Acclaimed festival Bluesfest has unveiled big plans for 2016, welcoming back The Boomerang Festival, an event celebrating Aboriginal and Indigenous culture in Australia.
First occurring in 2013, the festival featured music from Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu and Archie Roach, amongst many other Indigenous acts. The festival aimed to enrich Australia’s connection to its Indigenous past, through an array of performances including music, dance, story-telling and film.
While being lauded by festival goers and critics as a beautiful celebration of Indigenous culture, ticket sales for the event were not ideal, with promoter Peter Noble claiming that “cultural apartheid” and Australian apathy toward Indigenous culture were responsible. Due to poor ticket sales and other funding cuts, the event was cancelled in 2014, leading to its rebranding as a biennial event.
Noble and festival director Rhoda Roberts are inviting audiences to join them in the event next year, which Noble explains is about “cherishing culture” and “ending the disparity” between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australia. Roberts describes the festival’s vision, aiming to “integrate culture in people’s everyday life.”
The full program for The Boomerang Festival 2016 will be released soon.
The Boomerang Festival is part of the Byron Bay Bluesfest which will run from March 24 to March 28 2016. It will host its own space next to the JIMBALYA stage.