Indigenous festival launched at Bluesfest

The Byron Bay Bluesfest has wrapped up with the announcement of a new event that will bring together the world’s first nations artists.


As people from all over the world sampled the vast range of blues music on offer, an all-new Indigenous festival was announced, and it was an immediate hit with one of the high-profile international artists.

The festival, Boomerang, is the brainchild of owner and curator of Bluesfest, Peter Noble and renowned creative and festival director, Rhoda Roberts.

“We’re really excited — Boomerang festival is opening here on the Bluesfest site from the 4th-6th October this year,” said Ms Roberts.

“It really is a cultural immersion. It’s about celebrating world cultures, mother tongues and first instruments.

So we have people coming from the Asia Pacific rim, Canada, Finland, New Zealand, and of course remote communities and urban communities across Australia and it really is about all sectors of the arts”

Searching for Sugarman’s Rodriguez, who expressed interest in performing at Boomerang, is a strong supporter of an international indigenous festival.

“As a musician I think these kind of events happen… for the music exchange of course, but also for the cultural exchange,” he said.

“Actually I consider them more like conferences where people can exchange ideas, make plans and so forth. Music is a living art… I think it would be great to have an indigenous festival all over the world so people can be exposed to other cultures.”

Merindah Donnelly, Indigenous Program Officer for the Australian Council for the Arts, said the main focus has been supporting the artists and extending the life of their work beyond one show.

“So a festival like Boomerang provides the most incredible oppourtunity for them to be able to tour their work and for them to reach their full potential and develop and it provides a really good place for internationals to see that work and provide a potential touring outcome.”

Ms Roberts says the festival has taken a few years to get off the ground, but they are all really excited. “It’s really unique, it’s celebrating the oldest culture, Aboriginal culture in Australia.

But it’s really about audiences coming and immersing themselves, getting to know us and just having great fun, great bands, a bit of stomp, some traditional arts practices, rituals. So they get another perspective of us as artists.”

Plans for the new festival were unveiled at the weekend and tickets have already gone on sale.

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