A First Nations guide to New Annual
Wontakalowa!* First Nations voices are front and centre at this year’s festival with experiences for all ages! There’s a twist on pub trivia that will leave you laughing, an exploration of songlines and musical storytelling, plus cultural workshops that you can drop into each day to learn about local Awabakal culture.
In the heart of it all is the Pavillion of Sand where we’ve taken Newcastle’s Civic Centre back to its roots, creating a communal space where First Nations voices past and present are heard.
The Awabakal people and wider First Nations community have guided the design, construction, and exhibition of Pavilion of Sand. It draws inspiration from the saltwater landscape of Awabakal Country, using sand as the structure, ballast, shelter and seating. Jasmine Cracuin is a local artist who designed the sail cloth, inspired by middens and the Awabakal landscape that she calls home.
It is a space where Saltwater Country stories can be shared through, dance, cultural practice, conversation, and performance.
There are free cultural workshops everyday of New Annual at Pavilion of Sand, so come along, get involved, and experience the stories of our ancient land and learn about Aboriginal art, language, dance, tools and bush tucker. View the program and book into a FREE Pavilion of Sand workshop here.
This Land is a First Nations music festival celebrating the importance of song and music in our country. It’s a collaboration with the University of Newcastle School of Creative Industries and the Wollotuka Institute.
Jacob Ridgeway, This Land curator and performing artist, is really excited about the return of This Land. “It's the first time in a long time that a First Nations line-up like this has come to the area … understanding the importance and connection of song, is to experience it being shared with you. Energy, laughter, sadness but more importantly the storytelling of each artist.”
This Land is an incredibly expansive work, so we asked Jacob to tell us a little bit about each artist.
Tasman Keith - Tasman has released some of my favourite work over the last couple of years from his highly anticipated debut album, A Colour Undone, to his work on Midnight Oil’s song First Nation featuring Jessica Mauboy. Showcasing at BIGSOUND this year, he is one of the most exciting artists in the country right now.
My fav tracks to check out – Love Too Soon, One (Feat. Kwame)
The Last Kinection - An iconic group that has made an impact with not only their community work but their music. Both of which I really admire.
My fav tracks to check out – Black & Deadly, Talk About It (Feat. Trials)
YNG Martyr –If you haven't witnessed YNG Martyr, you're missing out. With one of the most energetic performances I have ever seen, his music and presence is undeniable.
My fav tracks to check out – Nike Ticks, POP! (Feat. Boy $cout Gatsby)
Cloe Terare – Cloe is a special artist, blending influences into her work and making it completely unapologetically a style of her own. She's a Triple J favourite, with plenty of new collaborations and a QMA award under her belt.
My fav tracks to check out – Cadillac, Yuck!
Loren Ryan – A highly accomplished singer with one of my favourite voices ever. Whilst a favourite for First Nations communities, country music has been unrepresented for commercial success – Loren is stepping up to the plate here and showing us what it's all about.
My fav tracks to check out – Stars, Smoke Signal
Mr Rhodes – A skilled lyricist, producer and performer who has recently picked up a scholarship to the Abbey Road Institute. Mr Rhodes is finally getting his flowers, being another artist in this line up showcasing BIGSOUND this year.
My fav tracks to check out – Fear and Loathing, Wonderous
Djanaba - Absolute pop bops from the Newy local Djanaba. A winner of triple j Unearthed’s recent Collab Comp she exudes complete energy when she performs live. My fav tracks to check out – Big Titties, I Miss You
Andy Saunders - One of the funniest, most talented people I know with a brilliant, infectious personality, Andy draws you into all his stories and everything he does.
“While this might be the artists line up, Jacob adds, I wouldn’t put it past the artists to have a few surprises for this show!” A passion for song has brought an amazing line-up of rising and established First Nations artists to New Annual to shape the voice of Australia’s future. Book tickets for This Land here.
And to have a preview of some of Jacob's favourite tracks from each artist and more, check out the Spotify playlist here.
Speaking of surprises … I liked it … but is full of them! Joel Bray is a Wiradjuri contemporary dancer from Melbourne, whose performative pub trivia night, I Liked It... But, breaks down the art world in the cheekiest way. Joel understands that theatre and the dance world can be inaccessible, overly serious, and super confusing. But he thinks it shouldn’t be like that. Share in absurd stories of the art world, get involved in games, dance routines and trivia for a truly immersive and entertaining experience. So, grab a drink, and enjoy this crazy pub trivia night, no dance knowledge required!
With two shows only this one will fill fast. Book tickets to I Liked It … but here.
Don’t miss Kabba Kabbura Tour : Ripple Effect Band & Ilam. They are paving the way for First Nations artists across the country as an all-female rock band from Maningrida, Northern Territory. They are making their way down to Carrington’s Earp Distilling Co. for their Kabba Kabbura tour. The band make music about living in the NT, from hunting to country to love, singing in five different First Nations languages. They will be supported by an artist travelling even further to be here, Ilam, a Sengalese Afro-blues artist from Montreal, Canada. Make sure to come along and hear the musical stories and experiences from different lands.
Book tickets to Kabba Kabbura Tour : Ripple Effect Band & Ilam here.
* Greetings in Awabakal.