Event management company Paul Sergeant Events (PSE) has partnered with the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) to launch the first Sydney Irish Festival, a showcase of art, culture, music, food and drink that will culminate in a competitive hurling game.
PSE was formed earlier this year by Paul Sergeant (pictured), the former chief executive Australia’s Etihad Stadium. The company was formed with hopes of attracting niche event content to Australia.
The inaugural Sydney Irish Festival will take place at the Sydney Showgrounds in the city’s Olympic Park on November 10-11, 2018.
The hurling match will be contested by two championship-winning teams for the 2018 Wild Geese Trophy, a fully-sanctioned competitive game. Galway, the reigning All Ireland champions, will take on the winner of the 2018 National Hurling League in the match. According to PSE, it will mark the first full-format hurling game to take place outside of Ireland.
The festival will feature family-friendly entertainment on November 10, along with Irish dance performances and competitions, hurling clinics, amusement rides, player autograph sessions and activities for kids of all ages. Another of the innovative activities will be a Guinness Book of Record attempt to make the world’s biggest Irish stew.
On the Sunday, a ‘Big Irish Brunch’ event will be held, as well as more family-friendly initiatives, hurling clinics and live music in the build-up to the pre-game welcome parade of the hurling teams. The game will tip-off at 3.30pm.
Sergeant, who serves as managing director of Melbourne-based PSE, said: “We are honoured and incredibly proud to be a partner of the GAA for this historic event. The GAA has been fantastic to work with and learn from and we are really looking forward to playing our part in bringing the incredible game of hurling to Australia. It will have been two and a half years in the making by the time the game comes around and we intend on delivering a weekend the Irish community can be proud of.”
GAA president Aogán Ó Fearghaíl added: “Hurling is a warrior sport – it’s very, very different to any other sport you may have seen. It’s fast, combative and incredibly skilful and we’re delighted to be given the opportunity to bring a full blooded, competitive game to Australia as part of the Sydney Irish Festival.
“The Irish are immensely proud of the game of hurling and the players are excited to make the trek to play in what will be one of the highest quality displays of the game. I urge everyone, whether you’re Irish or not, to get to the festival and experience one of the world’s great games.”
Tickets for the event are on sale from today (Tuesday) through Ticketmaster.