In planning a festival program, Wesley Enoch says that he doesn’t set out with a theme in mind. “Themes come from the artists who bring the work in,” says Enoch, Artistic Director of the Sydney Festival.

Looking at his line-up for the Sydney Festival in 2019, and the over-arching ideas that have emerged, he says that “the indigenous program is a central point [taking in the idea of] the conversation around January 26, what it means and whether to change the date, and coupling that with what is coming our way in 2020 with the James Cook 250th anniversary. There is a whole conversation about our connection to places and our indigenous heritage here. There’s the notion too of what I call seeking safety, be it refugees or migrants or asylum seekers, and the story of finding safe spaces in relationships, the whole #MeToo and #TimesUp movement – where is the safety in public spaces? – so there are a few projects that respond to that,” says Enoch.

“And the third kind of overarching theme that seems to have developed is this notion of collectivism or collective cultural ambition or working together, because...