NAIDOC Week celebrations are held annually every July to acknowledge the history, culture and accomplishments of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples across the country.
This year has been huge for the recognition and success of indigenous artists in Australia, we’ve seen tonnes of new talent break through and diversity in the music industry is at an all-time high.
But now that NAIDOC week has officially ended, here are some ways you can continue to recognise, support and celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the arts for the rest of 2018.
An entire culture’s worth of art could never fit into one week, so we’ve put together 8 must-see events that continue to highlight the huge spectrum of Indigenous talent in Australia.
National Indigenous Music Awards – Darwin
The National Indigenous Music Awards is an annual event that recognises some of the best Indigenous musicians across Australia, celebrating its 15th anniversary in 2018. This year’s event will be held at the Darwin Amphitheatre on Saturday August 11, and will feature Aussie favourites Baker Boy, Busby Marou, Kasey Chambers, and many other indigenous artists.
This night aims to celebrate diversity in the music industry and has been the birthplace of some of Australia’s most successful talent. It’s also a powerful platform to promote the funding and proper acknowledgement of First Nations artists as significant contributors to the broader Australian and international music industry.
Grab all the details here.
Homeground Festival – Sydney
Homeground is a free two-day festival running from 25-26 of November in the Sydney Opera House Forecourt. It’s a significant annual festival celebrating the traditional custodians of the land on which the Opera House was built.
Homeground brings the best First Nation artists from around Australia and across the globe to partake in a collaborative fusion of ancient cultural traditions and contemporary indigenous art forms. Find out more here.
Woodford Folk Festival – Woodford
Woodford is a massive six-day festival running over the New Year’s period and is one of the the largest music and arts festivals in Australia. This gathering is based on the concept of an “inclusive and creative community” and features a wide array of First Nation performances and workshops covering visual arts, music and dance.
Woodford takes place on land traditionally owned by the Jinibara Nation, roughly 70km north of Brisbane. The 2018/2019 lineup is yet to land, but early bird tickets are available now.
Urban Dreaming – Sydney
This is a one-of-a-kind, single day event being held on 28 July on Oxford Street in Sydney. Organised by First Nations Rainbow, it’s a volunteer-run campaign to reduce the discrimination and stigma of trans and other LGBTQI members of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community.
This event is open to all “allies, friends and potential partners” of the campaign and will feature a series of First Nations performers throughout the night. Find out everything you need to know here.
Bangarra Dance Theatre – Touring
Bangarra Dance Theatre is one of Australia’s leading dance companies and is composed entirely of dancers with Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander backgrounds. The company is currently on its most recent tour Dark Emu, a contemporary piece that highlights significant ancient traditions and customs within First Nations cultures.
Check out the Dark Emu tour dates below. Tickets are available on the Bangarra Dance Company website.
26-28 July – Canberra Theatre Centre, Canberra
2-5 August – State Theatre Centre of WA, Perth
24 August – 1 September – QPAC, Brisbane
6-15 September – Arts Centre, Melbourne
Bush Bands Bash – Alice Springs
Bush Bands Bash is the “biggest annual showcase of Aboriginal Desert Music” in Australia and takes place on September 16 in Alice Springs. This concert aims to fund musicians from remote regions of the country and showcase a mix of the best up-and-coming talent as well as successful indigenous artists in the music industry.
Grab all the information you need here.
Freedom Day Festival – Kalkaringi / Daguragu
This year’s Freedom Day Festival, held August 24-26, marks the 50th anniversary of widespread protests against the oppression and marginalisation of Indigenous people in Australia.
Held in the Kalkaringi and Daguragu communities (480km southwest of Katherine), the festival is an all-inclusive event in the heart of the nation. Freedom Day Festival is a free event, but we encourage to you to donate to their cause if you’re heading along.
Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair – Darwin
The Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair runs annually between 10-12 August and is one of the largest sources of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art in Australia, sourced from over 60 different locations.
This event is a genuine and immersive experience involving traditional dance, workshops, film, fashion and music. It is a wonderful opportunity to interact and experience indigenous culture with a range of talented artists from various regions across Australia.
Grab all the info here, and additionally you can make a donation to DAAF to support the artists and communities involved.