Australia’s Prime Minister, The Hon Julia Gillard, launched Oz Fest, the biggest Australian cultural festival ever staged in India, with a spectacular outdoor concert at the historic Purana Qila in New Delhi on 16 October.
Iconic Aboriginal Australian singer Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu, Indian sitarist and composer Anoushka Shankar, twice-Grammy-nominatedand Songlines Best Artist 2012 winner, and Australian didgeridoo virtuoso Mark Atkins performed at the concert against a moving canvas of 3D light projections. Images of the Australian landscape and Indian iconography, designed by the producers of Sydney's Vivid Light Festival, AGB Events, transformed Sher Mandal Observatory at Purana Qila.
The concert marked the commencement of a four-month celebration of contemporary Australian culture in 18 Indian cities. From 16 October 2012 to 5 February 2013, Oz Fest will showcase the creativity, dynamism and diversity of Australia through major events across India focusing on Australian music, art, food, films, literature, dance, comedy and sport.
The Australian Government is delivering Oz Fest with the support of 24 government, business, institutional and production partners.
Oz Fest is the Australia International Cultural Council's focus country program for 2012. The program aims to strengthen and deepen ties with specific countries through integrated arts and cultural events and activities. Looking ahead, DFAT will lead major cultural promotions in Vietnam in 2013, Indonesia in 2014; Turkey in 2015 and Brazil in 2016.