Philanthropist gives Sydney Festival a record $5m donation

Philanthropist Peter Freedman has donated $5 million to the Sydney Festival to help it develop new major works and support Australian artists.

It is the largest single donation from an individual in the event’s history.

Freedman makes his money through selling microphones, with business booming during the pandemic.

“You’ve got to give, I was taught that,” Freedman said.

“Those who have the money and haven’t thought of it, please do something.

“No matter how big or small, every dollar, every $500,000 — it’s all going to help.”

Incoming festival director Olivia Ansel welcomed the donation but said the industry had been decimated by the pandemic and would take “years to recover”.