and change – the action linked to hope – resonated with the themes reflected through this year’s festival. Our aim was to invite Sydneysiders and visitors to rediscover their city, through immersive, thought-provoking experiences designed to ignite curiosity and imagination. January 2022 was meant to signify the coming together in real life of our community of artists, but the Omicron strain of Covid-19 had other plans. Social distancing, backstage bubbles, RAT testing, masks and backup rosters were implemented to ensure the safety of our artists, staff and audience. After two years of isolation, refraining from gathering was difficult. Thank you sincerely for your cooperation in helping to keep our community safe. Festival highlights included Speakers Corner, a free-wheeling pop-up concert venue which included Amyl and the Sniffers, Busby Marou, Kelly Lee Owens, Casey Donovan and South Sudanese artist Gordon Koang. The songs of Bob Dylan were brought to life at the Theatre Royal in the Broadway smash hit Girl From the North Country by Conor McPherson. Plus Leon Vynehall’s underwater electronica experience at Andrew (Boy) Charlton Pool certainly made waves.


Night Of The Soul by Sydney Philharmonia Choirs immersed audiences with sonic beauty at The Cutaway while THAW by Legs on the Wall in partnership with Sydney Opera House was an arresting visual over Sydney Harbour and an urgent call for action.

Vigil: Songs for Tomorrow curated by Creative Artist in Residence Jacob Nash with his powerful new art commission Future Dreaming, brought together community to gather and listen and reflect on the stories, songs and experiences of our First People on the eve of 26 January. Legendary choreographer Stephen Page delivered the extraordinary epic Wudjang: Not The Past with Bangarra Dance Theatre and Sydney Theatre Company. From Lost in Shanghai by Jane Hutcheon and William Yang, Green Park by Elias Jamieson Brown, JALI by Oliver Twist and Perahu-Perahu by Jumaadi and Michael Toisuta through to Big hART’s Acoustic Life of Boat Sheds, contemporary storytelling is at the heart of what we do. The immersive wonderland of Airship Orchestra, the sustainable creative play experience Fluffy, plus Sea of Light and Erth’s Prehistoric Picnic, all wowed young audiences across Parramatta, Redfern, Darling Harbour and the Royal Botanic Gardens. Sydney Festival is one of the largest international arts festivals in the world. The diversity, collaboration and breadth of this year’s program are reflect the conversations and pulse of the world in which we live. For 46 years this festival has backed artists and the power of art. None of which could be achieved without you, our audience. From our wonderfully dedicated volunteers for giving their time and energy, to the expert staff whose skills help realise one of the most complex cultural undertakings in the country, through to the 952 artists who shared their artistry, and the people of Sydney and the visitors who turned up in real life or online to partake in the 2022 Sydney Festival – Thank You. I’d like to acknowledge Her Excellency the Honourable Margaret Beazley AC QC, our Sydney Festival patron, and thank our major government partners, Create NSW, City of Sydney, Destination NSW, the City of Parramatta and Infrastructure NSW, as well as our principal philanthropic partner Peter Freedman AM, private donors and our corporate partners. Sincere thanks to our venue partners including Sydney Opera House, Riverside Theatres Parramatta, Carriageworks, City Recital Hall, Roslyn Packer Theatre, Seymour Centre and many more. I’d also like to acknowledge my predecessor Wesley Enoch AM for his outstanding tenure. We look forward to welcoming you to the 2023 Festival next January on what always was and always will be Aboriginal land.

Olivia Ansell Festival Director


Iranian British artist Javaad Alipoor was in residence at the National Theatre of Parramatta, making a gripping work about subalternity in Things Hidden Since the Foundation of the World. Regional NSW company Circus Monoxide performed The Construct in the streets, parks and precincts right across greater Sydney.



The Pulse, photo by Jacquie Manning

“Time and again it offers feats of physical ingenuity and daring that make you gasp.” ★★★★★ JILL SYKES, THE SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, ON THE PULSE


44 Sex Acts In One Week l Aboriginal Dreaming Cruises l A Chorus Line l Airship Orchestra l Amyl and the

Sniffers l -barra l Bennelong Presents Sunday Jazz l Big hART’s

Acoustic Life of Boatsheds l Black Brass l Busby Marou l Casey Donovan l The Construct l Cherine Fahd: Ecdysis l Circumstance

2020 l Dean Cross: Icarus, My Son l Decadance l DEMO l Destination

Sydney: The natural world l Destination Sydney: Talk Series l Edward

Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf l The Emma Pask Big Band Show

Erth’s Prehistoric Picnic l Floors of Heaven: Submersive Study by Leon Vynehall l Future Classic Sydney Festival Warm Up Party Future Dreaming l Girl From the North Country l Gordi l Gordon Koang l Green Park l Grey Rhino l Happy Objects l The Human Voice l Inside the Tide l Italian Baroque with Circa l JALI l James Morrison Quartet with William Barton l Joseph

Tawadros Quartet l Josh Cohen: Radiohead for Solo Piano l Katie Noonan l Kelly

Lee Owens l King Stingray l The Last Shot l Lizzie l Lost in Shanghai l Making THAW: The Story Behind the Work l Matisse:

Life & Spirit l The Museum of Modern Love l The Nightline l Night of the Soul l Perahu-Perahu l The Pulse l Qween Lear l The Reckoning:

Talk Series l Rich Kids: A History of Shopping Malls in Tehran l Sea of

Light l Set Piece l Singular Voices: Martha Marlow l Slow Burn l small metal objects l Soapbox at Speakers Corner l Sunshine and Disco Faith Choir l Sydney Symphony Orchestra Percussion and String Players l Sydney

Symphony Under the Stars l THAW l THAW: Enough Talk l Things Hidden

Since the Foundation of the World Unsettled l Vigil: Songs for Tomorrow l WASHINGTON presents Insomnia 10th Anniversary


Window, Cricket Bat l Wudjang: Not the Past l Yung Lung l 宿 (stay)



79 events


19 digital events






24 free events

21 12

Sydney Festival co-commissioned works

30 952 271 New Australian works

Artists employed

Arts workers and crew engaged directly


20,631 Installations & Visual Arts

19,329 Online attendance



Outdoor Concerts & Special Events

Talks & Workshops






operating income

Local government and other investment


Corporate partnerships & philanthropy


$18.8M 46%



Annual state government investment




Marketing & communications

29% Operating costs


55% Programming

Covid relief funding 13



宿 (stay), photo by Jacquie Manning




Green Park, photo by Wendell Teodoro

Artistic ArtisticVision vision


THAW, photo by Jacquie Manning

Approaching a second festival during the era of COVID-19, the Sydney Festival program was ready for anything. Hoping for the best but preparing for challenges, events were spread outdoors, indoors and online, planned with flexibility to create a program viable even in the midst of a pandemic. The 2022 Festival had an increased number of outdoor events, and presented many works in spacious environments that enabled physical distancing. Sydney Festival’s AT HOME program grew and diversified its digital offering, and both Destination Sydney and The Reckoning talk series pivoted to

online, resulting in fascinating discussions with visual artists, journalists and political commentators available to all. The Festival also featured a majority of NSW-based artists to mitigate against challenges caused by changing quarantine rules and border closures. A key activation in 2022 was the live music hub, Speakers Corner, designed as a seated, openair venue to give musicians affected by almost two years of cancellations the best possible chance of playing to audiences, even within a climate of restrictions. Sydney Festival is proud to have staged a total of 503 performances safely.

Big hART’s Acoustic Life of Boatsheds , photo by Wendell Teodoro




Live music had a beautiful new home for the month of January at Sydney Festival’s pop-up outdoor concert venue under the stars. A festival within the Festival, Speakers Corner brought an eclectic program of contemporary music and a much-needed sense of community into the heart of the city. The artists who crossed the Speakers Corner stage each brought unique flavour, from the ferocious punk of Amyl and the Sniffers to the swinging jazz of the Emma Pask Big Band Show; from the South Sudanese strumming of Gordon Koang to the pulsing synths of Welsh electronica darling, Kelly Lee Owens.

Flanked by the bats and branches of Hyde Park trees, the no-roof, allthe-colour venue was a distinctly Sydney hub, with stage and venue artwork designed by local artist Elliott Routledge. Featuring class acts like WASHINGTON as well as bold up-and-comers 1300, no two nights at the Corner sounded the same. On Sundays Speakers Corner hosted the free-wheeling talk series, Soapbox, a reverential nod to the venue’s namesake, Sydney’s gathering point in The Domain for debate, eccentricity and free speech. From rat plagues to razor gangs, Boomer take-downs and modern poetry, Soapbox let the opinions fly.

Artistic Vision

James Morrison and William Barton at Speakers Corner, photo by Jacquie Manning


“The job of lighting a fire under Sydney Festival has been emphatically accomplished.” ★★★★ GEORGE PALATHINGAL, THE SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, ON AMYL AND THE SNIFFERS


Amyl and the Sniffers, photo by Jacquie Manning

Artistic Vision



Floors of Heaven: A Submersive Study, photo by Jacquie Manning

Artistic Vision

Night of the Soul, photo by Jacquie Manning

UNCONVENTIONAL AUDIENCE EXPERIENCES Some of this Festival’s most popular and memorable events were those which challenged audiences to experience live performance more adventurously, drawing them out of their comfort zones and into the fabric of their city. Big hART’s Acoustic Life of Boatsheds inspired both artists and audiences to discover forgotten edges of Sydney Harbour through sound, from the rattles of a rusty shipyard to a haunting trumpet call under a bridge. Floors of Heaven: A Submersive Study by UK electronic legend Leon Vynehall transformed Sydney’s iconic Andrew (Boy) Charlton Pool into a watery portal to another

world, his meditative sonics only audible to those who sank below the surface, while Night of the Soul channelled the incredible acoustics of the cavernous Cutaway at Barangaroo Reserve to embrace reclining listeners in a soothing choral soundscape. The Nightline connected its audience to intimate after-dark confessions via a unique phone line in the National Art School, Yung Lung sucked roaming punters into the swirling haze and throbbing bass of a warehouse rave environment, and the dark drama of Green Park unfolded in the park itself, as headphoned audiences scattered across the grass became voyeurs to a private conversation in the settling dusk.

The Nightline, photo by Jacquie Manning



Yung Lung , photo by Jacquie Manning


WORKS An essential principle of Sydney Festival is the commissioning of new Australian works to push our nation’s cultural conversation forward each January. With international travel still limited, there were opportunities for more home-grown works than ever in 2022, leading to a festival stacked with world premieres in dance, theatre and physical theatre. An epic scale collaboration between Bangarra, Sydney Festival and Sydney Theatre Company led to the landmark First Nations production, Wudjang: Not the Past, which revealed the power of ancestral stories to reach Australians through generations. Though COVID-19

Artistic Vision prevented it from making the stage, Qween Lear – an extravagant celebration of Sydney’s queer party history through an adaptation of Shakespeare’s King Lear – was shaping up to be a wild and iconic moment in Australian storytelling. Our contemporary dance choreographers delivered fiery new statements with the emotionally intense Grey Rhino by Cass Mortimer Eipper and Charmene Yap, and hyperstimulating rave cave, Yung Lung, choreographed by Antony Hamilton. In theatres, audiences faced the aftermath of bushfire devastation in the one-woman gut-wrencher, Slow Burn, traced a forgotten family archive in Lost in Shanghai and were dazzled by the long-awaited Sydney Festival commission, The Pulse.


Perahu-Perahu, photo by Prudence Upton


Set Piece, photo by Prudence Upton

Artistic Vision


Underpinning the curation of the 2022 program was a commitment to platforming a diverse range of experiences, including refugee stories, LGBTQIA+ stories, and stories exploring the plethora of cultural backgrounds that make up modern Australia. | S. Shakthidharan’s multidisciplinary collaboration with SAtheCollective in 宿 (stay) highlighted connections between Australia and Singapore, explored the tensions of migration and displacement, and drew on rich musical lineage from ancient Chinese to modern electronica. A triumph in solo storytelling, JALI by Oliver Twist shared truths of his West African migrant experience in Australia, Mararo Wangai’s Black Brass

wove joyous live music into theatre to celebrate the richness of the pan-African diaspora, and Gordon Koang sung to his experience as a South Sudanese refugee, using music to connect asylum seekers across Australia. Audiences were entranced by the Indonesian art of shadow puppetry in Perahu-Perahu, while tropes and truths of queer relationships were unpacked in unconventional formats in Nat Randall and Anna Breckon’s cinema/theatre hybrid, Set Piece. From a searing take-down of misogynists at the Speakers Corner Soapbox, to critical discussions on national identity in The Reckoning talk series, the 2022 Festival aimed to reflect our world from many angles.

JALI, photo by Tom Gilligan



Airship Orchestra, photo by Yaya Stempler

Artistic Vision



FIRST NATIONS STORYTELLING Sydney Festival continued its role as a platform for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander voices in 2022, which saw the inaugural appointment of Sydney Festival’s Creative Artist in Residence, First Nation Designer Jacob Nash. Jacob provided essential cultural and creative consultation across the Festival’s major projects, and designed some of the most memorable features of the program. These included the evocative set of critically acclaimed Festival highlight, Wudjang: Not the Past, and Future Dreaming, the striking installation at Stargazers Lawn Barangaroo where the words ‘hope’ and ‘change’ faced each other on stolen land, the stretch in between a space to gather, engage, and act to shape our future. Jacob also curated Vigil: Songs for Tomorrow, the fourth incarnation of this essential moment of reflection in the national calendar. This year’s Vigil was a future-focused gathering of song, smoke and ceremony, providing a moment for unity and truth-telling on the eve of 26 January.


Dean Cross: Icarus, My Son, photo by Jacquie Manning

Elsewhere in the program, First Nations visual artist Dean Cross drenched a corner of Carriageworks in gold for his installation, Icarus, My Son, which investigated themes of home, ambition and loss in remote communities. A collaboration between Yuwaalaraay musician and storyteller Nardi Simpson and Festival stalwarts Ensemble Offspring resulted in –barra, an absorbing sonic and visual journey through flowing rivers and rumbling red dirt of Yawaalaraay country in north-western New South Wales, while at Speakers Corner William Barton wove the unmistakeable growl of the didgeridoo into the grooves of Australian jazz icon James Morrison. Aboriginal Dreaming Cruises invited audiences to understand the significance of harbour landmarks from the First Nations perspective, and the Australian Museum’s exhibition Unsettled revealed harrowing stories behind our nation’s foundation.

- barra , photo by Yaya Stempler

Artistic Vision

Jacob Nash in front of Future Dreaming, photo by Jacquie Manning

Future Dreaming during Vigil: Songs for Tomorrow , photo by Jacquie Manning



Wudjang: Not the Past , photo by Daniel Boud

Artistic Vision

“One of the most moving and fearless works ever presented by Bangarra.” ★★★★ ★ MAXIM BOON, TIME OUT, ON WUDJANG: NOT THE PAST



FOCUS The 2022 program featured a renewed emphasis on family-friendly events that were easy to access, easy to afford and easy for all to enjoy, introducing a new generation of blossoming creative minds to the magical possibilities of art and live performance. Young imaginations soared at the interactive light and sound installation, Sea of Light, at the Australian National Maritime Museum, a Patch Theatre creation which invited young participants to trace their own adventures with paint and UV light. Carriageworks harnessed a swirling world of shredded paper and creative play for Fluffy by Artbomb, where mess


Fluffy, photo by Jacquie Manning

and creative chaos ruled the day. In Circus Monoxide’s The Construct, artists stretched and tumbled across a cube of welded steel before the waves of Cronulla Beach, on the bustling Darling Harbour shoreline and amidst the sights, sounds and delicious smells of Paramatta’s Eat Street. In Tumbalong Park, children and adults alike wandered in awe among the luminous inflatable beings of Airship Orchestra, and the Botanic Gardens and Parramatta Park set the scene for the charismatic ancient creatures of Erth’s Prehistoric Picnic to have a romp on the grass amongst delighted picnicking families.

Artistic Vision


A Chorus Line, photo by Jacquie Manning


Erth’s Prehistoric Picnic, photo by Yaya Stempler

Artistic Vision


Sydney Symphony Under the Stars, photo by Wendell Teodoro


Dedicated to fostering Sydney’s cultural hub in the west, Sydney Festival programmed a wide range of both free and ticketed events in the geographical heart of Sydney. The Festival’s longstanding relationship with Riverside Theatres Parramatta continued, with audiences enjoying music theatre triumphs like Darlinghurst Theatre Company’s A Chorus Line, a high-energy, high-stakes dive into the belly of the Broadway beast. Also at Riverside, Javaad Alipoor’s theatre and digital theatre hybrids invited audiences to experience storytelling in new formats, while Australian favourite Katie Noonan

premiered her new album, The Sweetest Taboo, to close out the festival in January. Thanks to City of Paramatta and Greater Sydney Parklands, the natural amphitheatre of The Crescent – an impressive outdoor concert space situated on the bend of Paramatta River – came alive with music. Although The Cat Empire was cancelled due to COVID-19, the Festival’s immensely popular picnic tradition, Sydney Symphony Under the Stars, was rescheduled to March, when families, friends and fans of Beethoven gathered to enjoy a world-class free concert of orchestral classics.



A+ accessories at Speakers Corner, photo by Jacquie Manning

RECOVERY As a major arts festival in Australia’s largest city, Sydney Festival had a responsibility to help stimulate recovery of the creative industries postlockdown and revitalise the Sydney CBD’s night-time economy. This included the reopening of major venues with crowd-pulling events, like Girl From the North Country at the newly refurbished Theatre Royal, and what would have been the triumphant return of the Hordern Pavilion with Fat Freddy’s Drop and Qween Lear – unfortunately both cancelled by COVID-19. The Festival explored new forms of collaboration between local and international artists, for example the close cooperation of Israeli choreographer Ohad Naharin and his company, Gaga


Crowd at Speakers Corner, photo by Yaya Stempler

People, with the homegrown talent of Sydney Dance Company to realise Decadance. Works repeatedly halted by fluctuating restrictions finally saw the stage, like Darlinghurst Theatre Company’s thricecancelled, A Chorus Line, Singular Voices: Martha Marlow and Italian Baroque with Circa at City Recital Hall, as well as the long-awaited debut of Gravity and Other Myths’ The Pulse in Sydney. As CBDs struggle to bring foot traffic up to pre-lockdown levels, Sydney Festival events that drew people out of their homes and onto the streets of Sydney were a crucial lifeline for the bars, restaurants and other businesses surrounding major venues.

Girl From The North Country, photo by Daniel Boud

Artistic Vision



AND INCLU DISABILITY ACCESS Sydney Festival strives to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to work on, volunteer for, perform in or simply enjoy incredible live performance every summer. In 2022 the Festival program featured featured captioned and Auslan interpreted performances, tactile tours, relaxed showings and performances with audio descriptions, including an introduction to The Nightline recorded for audience members with visual impairment. Artists with disability performed in the dynamic acrobatic display of The Construct and would have featured in the awardwinning outdoor theatre



2022 saw marked growth in Sydney Festival’s contribution to the creative digital space, with a variety of online content available anywhere, anytime, at no cost. Made exclusively for the Festival’s AT HOME program, gripping cinematic opera The Human Voice traced the psychological disintegration of a woman alone. Live streams brought the Future Classic x Sydney Festival warm-up party at Speakers Corner and THAW, a marathon 8-hour physical theatre and art installation piece, to audiences in real

time. Meanwhile, the digital/ live theatre hybrid works Things Hidden Since the Foundation of the World and Rich Kids: A History of Shopping Malls in Tehran showed the possibilities of digital theatre formats. In partnership with Australian Theatre Live, Sydney Festival recorded performances of Erth’s Prehistoric Picnic, 宿 (stay), The Pulse and Italian Baroque with Circa, with the collection due to tour over 33 regional cinemas and venues across Australia.

work, small metal objects, had it not been cancelled due to COVID-19. The Festival Preview Guide was produced in a wide variety of formats including braille, audio CD and MP3. The Festival is in the process of developing an updated Disability Inclusion Action Plan. Advice from people with lived experience of disability, via the Access and Inclusion Advisory Panel, enables the Festival to reduce barriers to access and bring a wider variety of art to a wider variety of audiences. This year the Festival farewelled outgoing Chair on this panel Riana Head-Toussaint, welcoming Morwenna Collett in her stead.


The Construct, photo by Jacquie Manning

Access and Inclusion


Free events are an essential Sydney Festival tradition, ensuring anyone in Sydney during the month of January has the opportunity to engage with the Festival program, and enhancing the vibrancy of city spaces for all. Among this year’s 23 free events was the whimsical Airship Orchestra installation of 16 pulsing, singing inflatable beings, the acrobatic feats of The Construct, a performance atop a 2.7 tonne block of ice suspended above Sydney Harbour in THAW, art installations at Barangaroo and Carriageworks, the Sunday salute to free speech that was the Soapbox talk series at Speakers Corner, and the beloved al fresco music concert, Sydney Symphony Under the Stars.

Soapbox at Speakers Corner, photo by Yaya Stempler



This year, as the city came out of lockdown, a new energy and visual identity reinvigorated the Sydney Festival brand. Developed in partnership with M&C Saatchi’s Re team, the brand identity was intended to reflect Sydney’s charismatic and bold personality. Led by unmissable 3D ‘S’ shapes, the campaign encouraged locals and visitors to ‘find their Sydney side’. Sydney Festival’s 2022 marketing campaign ran from October 2021 to March 2022. Occupying billboards, buses and street signage across the city, the extensive campaign spanned TV, cinema, outdoor, online, print, radio, street media, collateral and direct mail. Many thanks to our media partners who helped to deliver an impactful campaign: Signwave Newtown, The Sydney Morning Herald, ABC, Time Out, Concrete Playground and Limelight Magazine.

11% Social TV




17% Print





Buzz email open rate



+9% 1.8 million in 2022



4% 2% Radio 1%

Cinema Search





Facebook fans


Twitter followers

50,552 Instagram followers



along Park rling Harbour

6 – 30 Jan






pm 11/11/21 3:29








pm 4/11/21 6:32

pm 4/11/21 6:32







dd 1

3/11/21 3:33 pm


Beyond grateful for the opportunity to perform alongside my beautiful colleagues at the Opera House opening Sydney Festival with Ohad Naharin’s Decadance @CHL0EY0UNG ON PERFORMING IN DECADANCE

Great message from the #sydneyfestival incredible art installation at the #stargazerlawn @CAPTAIN_KNOXIE ON FUTURE DREAMING


Another @sydney_festival triumph! Tonight’s final performance of Night of the Soul by the @ sydney.philharmonia Choirs’ Chamber Singers at The Cutaway was a sublime and deeply visceral experience. I have been blown away by the programming of this year’s Sydney Festival @BENFRANKLINNATS ON NIGHT OF THE SOUL This January @sydney_ festival has transformed Sydney by introducing new and wonderful experiences! Walking around the city you’ll notice many scheduled events that celebrate art, performance and big ideas. One of my favourites is Airship Orchestra, an interactive and multi-sensory public installation located in Darling Harbour! @EATWITH.CICI ON AIRSHIP ORCHESTRA

What an excellent day with my pair of boys at our favourite show - @erthaustralia Today was the dinosaur picnic at the botanic gardens in Sydney. We had an absolute ball. Leon was scared at times, but could keep enough distance to enjoy it. Lewis was in his element. Thank you so much @rbgsydney and @sydney_festival and of course, the wonderful puppeteers and production crew from Erth’s. @DRBIZZYLIZZY ON ERTH’S PREHISTORIC PICNIC

Spectacular #SydneyFestival performance THAW. @DANIELBLEAKLEY ON THAW 45


The 2022 Sydney Festival was mentioned in a total of 8,346 media reports across 943 print, online and broadcast media outlets, reaching audiences across Australia, Aotearoea/ New Zealand, USA, Singapore, Canada, UK and India. The potential audience reach was 131,004,478.

TimeOut, NME, Purple Sneakers and Concrete Playground. Radio included coverage across: ABC Radio National, ABC Sydney, ABC Local stations Australiawide, Triple J, Double J, Radio SBS, 2GB, Triple M; and TV coverage across the ABC, Network Ten, Network Nine, Network Seven, SBS and NITV.

The Festival attracted coverage in print across The Sydney Morning Herald, Daily Telegraph, The Australian, The Age, Herald Sun, Brisbane Courier Mail, The Saturday Paper, Australian Financial Review, Hobart Mercury and Adelaide Advertiser; online publications The Guardian, The Conversation, Junkee, ABC Online, News., Broadsheet, ArtsHub,

Highlights of the 2022 campaign included extended profile interviews with Olivia Ansell discussing her first program as Sydney Festival director in the Sydney Morning Herald, The Saturday Paper, The Australian and Australian Financial Review, as well as daily updates from Olivia on ABC Sydney Breakfast across the duration of the festival.


Total mentions in media:

8,346 Audience reach


7% Print

20% TV









Immersing audiences in the history of Sydney Harbour, with music specially created for each site, this show is everything you could want from a festival celebrating its city. ★★★★ HUGH ROBERTSON, LIMELIGHT, ON


Every Australian should see this brilliant performance piece. ★★★★ REBECCA VARIDEL, SYDNEY SCOOP, ON -BARRA

Stephen Page’s final major work as artistic director of Bangarra Dance Theatre is an epic piece of storytelling. ★★★★ JILL SYKES, SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, ON




Using 22 Bob Dylan songs, this play with music, set in 1934 during the Great Depression, gradually draws you into its world and leaves you filled with emotion. ★★★★ JO LITSON, LIMELIGHT, ON GIRL FROM THE NORTH COUNTRY

The play is centred on amazing performances all round, with Althouse and LeMarquand perfectly juxtaposed yet constantly in sync. ★★★★★ JULIAN RUMANDI, THE AU REVIEW, ON GREEN PARK

It is theatrical storytelling at its most pure, free from spectacle and artifice, rich with intelligence and heart.


Passionately alive in music and movement, Mararo Wangai's magical realist tale speaks to the complex experiences of belonging and identity. ★★★★



“The standing ovation said it all.” DEBORAH JONES, THE AUSTRALIAN, ON DECADANCE


Decadance , photo by Daniel Boud


Festival box office, photo by Wendell Teodoro


Speakers Corner scrim, photo by Wendell Teodoro

GOVERNMENT & COMMUNITY PARTNERS Special thanks to our two founding partners, the State Government through Create NSW and City of Sydney. Their continued investment in Sydney Festival ensures that we can deliver a diverse, high-calibre, multiarts program every year. We continue to work collaboratively with our long-term investor Destination NSW, promoting the Festival through its extensive marketing channels to drive visitation to NSW. Infrastructure NSW supported the major new art commission Future Dreaming, sonic beauty Night of the Soul and Vigil: Songs for Tomorrow, a night of reflection and performance held on 25 January. The Festival also partnered with Place Management to present Airship Orchestra at Darling Harbour, an immersive wonderland which attracted a familyfriendly audience to the precinct. We welcomed UNSW as our Education Partner in 2022, presenting co-curated talk series The Reckoning, available to stream on both Sydney Festival and UNSW platforms.

Flags in the CBD, photo by Yaya Stempler

We would like to thank all our partners for their incredible support of Sydney Festival 2022. Your unwavering commitment to help us deliver a major arts and culture event during an uncertain year enabled us to present an engaging, world-class program.

Sydney Festival remains committed to programming in Western Sydney with a focus on the Parramatta local government area which is supported by City of Parramatta. Through this partnership the Festival has delivered successful productions including the musical A Chorus Line, and digital/live theatre hybrid Rich Kids: A History of Shopping Malls in Tehran. Though postponed to March, Sydney Symphony Under the Stars returned to delight audiences at The Crescent in Parramatta Park for a sixth year, made possible through partnership with Sydney Symphony Orchestra and Greater Sydney Parklands. In response to the boycott on the 2022 Festival called by the BDS movement, Sydney Festival is conducting an independent review into public funding that supports the presentation of work in the Festival program from local and international artists. This review is expected to be completed prior to the launch of the 2023 Festival.


Airship Orchestra scrim, photo by Wendell Teodoro


Kelly Lee Owens, photo by Jacquie Manning

CORPORATE PARTNERSHIPS Our exciting new pop-up music hub in the heart of the Sydney CBD, Speakers Corner, hosted a series of outdoor concerts where all of our partners were acknowledged externally by the venue Box Office as well as on the large in-venue screens. Patrons enjoyed beverages available from the bar provided by Treasury Wine Estates, Good Drinks Australia, Heaps Normal and Diageo, and a pop-up food offering by Create Catering. NORMAL joined the Festival for the first time as a distinguished partner to support our fierce and fabulous musical Qween Lear and to activate the Gin Garden at the Hordern Pavilion precinct, however due to COVID-19 the show season did not proceed. Instead, a fun and cheeky digital campaign was created with giveaways to the show 44 Sex Acts in One Week. NRMA supported our large-scale artwork Future Dreaming at Barangaroo and created a unique experience called Aboriginal Dreaming Cruises on Sydney Harbour by partnering with Fantasea Cruising and Tribal Warrior Aboriginal Corporation.


We enjoyed working collaboratively with Re Agency to develop and create our new Festival brand with the exciting design applied across print collateral, outdoor, motion assets, website and TVCs. Media partners provide vital promotional support and coverage, with special thanks to The Sydney Morning Herald, ABC Radio, Time Out, Torch Media, Concrete Playground, Adflow and Limelight.

Sydney Festival works with a variety of production partners who play a critical role in staging the Festival, most notably TDC who provided the audiovisual technology and expertise at Speakers Corner. Special thanks to our other production partners: Chameleon, EPS and Safety Culture. We would also like to thank our Festival lawyers Maddocks, our research partners Woolcott Research and RDA Research as well as Placie, Wilson Parking, Signwave Newtown, CloudWave and Artbank Australia.

Aboriginal Dreaming Cruise, photo by Yaya Stempler


FESTIVAL FEASTS Now in its 22nd year, the Festival Feasts restaurant program offers audiences an elevated dining experience during January. The successful ongoing initiative directs new business to partner restaurants across the CBD, Inner-West and Parramatta. Thank you to our 2022 restaurant partners: Azzuro 753, Bellbird Dining and Bar, Bennelong, Cafe Sydney, Chefs Gallery, Chi by Lotus, Lotus The Galeries, Misfits At The Redfern, No.1 William, The Dining Room Park Hyatt Sydney, and Watson’s EQ.

Beverage partners, photo by Jacquie Manning



YOU MAKE IT POSSIBLE Our sincere thanks to Principal Philanthropic partner Peter Freedman AM and all our private donors - our biggest advocates who continued to adapt to an evolving Festival during another uncertain year, but whose loyalty and commitment was unwavering.

I have long been an advocate for the Sydney Festival and strongly believe it is one of the world’s most important cultural events and most certainly Australia’s. The Festival has supported thousands of creative artists and behindthe-scenes workers in the industry. These are the people who have supported my career with RØDE, and this is my way of giving back to them.


Welcome Olivia Ansell After a fond farewell to Wesley Enoch, donors gave a warm welcome to Sydney Festival Director Olivia Ansell, embracing and applauding her vision for the festival.

“ ” “You have brought in a new style and made it enticing, empowering and inclusive.”


“How engaged, erudite and charming is she! Such a genuine energy and verve.” AMANDA LOVE

“Olivia is an enthusiastic and considered director.” CAROL CRAWFORD

Olivia Ansell, photo by Jacquie Manning

Rhae Hooper and S.Shakthidharan, photo by Jacquie Manning Rebel Penfold-Russell and Popsy Albert, photo by Jacquie Manning



David Kirk MBE, photo by Jacquie Manning

Andrew Cameron AM and Cathy Cameron, photo by Jacquie Manning Zeke Solomon AM and Penelope Seidler AM, photo by Jacquie Manning

Chris Tooher and Jules Maxwel, photo by Jacquie Manning Michael Lavarch AO Larissa Behrendt AO and Jacob Nash, photo by Jacquie Manning




Ros and Alex Hunyor, photo by Jacquie Manning

Emma Pask and Olivia Ansell, photo by Jacquie Manning

“It felt very special to be amongst such passionate artists, supporters and Festival creators and have the opportunity to hear about the program from Olivia.” ANNA CLEARY

Mark Stapleton and Leanne Hillman, photo by Jacquie Manning

Amanda and Andrew Love, photo by Jacquie Manning

Andrew and Carol Crawford, photo by Jacquie Manning


Raymond Camillire and Ray Wilcon OAM, photo by Jacquie Manning

James Hill and Jennifer Dowling, photo by Jacquie Manning

Roslyn Packer AC and Rebel Penfold-Russell, photo by Fiona Jackson

“It has been a wonderful Sydney Festival with some really outstanding productions.” ROS PACKER

“Congratulations to all at the festival family in delivering another important Sydney Festival notwithstanding all the challenges this year”! Richard Scheinberg AM and Jacqui Scheinberg, Brigit Kirk Fiona Martin-Weber and Tom Haywood, photo by Fiona Jackson



Rodney and Lyndi Adler, photo by Fiona Jackson

“Congratulations to everyone on another great festival but especially the Philanthropy team for keeping us all informed, involved and included”. FIONA MARTIN-WEBER

Get involved in 2023 Visit or contact Sydney Festival Philanthropy on (02) 8248 6507 or for further details.

Fiona Martin-Weber and Olivia Ansell, photo by Jacquie Manning


VOLUNTEERS Sydney Festival simply does not happen without its volunteers. These committed individuals contribute their time and energy to ensure patrons have happier, safer and smoother Festival experiences. In 2022 volunteers were on the ground meeting and greeting patrons, engaging in conversation with audiences, answering queries, and providing operational support at the major Sydney Festival installations and venues.


The 2022 volunteer program involved over 122 volunteers, averaging 30 volunteers per day working more than 1,387 hours. 50% of the volunteers had returned in 2022 after volunteering in previous

years, and 28% had Culturally and Linguistically Diverse backgrounds. The management of Sydney Festival’s 2022 volunteers was undertaken by two staff members, a Volunteer Manager and Volunteer Coordinator. Sydney Festival extends a heartfelt thank you to all the volunteers for their hard work and positive attitudes throughout the Festival. VALE YUNUS ZEED We are deeply saddened by the passing of Yunus Zeed, a muchloved and long-serving Sydney Festival volunteer. We extend our condolences to his family, friends and the volunteers community.


SYDNEY FESTIVAL 2022 ROADSHOW This year Sydney Festival partnered with Australian Theatre Live to record four of the Festival’s finest works in full. These incredible recordings are now about to hit the road, bringing the best of the fest to communities right around Australia during a regional cinema tour, set to run from May throughout 2022. Screenings will enable even more Australians to experience the startling scenes of 宿 (stay), the acrobatic feats of Italian Baroque with Circa and critically acclaimed The Pulse, plus the masterful puppetry of Erth's Prehistoric Picnic.

With more than 33 venues already signed on in locations from Gippsland, Victoria to Cootamundra, NSW and as far as Norfolk Island, the program broadens the geographical reach of the Festival significantly, and makes the performing arts accessible to arts lovers regardless of location, income or ability. The Roadshow will also distribute profits back into the communities it visits, donating 10% of sales to local health services.


Government & Community Partners PRINCIPAL PARTNERS


















Restaurant Partners

Artbank Australia

Azzuro 753

Lotus The Galeries


Bellbird Dining and Bar

Misfits At The Redfern

RDA Research


No.1 William


Cafe Sydney

The Dining Room Park

Chefs Gallery

Hyatt Sydney

Chi by Lotus

Watson’s EQ

WITH SINCERE THANKS TO PRINCIPAL PHILANTHROPIC PARTNER PETER FREEDMAN AM AND OUR PHILANTHROPIC SUPPORTERS MAJOR DONORS $50k+ Andrew Cameron AM and Cathy Cameron Hooper Shaw Foundation Anthony and Suzanne Maple - Brown Roslyn Packer AC Jacqui Scheinberg

DIRECTOR’S CIRCLE $25K+ Antoinette Albert John Barrer Fiona Martin - Weber and Tom Hayward Neilson Foundation Rebel Penfold - Russell

FESTIVAL HEROES $10k+ Robert Albert AO and Libby Albert Larissa Behrendt AO and Michael Lavarch AO Lisa and Mark Jackson Pulver Mitchel Martin - Weber

David Mathlin and Camilla Drover Julianne Maxwell Seaborn, Broughton & Walford Foundation Penelope Seidler AM Ezekiel Solomon AM

ASSOCIATE PRODUCERS $5k+ Lynda Adler The Arcadia Syndicate Canny Quine Foundation Carol Crawford Roslyn and Alex Hunyor Peter and Sharon Ivany David Kirk MBE and Brigit Kirk Amanda and Andrew Love Carolyn Lowry OAM and Peter Lowry OAM Robyn Martin - Weber Mary Read Victoria Taylor Villa & Villa P/L Kim Williams AM and Catherine Dovey Ray Wilson OAM

FESTIVAL PATRON $2.5K+ John and Helen Barclay Mathew Campbell Iolanda Capodanno and Juergen Krufczyk Angela Clark Anna Cleary Peter Cooper Simon and Julie Ford Jennifer Dowling and James Hill Kate Dundas Dianne and Terry Finnegan Helena Harris Kiong Lee an d Richard Funston Lyndall and Trevor McNally Karen Moses Peter Wilson and James Emmett


Media Partners

FESTIVAL LOVERS $1k+ Helen Bauer Sandra Bender Paddy Carney Barry Fitzgibbon Matt and Rebecca Jones Elizabeth Laverty Jerry and Alison Meades Gary Nicholls Benjamin Law Cheryl Lo Ann McFarlane Catriona Noble Paul and Amber Rubenstein Carl and Anne Reid Christopher Tooher Sam Weiss Anthony Whealy



THE FOLLOWING COMPANIES AND PRODUCTIONS ACKNOWLEDGE THE SUPPORT OF: The Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.

DEMO, Grey Rhino, The Pulse, Set Piece, THAW, Yung Lung, Wudjang: Not the Past

- barra APRA AMCOS – Art Music Fund Ensemble Offspring 2021 First Nations Composer Commission

44 Sex Acts in One Week

Developed with the support of Belvoir, 44 Sex Acts in One Week is part of the Artists at Work Initiative.

A Chorus Line

Conceived and Originally Directed and Choreographed by Michael Bennett. Original Broadway production produced by the New York Shakespeare Festival, Joseph Papp, Producer, in association with Plum Productions, Inc. A Chorus Line is presented by permission of ORiGiN™ Theatrical on behalf of Tams-Witmark LLC, A Concord Theatricals Company.

Airship Orchestra

ENESS Artist Nimrod Weis

Big hART’s Acoustic Life of Boatshed

Big hART’s Acoustic Life of Boatsheds is proudly presented in association with Australian National Maritime Museum, Noakes Group, Sydney Heritage Fleet and Sydney Festival.

Black Brass

Co-production with Performing Lines WA, in association with Sydney Festival. Supported by Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries - Government of Western Australia, Fremantle Arts Centre, and Lotterywest. Co-commissioned and presented by Perth Festival.

Cherine Fahd: Ecdysis

Curated by Daniel Mudie Cunningham and Jeff Khan.

Dean Cross: Icarus, My Son

Curated by Gina Mobayed and Daniel Mudie Cunningham.

Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?


Licensed by Music Theatre International (Australasia) on behalf of Dramatists Play Service Inc.

Erth’s Prehistoric Picnic

Supported by Restart Investment to Sustain and Expand (RISE) Fund – an Australian Government initiative.

Set Piece

The Pulse

This project has been assisted This project has been assisted by the Australian Government’s by the Australian Government’s Major Festivals Initiative, managed Major Festivals Initiative, by the Australia Council, its arts managed by the Australia funding and advisory body, in Council, its arts funding and Fluffy association with the Confederation advisory body, in association with This project was supported by of Australian International Arts the Confederation of Australian Create NSW and City of Sydney. Festivals Inc. Commissioned by International Arts Festivals Inc., Adelaide Festival, Rising, Perth commissioned by, Adelaide Girl From The North Country Festival, Sydney Festival and Festival, Sydney Festival, Darwin Girl From The North Country Performance Space. Original Co- Festival and GWB Entertainment was first produced at The Old commissioners Vitalstatistix and Pty. Ltd. The Pulse is supported Vic on 8 July 2017 by Tristan Arts House. by the Australia Council for Baker & Charlie Parsons for the Arts. The Pulse creative Runaway Entertainment Sydney Symphony Under development was supported by Steven Lappin, Sony Music The Stars the Adelaide Festival Centre. Entertainment UK, David Mirvish Presented by Sydney Festival and the Old Vic. in partnership with Sydney Things Hidden Since The Foundation Of The World Symphony Orchestra and Grey Rhino Greater Sydney Parklands. Supported by the UK/Australia Grey Rhino is produced by Supported by Media Partners Season Patrons Board, the British Performing Lines. This project ABC Sydney, Time Out, Concrete Council and the Australian is supported by the Australian Playground and Limelight. Government as part of the UK/ Government through the Australia Season. Australia Council for the Arts, its THAW arts funding and advisory body, The world premiere of THAW is Wudjang: Not the Past the NSW Government through supported by Sydney Festival, This project has been assisted Create NSW, Rella Music, and the Australia Council for the Arts, by the Australian Government’s Sydney Dance Company. and Sydney Opera House. This Major Festivals Initiative, project has been assisted by the managed by the Australia Katie Noonan Australian Government’s Major Council, its arts funding and This performance is produced Festivals Initiative, managed by advisory body, in association in collaboration with Sydney the Australia Council for the Arts, with the Confederation of Improvised Music Association its arts funding and advisory Australian International Arts (SIMA). body, in association with the Festivals Inc., commissioned by Confederation of Australian Sydney Festival, Perth Festival Lizzie International Arts Festivals, Sydney and Adelaide Festival, and coHayes Theatre Company and Festival and Brisbane Festival. produced by Bangarra Dance Lizzie The Musical is sponsored Theatre and Sydney Theatre by Frederic Marguerre and The Construct Company. Rodrigo Martino. This project has been generously supported by The City of Yung Lung The Museum of Modern Sydney: CBD Activation Grant, Yung Lung was commissioned by Love CreateNSW Play the City Grant, RISING through A Call to Artists, Restart Investment to Sustain RISE Funding and Merrigong a program supported by Creative and Expand (RISE) Fund–an Theatre Company’s, ‘MerrigongX” Victoria, City of Melbourne Australian Government initiative. residency program. Produced in and Besen Family Foundation. association with Quiet Riot. Chunky Move is supported Perahu-Perahu by the Victorian Government With the support of the Australia The Nightline through Creative Victoria, by the Council for the Arts, Create NSW The Nightline: Melbourne was Australian Government through and Carriageworks. commissioned by RISING and the Australia Council for the Arts, generously assisted by the City its arts funding and advisory Qween Lear of Melbourne and the Australian body, and through the City of Supported by Restart Government through the Melbourne through its Arts and Investment to Sustain and Australia Council for the Arts, its Creative Investment Partnership Expand (RISE) Fund – an arts funding and advisory body. Program. Yung Lung includes Australian Government initiative. The proto-type edition of The footage from the National Film Nightline was commissioned and Sound Archive of Australia. Rich Kids: A History of by Utp as a part of the inaugural Shopping Malls in Tehran RHRN artist residency, curated 宿 (stay) Supported by the UK/Australia Sydney Festival and Oz Asia Season Patrons Board, the British by Rosie Dennis. Special thanks to our project Brainstrust and the Festival present 宿 (stay) in Council and the Australian hundreds of real-life anonymous association with Kurinji and Government as part of the UK/ callers who participated in the SAtheCollective. Australia: Australia Season. making of this work. Australia Council for the Arts; Create NSW; and The Australian Government’s International Cultural Diplomacy Arts Fund (ICDAF) Program. Singapore: National Arts Council, Ministry of Culture, Community & Youth.

SYDNEY FESTIVAL STAFF 2022 SYDNEY FESTIVAL PATRON Her Excellency the Honourable Margaret Beazley AC QC, Governor of New South Wales

BOARD OF DIRECTORS Chair – David Kirk MBE Andrew Cameron AM Paddy Carney Angela Clark Darren Dale Kate Dundas Dr Robert Lang Benjamin Law (retired 13/01/22) Catriona Noble


PROGRAMMING Head of Programming Operations Ellen Kavanagh

Creative Artist in Residence Jacob Nash

Producer - Major Events

Production Manager

Producer - Music

Senior Project Manager

Chris Twite

Nathalie Taylor

Digital Producer

Project Managers

Carolina Totterman

Associate Producer Rebecca Gribble

Associate Producer Neville Williams Boney

Volunteer Manager

Executive Assistant

Grace Macpherson

Corey Zerna

Volunteer Coordinator

Administration Officer

Claire Ferguson

Jennifer Stallard

Assistant Accountant

Programming Coordinator

MARKETING + COMMUNICATIONS Marketing Director Aimee Ocampo

Digital Marketing Manager Alex Wain

Chee-Hsing Pinchen

Accounts Assistant

Jordan Rahlia

Accounts Assistant

Marketing and Social Media Specialist

Courtney Lewis

Alexandra Kwok


Michelle Balogh

Acting External Relations Director Jane You

Partnerships Manager Mouche Phillips

Partnerships Executive Caitlin Stewart

Catering Consultants Fernando Motti & Blake Smith

PHILANTHROPY Head of Philanthropy Marita Supplee

Philanthropy Assistant Fiona Jackson

Gordon Rymer, Tom Webster, Katie Hurst, Sophie Alexandra, Jesse Hilford

Logistics Manager Eleanor Miller

Logistics Coordinators Bec Poulter and Jodi Rabinowitz

Production Assistant Bridget Hennessy

Store Supervisor Sean Maroney

Imogen Titmarsh

Content and Publications Editor

Julie Crawford

John Bayley Alycia Bangma

Christopher Tooher

Finance Manager


Nick Beech


Dimitri Cachia

Harry Erickson

Producer - Theatre and dance

Lauren Eisinger

Head of Finance and Administration

Box Office Coordinator

Head of Production

Associate Producer


Christopher Wale

Steph Kamasz

Olivia Ansell

Thomas Hamilton

Guest Ticketing Coordinator

Marketing Coordinator Digital Marketing Coordinator Laura Wong

Graphic Design Manager Anais Taylor

Senior Graphic Designer Brittney Griffiths

Signage Coordinator Ellen Lancuba



FESTIVAL COPYWRITERS Elissa Blake, Jason Blake, Jack Tregoning, Lenny Ann Lowe, Ashleigh Wilson, Henry Johnstone

FESTIVAL PHOTOGRAPHERS Jacquie Manning, Yaya Stempler, Prudence Upton, Wendell Teodoro, Daniel Boud



Customer Service Director


Tara Easlea

Ticketing Systems Coordinator Sarah Toner, Shane Russon



Italian Baroque with Circa, photo by Keith Saunders


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