Parramasala held its own over the weekend despite competition from a boy band, war ships and a rugby league grand final.
The four-day festival didn’t need fireworks to go out with a bang, with a performance by Bollywood superstar Shahrukh Khan drawing it to a close on Tuesday.
Artistic director David Malacari said the festival had shown people living in western Sydney that they don’t need to travel into the city for culture and arts.
‘‘It’s a symbol of the change in western Sydney,’’ Mr Malacari said.
‘‘Twenty years ago if you’d said arts and culture is here people would have sniggered at you.
‘‘Western Sydney has a unique cultural footprint.’’
Although final counts of the number of people who attended free and ticketed events at venues across Parramatta haven’t been completed, Mr Malacari said he didn’t think the activity taking place elsewhere in the city had an impact on numbers.
‘‘Western Sydney is different to down town Sydney,’’ he said. ‘‘Many people don’t want to struggle with millions of people to see a few boats.
‘‘The move to put ticketed and free events together was really successful. There was great weather, the parade was an enormous success and the park was just a great place to be over the weekend.’’
Festival events included an opening parade from Parramatta Town Hall, performances at Riverside Theatres and markets with Asian and South Asian food at Prince Alfred Park.