Could Parramatta Park become Australia’s answer to the Hollywood Bowl?
A replica of the iconic arena was one of the ideas proposed at the recent Go West: Uncovering Western Sydney’s Visitor Economy conference.
A joint Sydney Business Chamber, Western Sydney and Deloitte report was unveiled which includes 10 bold ideas on how to grow the region’s visitor economy.
Western Sydney attracted more than 9.6 million visitors in 2015 and is now the fourth most visited region in NSW, according to the report.
Visitations to the rapidly growing region have grown by 49 per cent since 2005 and has overtaken the Hunter region in terms of total visitors. It will soon overtake the NSW South Coast if current trends continue.
Ideas include the potential for western Sydney to have its own Hollywood Bowl-style venue, a holiday park and two new major events.
“Investment in the arts and culture has historically been below demonstrated demand levels in Western Sydney, with government policy now playing catch-up to satisfy growing demands for music, arts and culture in the west,” the report states.
“Western Sydney is well placed to house a new outdoor music venue for its growing population. A new venue could utilise the large parklands in Western Sydney to create a natural amphitheatre that services Western Sydney without disrupting residential neighbours.”
Sydney Business Chamber western Sydney director David Borger is keen to see it happen. “I went there a few years ago with my family, where there were 17,000 people on the night to see Ella Fitzgerald,” he told the Sun.
“This type of venue in western Sydney would mean more access to more big name acts, especially in the summer months.”
Mr Borger listed Parramatta Park, Bella Vista Farm and Australian Botanic Gardens in Mount Annan as potential sites. Parramatta Park already has an amphitheatre.
“This is the challenge. We need somewhere with proper infrastructure and public transport. I’m keen for Parramatta Park to be explored but there are sensitive issues that need to be considered as it is a world heritage site.”
A scoping and feasibility study into the idea is the next step.
Other bold ideas included the Western Sydney River Festival, a month long outdoor festival along the region’s major river cities, including Parramatta. The report proposes the event to be scheduled in quieter event months.
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