The Festival of Sydney celebrated the 80th anniversary of the Commonwealth of Australia with a birthday party like no other. The day-time celebrations in Hyde Park included brass bands, folk groups and a range of free outdoor entertainment.

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1981 program

Festival Director: Stephen Hall

The Festival of Sydney celebrated the 80th anniversary of the Commonwealth of Australia with a birthday party like no other. The daytime celebrations in Hyde Park included brass bands, folk groups and a range of free outdoor entertainment.

The Australiana theme continued with a new venture for the Festival; Australian Cinema: The New Generation. Across a week, this presentation of the latest independent films from Australia’s newest generation of filmmakers saw cinema take a stronger position in the Festival line-up, alongside the usual strands of theatre, dance and music.

An ongoing exhibition of visual art and poetry by people with a disability was housed in the Connexion ’81 Pavilion, and included a dramatic presentation of Theorem, a play involving 50 actors.


Australian Youth Orchestra
Conductor: Denis de Coteau
Soloist: Roger Woodward

Musica Antiqua Of Cologne

Roger Woodward In Recital

Strings, Quills & Keys
Christopher Hogwood

Sydney String Quartet

Sydney Symphony Orchestra
Conductor: Patrick Thomas
Soloists: Rhonda Bruce, Ronald Maconaghie, Thomas Edmonds with members of the Sydney Philharmonia Orchestra

Sydney Virtuosi

Cowboys Inc

David Martin Quintet with Norma Martin

Grupo Folklorico Equatoriano

Higgins Municipal

Jack Lesmana Quartet

Jay and the Brazilian Cockroaches

Keith Sterling Quintet

Maree Montgomery Group

Rum Culs

Stringbow and Bellows

The Irish Drovers

Tom Baker's Groove City

UNSW Regimental Band

Marcus Turner

Mike The Music Man Jackson

The Festival Of Folklife: Back To The Bush
Dave de Hugard, the Colonial Dancers, Alec Richards, Joe Weatherby, Walter McLaughlan, Higgins Municipal Band, Alex Hood

The Festival Of Folklife: Beat Your Breasts
The Ovarian Sisters, Mary Jane Carpenter, Maree Cunnington

The Festival Of Folklife: Bush Dance
Rum Culls Bush Band, Higgins Municipal Band, Sendeka Music

The Festival Of Folklife: Family Concert
Mike and Michelle Jackson, Marcus Turner, Bernard Bolan, Rum Culls Bush Band, Sedenka

The Festival Of Folklife
Gove Scrivenar, Chris Duffy's Bluegrass Conspiracy, Robin Williamson

The Festival Of Folklife: Grand Colonial Bush Dance
Rum Culls Bush Band, Higgins Municipal Band, Sedenka, compered by Frank Canty and Mike Jackson

The Festival Of Folklife: Rebels All!
Denis Kevans, John Dengate, Phyl Lobl

The Festival Of Folklife: Shamrock And Thistle
Robin Williamson, Cathie O'Sullivan, the Celtic Dancers, Pipe and Drum, Raglan Road, Joe Heaney

The Festival Of Folklife: So You Want Blood!
Jeannie Lewis, Nathan Waks and others

The Festival Of Folklife: Troubadours And Minstrels
Early Music Duo, Laberinto, Roy Harris

The Qantas International Jazz Festival
Anita O'Day and Trio, David Marr Quintet plus Norman Martin, Jack Lesmana Quartet, Tom Baker's Groove City, Don Andrews/Peter Boothman Duo, Geoff Bull's Esteemed Buttons Brass Band, Joachim Kuhn, Keith Sterling Quartet, Keys Orchestra, Serge Ermoll Concert Ensemble, Bruce Cale Orchestra, Mark Simmonds/Phil Treloar Duo, Bernie McGann Group, Peter Delosa Quartet, Utungun Percussion


Steps, Notes And Squeaks
Svetlana Beriosova, Michael Manning

The Festival Of Dance
Adelaide Dance Group, Queensland Contemporary Dance Theatre, Human Veins, Impulse Dance Theatre of New Zealand, Australian Contemporary Dance Company, One Extra Dance Group, Dance Exchange


An Evening with Sean O'Casey
Genesian Theatre Company

Beauty and the Beast
Sydney Theatre Company

Bertha Jefferies vs Sir Henry Parkes
The Darlinghurst Players

Celluloid Heroes
Nimrod Theatre

Concerning Poor BB
Nimrod Theatre

Ensemble Theatre

Female Teenage Reflections
Pilgrim Theatre

Five Minutes, Mr Klein
Ensemble Theatre

Four Canterbury Tales

Glad Bags
Ensemble Theatre

Ensemble Theatre

I Colombaioni
Colombaioni Brothers

Impulse Dance Theatre

Melbourne Playbox Theatre

Love and the Single Teenager; Bill Posters Will Be Prosecuted
Griffin Theatre Company

Mime Spectrum
Sydney Corporeal Mime Theatre

Modern Mime Theatre

Picasso on Stage

Standard Operating Procedure
Fools Gallery Theatre Company

The Centenarian
Ensemble Theatre

The Choir
Nimrod Theatre

The Colonial Experience
New Theatre

The Incredible Vanishing

The Liberation of Skopje
Zagreb Theatre Company

The Musicians, or: The Dream Of Joseph Bach
The Rocks Players

Twilight Zone

When in Rome
Ensemble Theatre

Who Stole My Closet?
Gay Theatre Company


Kids' Cabaret
Pipi Storm


The Lily Moon Clown Show


A 20th Century Colonial: William Hardy Wilson

AB Origine - From The Beginning

Animals On Canvas

Art Clothes

Australian Aboriginal Art From Arnhem Land

Awareness - Are Your Senses Making Sense?

Bruce Copping - Sculpture and Salute To Sydney

Cadman's Cottage Historic Site

Chain Reaction Environments

Charles Kerry's Federation Australia

Crafts Council of NSW January Exhibition

Exhibitions By Roderick Bamford And Richard Brooks

Heinz Steinmann Exhibition

Model Train Display

Objects To Human Scale

Oils And Watercolours By Leading Australian Artists

One Hundred Years

Paul Bakker Exhibition

People Of St James

Photographic Exhibition of Early Sydney - Clyde Snape Collection

Photography - A Creative Approach

Pompeii AD79

Studio Access

Summer Show

Sydney Morning Herald Art Prize And Art Scholarship For A City Heritage Painting

The Goldrush Days

The House That Jack Built

The Last Man And The Last Shilling

Vintage Motorcycle Display

Zebras And Other Friends From Taronga Park


Australia Day Ceremony

BP Party

Caltex Concert Stage

Connexion '81 Pavilion

Festival Mardi Gras

Festival Parade

Happy Birthday Party

Hyde Park Square

New Year's Eve

The Wine And Diners' Club

Ye Festival Mediaeval Fayre


Australian Cinema: The New Generation
Ads And Heads/Frontline/From Nagasaki to Hiroshima
Closed Doors/Winter's Harvest/Give Trees A Chance
Darcy/Arriverdici Roma/Now And Then
Evictions/Keep Moving/Voc Populi/Exits
Shift/Against The Grain
Terror Lostralis/Farewell To Charms/Buckeye and Pinto
That's Progress/No Such Place/Takeover

Cuban Film Week
El Brigadista/The Teacher
In A Certain Way
Portrait of Teresa
The Man From Misinicu
The New School/The Last Supper
Viva La Republica


Magic Nouveau
Patrick Simpson


Black Out

Poetry Café

Sydney Poet's Ball

Sydney Women Writer's Workshop


Abbotsford 12' Flying Squadron

AJC Race Meetings

Ampol Champion of Masters Bowls Champions

Balmain and District 12' Flying Squadron

Benson & Hedges Festival Showjumping Championships

Benson & Hedges World Series Cricket

Drummoyne Junior Sailing Club

Festival Of Sydney Fraded Tenpin Bowling Masters and Junior Graded Masters

Festival of Sydney Medallion Rifle Championships

Greater Sydney Tenpin Bowling Association Festival of Sydney Championships

International Dragon Association of New South Wales

Middle Harbour Yacht Club

New South Wales Trotting Club's Summer Carnival

RAN Sailing Association Regatta

Royal Sydney Anniversary Regatta

Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron

Sydney Cricket Club/Festival of Sydney Double Wicket Tournament

Sydney Turf Club Race Meetings

Tattersall's Club Meeting

The Crazy Cue Cola Regatta

The Great Ferry Boat Race

View Program

1981 program



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