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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.