Rolling out the arts to regional Australia

4-minute read
Together, nbn and Sydney Festival are taking five locations in regional Australia on a journey of the arts with a series of exciting community pop-up events.

To help artists connect with new audiences and deliver creative content to communities across the country, nbn and Sydney Festival have joined forces to help take the arts to five locations in regional Australia.

Understanding the impact COVID-19 has had on artists and audiences alike, nbn was recently announced as Sydney Festival’s first-ever Regional Partner.

The partnership aims to help the iconic festival – entertaining audiences since 1977 – to ‘ignite, unite and excite’ even more Australians with its signature brand of memorable experiences.

“We are thrilled to be involved in this bold celebration of arts and culture as Sydney Festival’s first-ever Regional Partner,” says Gavin Williams, Chief Development Officer, Regional and Remote at nbn.

“As an Australian company, we are proud to support Sydney Festival, which – also for the first time this year – is showcasing 100 per cent Australian content.”

And the first step on our collaborative journey? Co-hosting a series of exciting community pop-up events in five locations in regional Australia.

Gavin Williams, Chief Development Officer, Regional and Remote at nbn.

Pop-up art

In five thoughtfully chosen regional locations across Australia, nbn and Sydney Festival will soon screen a live recording of Bangarra Dance Theatre’s performance, Spirit: a retrospective 2021.

The captivating performance, which premieres at the Sydney Festival on Wednesday 20 January, celebrates the unbroken connection of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to the land.

It invites audiences to connect with stories and songlines from across the nation with a collection of work from across the Bangarra Dance Theatre’s rich history. 

Two dancers from Bangarra Dance Theatre performing “Spirit: a retrospective 2021” during Toronto tour
“Spirit: a retrospective 2021” by Bangarra Dance Theatre. Image: Lisa Tomasetti

Spirit: a retrospective 2021 showcases some of Australia’s finest performers,” says Gavin.

“Hosting these pop-up community events provides an opportunity for regional Australians in Bangalow and Batemans Bay (NSW), Stradbroke Island (QLD), a soon-to-be-announced location in the Northern Territory, and Ballarat (VIC) to witness one of Sydney Festival’s leading acts without needing to leave their hometown.”

northern-territory

The performance strikes a strong chord as nbn continues its reconciliation journey.

“We have come a long way in our reconciliation journey and have an ever-increasing role to play in ensuring that First Peoples can access and realise the benefits of connecting to the nbn™ network,” says Gavin.

“We are strongly committed to deepening our relationships with First Peoples, connecting and creating opportunity and guiding positive outcomes by lifting the digital capability and unlocking the social and economic benefits of the nbn™ network for First Peoples”.

ballarat
Ballarat, Victoria

The locations

Part of our broader commitment to engage and collaborate with the arts sector, nbn will help to develop innovative approaches for making use of retail broadband services over the nbn™ network.

This can help internet providers and organisations, such as the Sydney Festival, deliver cultural content to new audiences across the country.

bangalow
Bangalow, New South Wales

In the coming months1, the following regional locations are planned for screenings of Spirit: a retrospective 2021:

  • Bangalow and Batemans Bay, New South Wales
  • Stradbroke Island, Queensland
  • A soon-to-be-announced location in the Northern Territory
  • Ballarat, Victoria
batemans-bay
Batemans Bay, New South Wales


“Being able to connect creators with new audiences is critical to the sector,” says Gavin, “even more so now with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“At nbn, we recognise the role we can play in relation to helping to digitise the arts, engage and collaborate with key creative sector stakeholders, and develop innovative concepts and business models that take advantage of digital platforms.

“Through our partnership, nbn and the nbn™ network will help enable the digitisation of the arts and support the rollout of creative content across the country.” 

wesley-enoch-photo-by-cassandra-hannagan
Wesley Enoch AM, Director at Sydney Festival. Image: Cassandra Hannagan

Wesley Enoch AM, Director at Sydney Festival, echoes Gavin’s sentiments.

"I’m excited that Sydney Festival is collaborating with nbn as they help take the Festival to parts of regional Australia.

“The performance of Spirit is an incredibly evocative work from one of our country’s most renowned performing arts companies.

stradbroke-island
Stradbroke Island, Queensland
“For people in Bangalow, Batemans Bay, Stradbroke Island, a soon-to-be-announced location in the Northern Territory, and Ballarat to have access to a live filmed performance of this extraordinary piece is something to be celebrated.” 
Header image by Lisa Tomasetti: “Spirit: a retrospective 2021” by Bangarra Dance Theatre.