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Thursday, October 23, 2014

UFC Fight Night SAT 8TH November | Sydney, Australia

The fans and the fighters demanded it, and on November 8 in Sydney, Australia.

The UFC FIGHT PASS main event will be a five-round clash of middleweight contenders, as Luke Rockhold meets heated rival Michael Bisping.

The number five ranked Rockhold, a former Strikeforce champion, is coming off back-to-back finishes of Costas Philippou and Tim Boetsch, and he is promising another quick end when he faces Manchester, England's Bisping, a perennial contender who got back in the win column with an impressive August stoppage of Cung Le in Macao.


Jake Matthews:

Jake Matthews has only been in the UFC octagon for 13 minutes and 16 seconds but he already feels he belongs.

“It won’t be long before I’m top 10. I can just feel it,” Matthews said as he prepared for his lightweight showdown against Brazil’s Vagner Rocha at UFC Fight Night in Sydney on November 7.

“I feel I belong at the UFC level and beyond. What I learnt in the Ultimate Fighter house ... I’ve increased my skill level and I know what to do.

“When you get to this level and everyone’s a black belt and everyone’s a good wrestler and a good striker, you have to be ready.

“I know all the UFC fighters in the lightweight division and I think I’m one of the most well rounded fighters.”

Epping’s Matthews, dubbed “The Celtic Kid”, understands he faces a supreme test against “Ceara”.

Rocha submitted Cody McKenzie in Round 2 of UFC Fight Night in New Orleans in 2011, but had defeats either side of that bout against Jonathan Brookins and the highly ranked Donald Cerrone.

“He’s fought in the UFC before, so that’s why it’s a step up,” Matthews said.

“He’s had three fights — won one and lost a couple — so he has experience but I’m super confident. I see it being a first-round finish with this guy. I’m a lot bigger, I’m a lot stronger and he’s coming off an injury and he hasn’t fought in over a year, so he’ll have a bit of cage rust. 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Sydney Festival 2015 Line-up Announced

The Sydney Festival has launched its 2015 program — the third under Belgian born director Lieven Bertels — and it’s certainly big with 179 events delivering 490 performances in the central Sydney area and Parramatta covering circus, theatre, dance music, film and visual arts from January 8-26.
About half of these performances are free which means its $18 million budget has to go a long way.

“We only get 35% from public sources and the rest comes from box office and sponsorhsip,” says Bertels who has been critical of how far  the budget has to stretch to stage its free concerts in The Domain.
Bertels says he has found an “elegant solution” to the problem courtesy of new sponsors and has added an extra free concert in The Domain to increase it to four events.
The issue of arts sponsorship in arts management has been a hot button issue this year after the Sydney Biennale and Transfield controversy and Bertels says it’s one that everyone need be aware since the Biennale dumped its sponsor after the demands of participating artists.
“It’s a healthy debate to have. It’s one of those issues that we have to increasingly have to deal with as we look at sponsorship and philanthropy more and more when public funding is static.”
Bertels immediate challenge now, as it has always been for every Sydney Festival director, is to deliver a broad festival that appeal to locals, visitors, tourists and families on school holidays.
“It needs to be a lot of things to a lot of people,” he says, adding that Sydneysiders are always “very honest” in their feedback. “It’s great that Sydneysiders are very eloquent and they are also a very curious audience.”
Bertels’ festival approach is to introduce new names and “make introductions” as well as commission new Australian work. “We’ve commissioned 30 new Australian works over my three years”, he says.
His philosophy also includes getting out of the artists’ way once the commission is secured.
“We (festival directors) are not artists and you have to step aside.”
You can see the full program here but highlights include:
Actress Charlotte Rampling and cellist Sonia Wieder-Atherton will combine Sylvia Plath’s poetry and composer Benjamin Britten’s music.
Circus performer James Thierrée  is back in Sydney with Tabac Rouge with his largest work so far combining his skills as an acrobat, musician, dancer, actor, and choreographer.
Australian theatre maker Kate Mulvany is premiering Masquerade by Kit Williams for chidren and adults.
Kiss & Cry  – a dance work with a difference as two sets of hands perform a romance with cinematic projections and tiny sets.
Indian director Roysten Abel’s  The Kitchen, combines music and food with dishes made on stage from within the musicians’ instruments.
Nigerian synth pioneer William Onyeabor’s  Atomic Bomb! The Music of William Onyeaborwith a line-up  that includes Gotye, Sinkane, Money Mark (Beastie Boys), Luke Jenner(The Rapture), Alexis Taylor(Hot Chip), Pat Mahoney (LCD Soundsystem) and Mahotella Queens.
Brazil’s Seu Jorge whose pop covers and original songs combine samba, reggae, Brazilian pop and electronics.
A screening of The Artist with its score performed live by the Sydney Symphony Orchestraand conducted by Ernst Van Tiel with composer Ludovic Bource on piano.
Hyde Park’s Festival Village will see 40 contemporary music performances and not one, but two spiegeltents.
The Domain with four concerts which includes shows by Seu Jorge, William Barton on didgeridoo with the SSO, an operatic concert from Opera Australia and  Beat the Drum: Celebrating 40 years of Triple J featuring Hilltop Hoods, The Presets, The Cat Empire, The Preatures, You Am I and more.

Sydney Tourism: Sydney Festival 2015 Event Map

With the weather heating up and the line up just announced, it’s time to jump on board the Sydney Festival train!

From the city centre to the Greater West, we’ve planned an action packed eighteen days, with something for everyone this summer.

We’ve come up with a new way to explore your Festival – decide on your own route: interchange, take an express or multiple trips on your Multipack.

India’s Narendra Modi to Star at Sydney’s Allphones Arena

Since becoming prime minister, Narendra Modi has performed in New York’s storied Madison Square Garden and played drums on stage in Japan.

His next big-ticket venue: Sydney’s Allphones Arena this November.

Mr. Modi will address what is expected to be a sell-out crowd at the 21,000-seat venue in Australia’s financial and commercial capital on Nov. 17 during his four-day trip to the country for the G20 summit in Brisbane.

Organizers say it will eclipse the prime minister’s biggest gig so far, when he spoke to a crowd of 18,000 people, mostly Indian-Americans, at Madison Square Garden on Sept. 28.

“This will be bigger and better,” said Balesh Singh Dhankhar one of the organizers of the reception for Mr. Modi. The Allphones Arena, built for the 2000 Olympics, “has more grandeur” than Madison Square Garden, he added.

The stadium in Manhattan is famous for hosting some of the biggest names in entertainment, like the Beatles, Bruce Springsteen and “The Fight of the Century” between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier.

The Allphone Arena also hosts musical acts and boxing matches. In the same month as Mr. Modi’s visit, The Rolling Stones and Katy Perry will play the arena and an Ultimate Fighting Championship event will take place there. 

Australia is home to around 350,000 people who were born in India, according to the latest census data from 2011. 

That was a 90% increase on the number recorded in the census in 2006, but a tenth the size of the Indian-American community in the United States.

After Mr. Modi’s speech in New York, people in Australia began asking when he would come here, said Mr. Dhankhar, a spokesman for the Indian Australian Community Foundation that is helping put on the event that was conceived only three weeks ago.

Some 14,000 people have registered in the first two and a half days of registration, according to the organizers. It will be broadcast live on Indian television channels.

“We invited Mr. Modi and said the Indian diaspora in Australia is very eager to see him,” Mr. Dhankhar added.

Tickets for the Sydney event are free and the show will start around 5.30p.m., but further details of the spectacle are under wraps right now, Mr. Dhankhar said. 

“There are a number of cultural and exciting events before the speech that would be a surprise for the audience in India and Australia. These will be wider and more surprising that at Madison Square Gardens.”

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