Unique IDFN-0030Description*** This function applies only to Sydney City Council ***
The Festival of Sydney is held every January in Sydney, culminating in the Australia Day celebrations on 26 January. It includes a wide range of events, such as the Sydney Harbour Ferrython, fireworks, free concerts in the Domain, plays and other musical and arts-related events.
The first Festival of Sydney was held in January 1977. It was initially organised by CA 171, Sydney Committee, and then CA 178, Festival of Sydney Limited from 1995.
Prior to the Festival of Sydney, Council ran festivals in the Spring called the Waratah Spring Festivals. The first of these was held in October 1956. The last Waratah Festival was held in 1973, in conjunction with the opening of the Sydney Opera House. In a report prepared in 1974, the Sydney Committee noted that the major sponsors had withdrawn their support and that the Festival had outlived its usefulness as a major attraction.
Stephen Hall, formerly Artistic Director of the Australian Opera, was approached to take over as Executive Director of the Sydney Committee. It was Hall who recommended an annual summer festival.
The City of Sydney's direct involvement with the Festival of Sydney is now limited to providing part of the funding, and the Lord Mayor is Chair of the Board.
In 1997 the City of Sydney Archives became the archiving agency for the Sydney Festival (CRS 326: A06-00157).CreationAppointment of Stephen Hall as Director, 4 November 1975