RØDE Microphones founder donates $5m to Sydney Festival

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RØDE Microphones founder donates $5m to Sydney Festival

Words by Will Brewster

Peter Freedman is up to his philanthropic tricks again.

In what’s been described as an ‘unprecedented’ donation, Sydney Festival has received a gobsmackingly generous donation of five million dollars from Peter Freedman AM, founder and chairman of Australia’s very own RØDE Microphones.

As reported by The Guardianthe Swedish-born tech executive’s donation is said to be the largest philanthropic contribution to the festival in its history, ensuring that the event will continue in the wake of the COVID-19 economic downturn.

The incoming director of the Sydney Festival, Olivia Ansell, applauded the generosity of the donation, saying that the exorbitant amount would be put toward the installation of major presentations, new commissions and ensuring ‘the livelihoods of so many talented Australian and international artists’.

Last year, Freedman made international headlines when it was revealed he had purchased the Martin D-18E famously used by Kurt Cobain for Nirvana’s iconic MTV Unplugged session for the eye-watering sum of $8.8m, making it the most expensive guitar of all time.

The RØDE Microphones CEO stated at the time that he wished to use the guitar to raise funds to lobby the Australian government to support local creatives, telling the Sydney Morning Herald that ‘people I know are sleeping on the floor, unable to eat. It’s insane. No services, no support, no mental health issue support, nothing.

‘I’d be pretty low if I didn’t recognise that and give some back. I’ve got a great life, I don’t need any more. The person who dies really rich dies in disgrace and I sure as shit don’t want to die with a lot of money.’

RØDE Founder Peter Freedman has bought Kurt Cobain’s iconic ‘MTV Unplugged’ guitar for a world-record breaking amount at…

Posted by RØDE Microphones on Saturday, June 20, 2020

Find out more about the 2021 Sydney Festival here.