Review of 2013
Over 5000 attendees over the three cloud-free days were engaged with the music, art, dance, painting, film, discussion and cultural exchanges of our first nation people from around the world. From the weaving circles to traditional Maori healing and tea with our elders, Boomerang offered a completely unique experience to festival goers.
“There was the sun and the sand grounds; and then there were all of us together on the crest of a new beginning. It’s obvious the people will return for this experience and for our people it will be a returning of the culture.” Festival Director, Rhoda Roberts.
Festival highlights included the moving opening and closing ceremonies which featured first nation performers from around the globe and drew the captivated crowd into the dance grounds to be united as one. The mesmerising performance from Elcho Island singer Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu on Saturday night that included a surprise guest appearance from Natalie Pa'apa'a of Blue King Brown was another stand out as well as the thought provoking dialogue with Dr Gondarra, Xavier Rudd and Jeff McMullen and not to mention the 5 year old dancer from the Malu Kiai Mura Buai Dance Troupe at the sand circle who had the crowd enthralled.
The atmosphere on the festival grounds over the weekend was electric and there was a unanimous view among festival goers, performers and crew that they were participating in something very special including the Hon Tony Burke who attended the festival:
“What an unforgettable weekend. Everyone you talk to knows they’re coming back to Boomerang and they are bringing their friends and family. They know they were at the start of something really big. Boomerang is an experience that no other festival can match.”
After many years of wanting to produce an Indigenous Festival, Peter Noble was thrilled to see his shared vision with Rhoda Roberts come to fruition “Never have I presented a better festival than Boomerang. My heart is swelling with pride as we walk of this event site with our roots deeper in this country for what we have just experienced in the original peoples culture.”
Noble added “The people who came to Boomerang shared our pride in our culture and we are better people for it. I saw thousands of cameras flashing during the opening ceremony and I know that in the years to come I am going to see many more thousands. Boomerang will come back and this is going to be one of Australia’s greatest festivals.”
Comments from some of our Boomerang performers;
"Boomerang is a beautiful special festival, it warmed our collective hearts" - Michael Hohnen/Gurrumul
"It's the first of its kind in this part of the country. Bringing mobs together to showcase the breadth of talent and culture is something I am glad to be a part of." Archie Roach
"The Boomerang Festival is perfectly named – It will come back! If relations between black and white Australians are to become more equitable more mature and more democratic. The Festival will play an important role in the two-way process so important in bringing cultures and its peoples closer. Not only that, with the inaugural Boomerang as the bench-mark it actually would be a lot of fun…trust me, I'm a journalist." - George Negus
“To be able to share the stories of my Yanyuwa Aunties and Uncles through song with such a beautiful crowd, was really wonderful, having people like Josh Bond and Jukapura (SP) up singing with me is very special and one of the great things about Boomerang Festival was the ability to be able to perform, share and create with so many talented First Nations people from across the world.
“This has been an experience allowing people to experience so many different cultures through dance, film, song and story-telling, I can’t wait until next year.”
Northern Territory Songwoman, Shellie Morris
“The festival had a great vibe and we hope to come back again. Thank you Boomerang!” - Slip On Stereo
Boomerang Festival 2013 was held at the Tyagarah Tea Farm the home of Bluesfest, Byron Bay on Bundjalung land. October 4th – 6th 2013.