Boomerang at Bluesfest
"I stood amongst hundreds - my one year old on my shoulders - tears streaming down my cheeks. We were all singing together and behind the words we sang, was an understood confirmation that we as a community were no longer going to accept the inherent injustice & prejudice continually inflicted upon our Indigenous mobs. As we were standing, singing, crying together we were forging a new way forward; black & white fellas together. I knew I was part of an important, defining moment for the Northern Rivers & in part, for the nation”
— Simon Richardson, Mayor Byron Shire
Boomerang Festival is a global indigenous arts & culture event aimed at Aboriginal access for audiences wishing to engage with a quality, unique, true Indigenous experience.
It encompasses dance, weaving, carving, talks & ideas, workshops, music, drumming, & authentic cultural exchanges between Aboriginal & non-Aboriginal people.
- 92% of Australians agree that Indigenous arts are an important part of Australia’s culture
- 64% of Australians have a strong or growing interest in Indigenous arts
- 24% of Australians attended Indigenous arts in the previous year
(Source Australia Council for the Arts, 2015)
Boomerang offers the solution to this discrepancy between people interested in engaging, and not knowing how to access Aboriginal culture.
NSW has the largest population of Aboriginal Australians than any other state in the country, and less fiscal support for Indigenous programs than other region in the country.
Ownership & pro-activeness with art & culture is key to empowerment and inclusion in our diverse society. Ownership & pro-activeness with art & culture is key to empowerment and inclusion in our diverse society.
Produced from an Aboriginal perspective by one of Australia’s most accomplished & respected Artistic Directors, and proud Bundjalung woman, Rhoda Roberts (Sydney Opera House, The Dreaming Festival, 2000 Sydney Olympic Games Opening Ceremony, Garma Festival), Boomerang Festival is programmed with high-quality performance art, featuring masters of craft & cultural leaders from around the globe.
“Boomerang will become a symbol of cultural reconciliation that enhances the image and the future of our nation”
— Rhoda Roberts, Festival Director
Bluesfest, Australia's premier contemporary music festival held annually over the Easter long weekend in Byron Bay, has made the first gesture by adding Boomerang Festival to the program in 2016.
Held over five days on the Easter long weekend at the iconic 120 hectare Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm just north of Byron Bay (Cavanbah), Bluesfest attracts an average aggregate patronage of 100,000 per festival.
It presents over 100 artists across 5 stages, camping for 6,000 people, 100+ food, market & charity stalls, wandering performances & children’s activities.
With the support from Australia Council for the Arts and Bluesfest, Byron Bay, Boomerang will feature as a smaller ‘festival within a festival’ at Bluesfest.
“The Boomerang precinct at Bluesfest is all about cherishing culture and ending the disparity between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australia. This Intergenerational exchange will allow our loyal audiences a unique hands-on engagement and experience while allowing the Boomerang Festival to build audiences and find support as a future stand-alone festival”
— Peter Noble, Festival Director, Bluesfest
By sharing & receiving the rich culture of the globe’s First Nations, this will be an interactive, two way exchange in education, healing & reconciliation that we all have the opportunity to participate in & benefit from.
It is a unique initiative for the NSW Northern Rivers – sacred Bundjalung country - that aspires to be a leader in national healing & reconciliation through the arts.
"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
Purchase tickets at www.bluesfest.com.au