Access & Inclusion
Access & Inclusion

We welcome all visitors to Sydney Festival events and make every effort to ensure the program is accessible to our whole audience.

Special thanks to our Access and Inclusion Advisory Panel:

Coral Arnold
Morwenna Collett
Diana Eilert
Sofya Gollan
Riana Head-Toussaint
Julie Jones
Greg Killeen
Vanessa Lucas
Paul Nunnari

Disability Programming Initiative

What is the new pitching initiative for people with disability?

Sydney Festival is committed to increasing the representation of artists with disability in the annual program. As such, we have collaborated with Accessible Arts to invite artists with disability or who are Deaf to pitch projects for inclusion in our 2020 program.

What are we looking for?

  • Sydney Festival programs free events, visual arts, music, theatre, dance, large public installations, online events and everything in between
  • We look for exemplary artistic and cultural endeavours that are adventurous, international best practice and have something new to say to the world
  • We look for a strong aesthetic language, demonstrable artistic/cultural skills and an articulate story to tell
  • Successful projects often have multiple partners to help fund and present the work and a clearly articulated target audience

Who is eligible to submit?

Anyone with disability is eligible to submit.

The Disability Inclusion Act 2014 (DIA) defines disability as: “The long-term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairment which in interaction with various barriers may hinder the full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others.” 

The term ‘disability’ can also include people who are Deaf or hard of hearing. The Deaf community may not always identify as having disability or impairment and may define themselves as a culturally and linguistically diverse group due to their use of Auslan (Australian Sign Language).

  • Sydney Festival works with artists who have a track record of creating/performing works
  • Artists with disability and/or organisations working with/for people with disability are encouraged to submit a pitch. Groups submitting need to be disability-led. This means you must demonstrate that the artistic process within the group is led by artists with disability
  • Festival Director Wesley Enoch (aided by the Sydney Festival programming team) will make the final decision based on the balance of projects, budgets and distribution

What should the submission include?

Each pitch should be 2–3 pages long (or the equivalent) and include:

  • a 2–3 paragraph detailed description of the project
  • 1–2 paragraphs on each of the key artists involved
  • the venue or type of venue you require
  • a list of presenting or funding partners and whether these are confirmed
  • a demonstrated sense of the target audience
  • a budget which includes pre-production costs, funding sources, possible box office/income sources, in-kind support, weekly running costs
  • images / video / media / article links of previous works or of developments of the work being pitched

When can I submit?

Submissions will be taken up to 31 March 2019. Things to keep in mind:

  • We encourage all possible projects to submit a pitch no later than 31 March at 5pm AEDT for inclusion in the following Festival but projects can be submitted at any time up to then
  • The more assistance you need to realise your project, the better it is to get in early
  • Sydney Festival locks off its program by May/June each year

How do I submit?

You are welcome to pitch to us in any format accessible to you, for example by email, audio file, video (including in Auslan), handwritten or printed document using one of the following methods:

By email:

By post: Tom Riordan, Associate Producer, Sydney Festival, Level 5/10 Hickson Road, The Rocks, NSW 2000

If you choose to submit a video, it can be as simple as one shot on a mobile phone.

All applicants must provide the following information:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Contact phone number
  • Email address
  • Preferred method of contact

Please do not send email attachments over 2MB. For large files, use an online transfer service like WeTransfer, or provide links to download from Dropbox or Google Drive. You may also post us a USB flash drive.


Submissions will be acknowledged as they are received. The selection process will begin after the end of the submission period (submissions close 5pm AEST 31 March 2019).

Who do I contact if I need guidance or have questions?

We encourage you to contact Accessible Arts for support or guidance on any part of your submission or the pitching process:

Liz Martin, Arts Development and Training Manager, Accessible Arts / / 02 8379 3102 (Tue/Wed/Thurs)

Get In Touch!

Your feedback helps us continue to improve our access program and services. Please get in touch with us on 1300 856 876 or if you have any queries or suggestions regarding accessibility at Sydney Festival.


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