Culture and heritage

Five unforgettable experiences from First Nations creatives

17 April 2023

Hear techno played on a colossal organ, express yourself with “a Faboriginal kid from the bush” and be transported to Saskatchewan when YIRRAMBOI festival returns in May. 

YIRRAMBOI means “tomorrow” in the languages of the Boonwurrung and Woiwurrung people. The festival celebrates the interconnectedness and diversity of First Nations creatives locally, nationally and internationally. 

This year’s festival will feature more than 300 First Nations creatives in 180 performances, including 17 world-premiere works and a partnership with Tasmania’s Dark Mofo that brings together Koorie and Palawa artists. 

Barring Yanabul and the Uncle Archie Roach Block Party will be a festival highlight, filling city streets and laneways with installations, visual arts, music, drag and dance on Saturday 6 May from 5pm ‘til late. 

Here are five more events not to miss, hosted at City of Melbourne venues: 

  1. The DJ PGZ Live Experience at Melbourne Town Hall 
    Sunday 7 May, 5pm to 10pm 
    Hear masterful original works inspired by underground club sounds, hard techno and dance music played on Melbourne Town Hall’s colossal Grand Organ. Ground-breaking First Nations DJs will support headliner DJ PGZ (Gunai Kurnai and Yorta Yorta). This is an 18+ event. 
  1. Indigenous Futurisms at Signal 
    Thursday 4 to Sunday 14 May, 9am to 4pm 
    Glimpse what Blak Future could look like through the eyes of talented young artists, led by Cienan Muir (Yorta Yorta and Ngarrindjeri) from Indiginerd.  Stunning video works will be projected onto the glass panes of the Signal tower at Northbank and shine across the Birrarung with vivid colours. 
  1. Culture Evolves and Kisiskâciwan at Arts House 
    Friday 5 and Saturday 6 May at 7pm 
    Journey from the Bogong Moth ceremonies to 90 Mile Beach in a story told by Brent Watkins (Gunai Kurnai, Noongar) and Sean Ryan (Kuku Nyunkal) through traditional dance, hip-hop and music. Then let dance transport you to the fast-flowing landscape of Saskatchewan in a cultural narrative about identity and home by Jeanette Kotowich (Nêhiyaw Métis). This double-bill is one of several YIRRAMBOI events being presented at Arts House. 

For kids 

  1. Camp Culture at ArtPlay 
    Saturdays and Sundays 6 to 14 May, 10.30am and 2pm 
    Bring kids aged 5 to 10 to an interactive circus show. Hosted with skill, sass, humour and heart by Dale Woodbridge-Brown (Kamilaroi) – “a Faboriginal kid from the bush” who became one of Australia’s most prolific circus artists, this show is all about being your authentic self. 
  1. BUBUP Fest at Meat Market 
    Saturday 6 May, 10am to 2pm 
    Head to North Melbourne to see the Uncle Jack Charles Festival Hub transformed into a First Nations-led playground dedicated to our future leaders. Whether your little bubup likes to dance, DJ, watch live music, craft or settle in for storytime – there’s something for everyone. 

To view the full program, visit YIRRAMBOI

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