Australia is one if the countries that are blessed to have a series of events and festival running throughout the year. This wide range of events ranges from local events which are only celebrated by a few to international events that attract audiences from all over the world. One of Australia’s greatest celebrated festivals is the Sydney Festival. Sydney is the largest festival with the greatest number of attendants annually. The festival runs for approximately three weeks every January and hosts approximately eighty events some of which include; contemporary and classical music, circus, dance, drama and visual arts among others (O'Brien 2004, p. 63). Sydney festival was first introduced in 1977 and since then it has grown to become an international festival with a standing for modern programs. The main objective of its establishment was to attract people to the city of Sydney during January holidays. Other objects include; nurturing of both local and foreign artists, educating the public on the different cultures in Australia, as well as entertaining the audience (Merin, Burdick & International Theatre Institute of the United States 1979). It is during this festival that many people experience Australian culture not only though the performance but also through the wide range of foods and drinks provided.
Among the topics that have been selected so as to be used in the undertaking of the analysis of Sydney festival include; its impacts and evaluation, management, and its sponsorship. Impacts and evaluation: in every context of an event, the impacts usually cover a variety of both positive and negative issues that might mount up resulting from the happening of the event. The positive results are usually termed as benefits while the negative issues are commonly referred to as consequences. Both the consequences and benefits can be obvious before, during and after the event has taken place and they are usually felt by the participants, businesses and the host communities. According to Gratton & Henry (2001), the Sydney festival has had several impacts on the people and the country at large in different ways. Some of these include; economic impacts, social and cultural impacts. In the economic impacts, the Sydney festival has been a great contribution to the economy of Australia. Every year, people from all over the world gather in Sydney to celebrate this festival. This has greatly helped in collection of funds through taxes and revenues that have boosted the economy of Australia (Gratton & Henry 2001, p. 82). It is also at this time that businesses boom and people get temporary employment as they get involved in the activities pertaining to the festival.
Another economic area that has benefited from the Sydney festival is the physical infrastructure. As the event is performed annually, physical infrastructure is usually improved and renovations made so as to improve the image of the town. As a result, the infrastructure is well maintained and not only does it benefit those attending the festival but the whole country at large. Sydney festival has also been the core of tourists attraction which thousands of people gathering every year to celebrate the beauty and talents of their people (Mason 2007, p.51). In social and cultural impacts, the festival has significantly impacted the lives of both local and foreign audiences. Local people have had an opportunity to interact with other people from all over the world thus new making friends. They have also been able to learn their culture and other people’s as well through the presentations.
Another topic that has been chosen from the list is the management of the Sydney festival. The management of the festival has not been consistent with different people changing positions and new staffs coming in after some time. The founder director is Stephen Hall who served between 1977 and 1994. He is the only director who stayed for long in the office. Since then, directors have been changing after two to five years (Johnston & Zawawi 2004). The current management is composed of a patron and the board of directors. The patron is Her Excellency Professor Bashir Marie who is also the governor of New South Wales. Under this comes the board of directors which is composed of the president, chair, directors and alternate directors. The president is Hon. Kristina Keneally while the chair is Clove Moore, the Lord Mayor of Sydney. The directors include; Simon Corah, Monica Barone, Matthew Melhuish, Hon. Virginia Judge, Sam Weiss and Geoff Wilson. Alternate directors are Mary Darwell, Marcelle Hoff, Ann Hoban, Carol Mills and Vivienne Skinner (This is our city in summer 2010).
The last topic of choice is sponsorship. Since the establishment of the Sydney festival in 1977, several sponsors have been giving hands of support so as to ensure a smooth running of the festival and its programs. According to Allen et al. (2008), the project was initiated through the partnership of the government, the Sydney city and the NSW government and ever since these have shown their commitment in ensuring that the festival moves from one level to another every year. Other venerable sponsors that have been working close with this partnership include; Channel Nine, News Ltd, Lion Nathan, Stoneleigh Wine, Visa International and Sydney Harbor Foreshore Authority among others (Media release 2009). In 2010 however, the festival attracted more sponsors including the ANZ which moved in as a chief sponsor. Other new sponsors are Foxtel, Optus, the University of Sydney and You Tube (Media release 2009).
The reasons as to why I have chosen these three topics; impacts and evaluation, management and sponsorship is because many people have been attending the festival but have no idea about the event and its impacts. The only impact that many are aware of because it is direct to them is entertainment. They simple go to refresh their minds; which is just but a small percentage of the many benefits of the festival. Others may have some knowledge about the impacts and evaluation of the Sydney festival but do not know about the organizations or individuals funding the event nor the composition of the management. They have been enjoying free sessions during the festival and do not care about who sponsored them. I therefore have chosen these topics so that I can intensively research on them and help some of my friends who do not have an idea about them.
Festivals of different kinds serve to achieve specific goals and needs as well as to entertain their audiences. They also provide a sense of belonging to various social, geographical and religious groups. Festivals that major on ethnic and cultural events are usually determined to inform the targeted audience of their traditions and cultural norms (Connell 2000). Festivals also help to transfer knowledge and information from one generation to another (Allen et al. 2008). Like any other festival, Sydney festival was initially aimed at attracting people to the city of Sydney while they were out on holidays. Since the city residents were having their holidays on January, most of them would visit or tour other leisure places and the city would become deserted as a result. To ensure that the city was not empty, the government in conjunction with the Sydney committee and the NSW government decided to come up with a festival that would be celebrated in the city (Mason 2007, p. 47). Since then, the city has been hosting a variety of events that attract people especially during the month of January.
After the Sydney festival was launched in 1977, several ideas have come up and the goals of the festival have expanded. People started to view the festival from a different angle and new goals were established. Some of the secondary goals included educating the public on their traditions and customs related to their culture. With the emergence of various performing groups, some of them concentrated in ethnic and cultural events (Mason 2007, p. 48). Succeeding groups also practiced this and information would be passed from one generation to another, hence educating them about their culture and traditions. Another goal of the Sydney festival is to nurture both local and international artists. Every festival season, several artists are invited to perform. It is from this that young and aspiring artists learn from the already experienced artists and gain experience that help them to become best artists in future. Apart from these, the main reason as to why people attend this festival in large numbers is entertainment (Yeoman, Robertson & Ali-Knight 2004). People have been leaving their home countries to come to Sydney just to see how their favorite artists perform or how their favorite dramas are performed. Some of them participate in some of the activities and as a result get entertained and contented (Connell 2000, p. 211).
Comparing what the theories on the three topics discussed above and what I have discovered from the research, the information given is more or less the same. Sydney festival has been evaluated as one of the first growing festivals hosting the greatest number of audiences every year. This is because it is the longest celebrated festival; the festival takes around three weeks, and has a wide range of events including both indoors and outdoors activities. The impacts that the festival have on the society and the country at large are just the same as those discussed in the course work material. However, concerning the management and sponsorship, there is a slight difference since the material I used to research is more updated than the course work. The structure of the management is the same but the representatives are different. Concerning sponsorship, only the old sponsors are mentioned because most of the new sponsors announced their sponsorship this year.