The Perth Festival (previously Perth International Arts Festival) is Australia's longest running cultural festival, held annually in Western Australia. The program features contemporary and classical music, dance, theatre, opera, visual arts, large-scale public works, Lotterywest Film Festival and the Perth Writers Festival. The festival runs every year from February to March, the Lotterywest Film Festival runs from November to April, and the Perth Writers Festival occurs in February. The artistic director from 2016 to 2019 is Wendy Martin. The current executive director is Nathan Bennett.
The festival was created in 1953 by the University of Western Australia, making it the oldest international arts festival in Australia, and the oldest annual international multi-arts festival in the southern hemisphere. Activities across the state include theatre, dance, music, film, visual arts and literature. Artists from around the world have participated in the festival.
The festival was founded by and has operated from the University of Western Australia Nedlands campus since 1953. The University of Western Australia further supports the festival through the provision of services and resources. Lotterywest has supported the festival financially since 1992.
The festival also relies on corporate sponsors and partnerships for funding, with new organisations becoming involved each year.
The array of corporate partners changes each year, however some partners have committed to long term sponsorship of the festival. The partners are separated into six distinct groups:
- Leadership partners
- Major Partners
- Public Funding Partners
- International Partners
The 2012 festival was the 60th Perth International Arts Festival. This year attracted 194,522 paid audience members and a total attendance figure of over 700,000. The opening of the festival featured a 'DAWN:DUSK' opening, where hundreds of people gathered on Cottesloe Beach to watch vocalists and musicians. The festival was held from 10 February to 4 March, and was the first year led by new artistic director, Jonathan Holloway. A number of events sold out during this year's festival, including tickets to Bon Iver.
The 2013 festival was held from 8 February to 2 March. With 750 artists, 820 events and 250 film screenings, it is the biggest yet. This year marked the announcement of a new significant partner, Chevron Corporation. This partnership was recognised through the renaming of the Festival Gardens to Chevron Festival Gardens.
At the 2012/2013 Lotterywest Film Festival, 26 films were screened, with the winner of the BHP Billiton audience award being The First Grader, directed by Justin Chadwick. This year also featured sold out event, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, who played at the Chevron City Gardens.
The 2014 festival was the 62nd Perth International Arts Festival held from 7 February until 1 March 2014.
By the 2000s its status was raised to being well recognised by publishers from interstate and overseas.
- John Birman (1955–1974)
- David Blenkinsop (1975–1999)
- Sean Doran (2000–2003)
- Lindy Hume (2004–2007)
- Shelagh Magadza (2008–2011)
- Jonathan Holloway (2012–2015)
- Wendy Martin (2016–2019)
Venues for festival events have included:
- Somerville Auditorium
- Joondalup Pines
- His Majesty's Theatre
- State Theatre Centre of Western Australia
- Festival Gardens
- Regal Theatre
- ABC Perth Studios
- Octagon Theatre UWA
- Subiaco Arts Centre
- Perth Concert Hall
- St Georges Terrace
- Nedlands Park Masonic Hall
- Fremantle Arts Centre
- Red Hill Auditorium
- Cottesloe Beach
- Quarry Amphitheatre
- Winthrop Hall
- Lawrence Wilson Art Galley
- John Curtin Gallery
- Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts
- Crown Perth Theatre
- Western Australian Museum
- State Library of Western Australia
- Former Playhouse Theatre
- Hunter, Tim. "Perth Festival". Citysearch. Archived from the original on 17 January 2010. Retrieved 6 February 2010.
- Wells, Kathryn. "Festivals in Australia". Australian Government. Retrieved 20 June 2014.
- Festival background Archived 25 October 2006 at the Wayback Machine, perthfestival.com.au. Retrieved 22 March 2006.
- "Corporate Partnerships". Perth International Arts Festival. Retrieved 20 June 2014.
- "Corporate Partners". Perth International Arts Festival. Archived from the original on 14 July 2014. Retrieved 21 June 2014.
- Holloway, Jonathan. "2012 Perth Festival". Perth International Arts Festival. Retrieved 20 June 2014.
- "Events 2012 Western Australia" (PDF). Tourism WA. Retrieved 21 June 2014.[permanent dead link]
- "Lotterywest Festival Opening". Perth International Arts Festival. Retrieved 24 June 2014.
- "2012 Perth Arts Festival". Perth International Arts Festival. Retrieved 20 June 2014.
- "Selling fast/ sold out". Perth International Arts Festival. Retrieved 21 June 2014.
- "Perth Festival Wrap Release". Perth International Arts Festival. Retrieved 24 June 2014.
- "Chevron International Partner Perth Festival 2013". Festivals Australia. Retrieved 24 June 2014.
- Brown, Miranda. "News". Perth International Arts Festival. Archived from the original on 16 July 2014. Retrieved 24 June 2014.
- "Perth Festival Launch Media Release" (PDF). Perth Festival. Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 26 February 2015.
- Writers Festival (Perth, W.A.) (1990), Writers Festival programme, The Festival], retrieved 24 February 2019
- Alcoa Perth Writers Festival (Perth, W.A.) (1990), Free programme, The Festival, retrieved 24 February 2019
- "Perth Writers' Festival 2009", Bookseller + Publisher Magazine, 88 (5): 58, 2008, ISSN 1833-5403
- Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Radio National (2012-02-24), Germaine Greer opens Perth Writers' Festival, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, retrieved 24 February 2019
- Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Radio National (2015-02-25), Wolf Hall author Hilary Mantel at the 2015 Perth Writers Festival, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, retrieved 24 February 2019
- "Venues". Perth International Arts Festival. Retrieved 24 June 2014.