Sydney’s 2015 Corroboree Festival Has Been Cancelled!

A good thing gone bad...

A good thing gone bad…

Sydney’s 2015 Corroboree Festival has been cancelled, after it was revealed the event’s organisers were involved in a funding stoush with the Liberal Government. The indigenous cultural event entered an indefinite hiatus after Destination NSW, the State’s tourism and events authority, signalled it would not be meeting the request to increase funding for the festival.

Festival organisers claim the event could not go ahead without a significant boost to their bottom line. Artistic director Hetti Perkins told the Sydney Morning Herald that the decision was difficult, but principled. “There was not the appropriate amount of funding for this year to allow the festival to be financially sustainable nor to build on the successes of 2014 and to meet the KPIs set by DNSW,” she explained.

Ms. Perkins insisted that the lack of funding speaks to a wider attitude towards indigenous culture. “We’re just fed up with begging for scraps from the table,” she noted. “Where’s the support for Indigenous culture? The collective statistics tell the story of a festival which went from attendances of 35,000 in year one to almost 50,000 in year two – a significant uplift in just 12 months.”

Additionally, the experienced organiser expects the local indigenous community to be affected by the drastic decision. The local arts and cultural scene makes the most of the annual festival, and this year many will feel its absence. “There are many stakeholders who are impacted by this outcome, however it is not possible to continue the festival without adequate financial backing,” Ms. Perkins said, before launching into criticism of the state government’s tourism priorities. “Junk tourist shops – is that the best Sydney can offer?” she asked. “Is that all we’ve got to say to people when they come to Sydney?”

Destination NSW spokesperson Rhys Haynes refused to admit any funding had been withdrawn, adding (somewhat disingenuously) that the authority could not guarantee an increase in funding. “Destination NSW supported the approach of changing Corroboree Sydney to a biennial event but was not able to meet the requested significant increase in funding,” he said.

But somehow, we think that argument does little to explain how the state lost one of its most vibrant and culturally important festivals.

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This entry was posted in Arts, New South Wales, Sydney, Sydney, Travel Industry, Travel News Australia and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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