Thousands of Sydneysiders are preparing to take part in an unofficial “light-based” protest over the plan to project advertising for the Everest Cup horse race on the sails of the Sydney Opera House.
While tens of thousands of people have signed petitions defending the iconic arts venue, almost 3,000 Facebook users say they will be attending the “counter-projection” ‘Defend The Sydney Opera House’ event on Tuesday, 9th October, the same night on which Everest Cup images will be projected onto the venue’s sails.
The event organiser has told those attending to “bring things that create light in order to disrupt the use of the sails for advertising purposes”.
“There is no official protest, there is no chanting, there are no slogans, there are no street closures, there is no organiser and there is no permit. All there is is light,” they said, and The Chaser are already getting in the spirit…
Just confirming: yes, we are serious, and it needs to be really quite powerful, for no particular reason. https://t.co/oEQjlBtxNG
— The Chaser (@chaser) October 8, 2018
In a statement posted to Facebook today, the Sydney Opera House said, “From the moment the winning design was announced and in the many years since, the Sydney Opera House has stirred emotions and ignited debate.
“This extraordinary building is loved by people around the world, and we appreciate all the messages we have received.”
In a statement of her own, Greens MP Jenny Leong backed the “light-based” protest, and said she was “appalled” at the abuse Opera House CEO Louise Herron has received recently.
“Tomorrow night Sydneysiders will get together and celebrate what is ours, what we love and what we are unwilling to sell. This is the place where we hear our stories, our songs and our debates, and I love the fact that it will be a light-based counter-projection event,” Leong said.
“The community has drawn a line in the sand with this event and to the Liberal and ALP’s capitulation to corporate bullying and the interests of the racing industry in this state.
“This over-reach on the part of the racing industry has raised three significant issues – the power of bullies in our community; the devastating impact corporate donations are having on our democracy and, the example this disgraceful incident sets for those dealing with bullying at school, online or in the work place.”
Drones and laser pointers have been banned from the event.
The decision to allow Everest Cup advertising on the Sydney Opera House was made by New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian, after she was lobbied by the likes of 2GB broadcaster Alan Jones.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has supported Berejiklian’s decision, describing the Sydney Opera House as “the biggest billboard Sydney has”.
Berejiklian has urged Sydneysiders to “have a look on Tuesday before you judge it”, claiming the version of the projections taking place on Tuesday night is “much toned down from what the government was first presented with”, which you can see in the image above.
“There’ll be no logos, no names, the only words on there are actually the words of the trophy itself and that is consistent with what has happened in the past,” she said.