|Sun 27 Nov, 2022||The Gathering Place, Hanging Rock, Macedon Ranges - Lic. All Ages|
First & Forever
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05 Oct 2022
Mushroom, VIC Govt and Bad Apples announce FIRST AND FOREVEROct 05, 2022
Mushroom Group, the Victorian Government, and Bad Apples Music announce First & Forever – a new, day-long festival celebrating Blak excellence and the irrepressible force that is contemporary First Nations culture and music. Artists from multiple nations will converge on Victoria’s most spectacular stage, The Gathering Place, Hanging Rock on Sunday 27 November for this landmark music event.
Hand-picked by Bad Apples Music founder, rapper and author Briggs, the collected artists represent the myriad forms and genres through which First Nations culture continues to evolve, a dizzying procession of acts interwoven in short, uninterrupted sets.
Gates to the picnic-style event will open from 1pm, with music running into the night. Artists will showcase a set on one main stage, located at the foot of Hanging Rock –
one of Victoria’s most majestic and significant backdrops, and one befitting the performers’ awe-inspiring talents. A venue previously reserved for international performers, it’s a fitting setting for a bold and inspiring collection of First Nations talent.
Curated by Briggs (with a special thank you to Paul Kelly), the First & Forever line-up features 20+ supreme talents – from acts at the top of their game to iconic, progressive trailblazers, songwriting giants and jaw-dropping, effervescent party starters. Artists include:
BAKER BOY, BUDJERAH, JESSICA MAUBOY, KING STINGRAY, SYCCO, THELMA PLUM, ALICE SKYE, BUSBY MAROU, CHRISTINE ANU, DAN SULTAN, ELECTRIC FIELDS, EMMA DONOVAN, TASMAN KEITH, ZIGGY RAMO
BARKAA, BIRDZ, DAMEEEELA, JESS HITCHCOCK, JK-47, KARDAJALA KIRRIDARRA, KOBIE DEE + MORE
Tickets ($79 general entry + fees for 12 years old and over) go on sale Friday 14 October (11am AEDT) via firstandforever.com.au. Frontier Members can access the Frontier Pre-sale, which starts Tuesday 11 October (11am AEDT), see website for more details.
The wheels propelling First & Forever began turning following a chance encounter between Briggs and the late Michael Gudinski AM, founder of Mushroom and a lifelong champion of First Nation talent. In one another, each found a fellow creative instigator and source of inspiration.
“For years I’d had an idea for a First Nations-led contemporary music festival, something cool and boutique that was really about the music and culture,” Briggs recalls. “When Gudinski called me about a similar idea he’d had, we found this really collaborative working relationship. We both had a passionate approach to Melbourne, Victorian music, and amplifying Blakfellas’ stories. MG got the ball rolling. After he passed, the ball was in my court. I had to take it home.”
Briggs wasn’t the only person MG reached out to. “My last conversation with Michael just over a week before he died was backstage at Archie [Roach’s] concert,” remembers Paul Kelly, who lent support to Briggs in the curation of this event. “[MG] was bubbling with ideas for a new project, a big concert with headlining First Nations artists … he urged me to get involved. I said no to Michael many times over the years and I said yes lots. I’m glad I said yes this last time.”
Matt Gudinski, Mushroom Group Executive Officer said: “Once Dad had an idea in his head, there was little chance of him letting it go. To see another passion project of his come to fruition makes me very happy. Mushroom has always been a big supporter of First Nations artists for decades, and First & Forever is a celebration of the remarkable talent of this country’s First Nations artists. Presented in an amazing setting of Hanging Rock, it’s bound to be a night to remember.”
In honouring those who have paved the way for First & Forever’s unparalleled artist line-up, performances will take place on the ‘Uncle Archie Stage’ – an homage to the late Uncle Archie Roach. With the blessing of his Foundation, the Uncle Archie Stage will be the setting for celebrating a legacy of Blak excellence and a grounding presence for our First Nations artists.
The peoples of the Dja Wurrung, Taungurung and Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung have long gathered on the lands where First & Forever is hosted, working with each other and First & Forever to name the location: The Gathering Place – a name that acknowledges the power of Country to build community, communication and an equitable future.
It always was, and always will be, Aboriginal land.
For transport details (including fee parking for vehicles with more than four attendees, bus services from Melbourne and shuttles from Woodend – full event info and tickets, head to firstandforever.com.au.
A CELEBRATION OF BLAK EXCELLENCE | NOV 2022
BAKER BOY, BUDJERAH, JESSICA MAUBOY, KING STINGRAY, SYCCO, THELMA PLUM, ALICE SKYE, BUSBY MAROU, CHRISTINE ANU, DAN SULTAN, ELECTRIC FIELDS, EMMA DONOVAN, TASMAN KEITH, ZIGGY RAMO, BARKAA, BIRDZ, JESS HITCHCOCK, JK-47, KARDAJALA KIRRIDARRA, KOBIE DEE, MO'JU, ERIC AVERY, KALYANI + MORE
*KALYANI TO REPLACE DAMEEEELA
CO-CURATED BY BRIGGS WITH THANKS TO PAUL KELLY
Mushroom Group, the Victorian Government, and Bad Apples Music announce First & Forever – a new, day-long festival celebrating Blak excellence and the irrepressible force that is contemporary First Nations culture and music. Artists from multiple nations will converge on Victoria’s most spectacular stage, The Gathering Place, Hanging Rock on Sunday 27 November for this landmark music event. For all the information, visit firstandforever.com.au