feature, MUSIC -

Boomerang Fest a ‘musical and sensory delight’ on beautiful Bundjalung country

A stellar Indigenous line-up has been announced for this year’s Boomerang Festival, including Young Australian of the Year Baker Boy.

Running throughout the Easter long weekend from April 19-21 as part of Bluesfest Byron Bay, Boomerang Festival focuses on Indigenous performance. Bluesfest Festival Director Peter Noble OAM said Boomerang is one of the highlights of the entire Bluesfest event.

“It is a musical and sensory delight. We have the best artists and dancers from Australia and surrounding regions,” Mr Noble said.

Noble said he is thrilled to have artists in the line up like Yolngu hip hop artist Baker Boy, activist music group Yothu Yindi & the Treaty Project, celebrated singer-songwriter Archie Roach, Filipino and Wiradjuri singer Mojo Juju, and Yorta Yorta singer-songwriter Benny Walker.

“We have had the honour of being able to give some pretty big Indigenous musicians a slot on the Bluesfest stages over the years,” Mr Noble said.

“We believe that not only is it critical we present an Indigenous festival, but to also present these artists across the biggest stages of the festival. Their music and dance are an imperative part of all of us.”

This year the event has welcomed Jane Fuller as the new festival producer. Fuller said she is excited to contribute to the work already completed to create such a moving and critical platform for Indigenous Australian culture.

“I am thrilled and honoured to be taking care of this wonderful, one-of-a-kind First Nations celebration,” Ms Fuller said.

Boomerang Festival Director and Bundjalung woman Rhoda Roberts AO said she is delighted to see Boomerang continue as part of Bluesfest Byron Bay and expressed her excitement at the line-up.

“The 2019 Boomerang line-up features so many of my favourite and brilliant acts, artists, dancers, musicians and craftspeople from across this great country and beyond. All coming together on the stunning lands of the Bundjalung, my country,” Ms Roberts said.

Not only will Boomerang Festival showcase several renowned Indigenous acts, the festival will host the women of Saltwater Dubay, a collective of local Bundjalung weavers teaching traditional weaving methods. Festivalgoers will also have the opportunity to meet and talk with an Indigenous elder.

The Te Kopere Maori Healers will also be returning to the festival for another year, bringing traditional knowledge of the Rongoa Maori healing system. Rongoa Maori includes spiritual healing, herbal remedies, and physical therapies.

“My partner Rhoda Roberts AO and I as the Boomerang Festival Directors invite you to experience this wonderful event. Many have said the Closing Ceremony is one of the most moving experiences, not only of Bluesfest, but, of their lives. Please come by, I’m sure you will be back,” Mr Noble said.

For more information and to view the latest line up, visit https://boomerangfestival.com.au/.

By Hannah Cross

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