HomeA celebration of Blak excellence, First & Forever showcases contemporary First Nations culture and music at Victoria’s Hanging RockArtA celebration of Blak excellence, First & Forever showcases contemporary First Nations culture and music at Victoria’s Hanging Rock

A celebration of Blak excellence, First & Forever showcases contemporary First Nations culture and music at Victoria’s Hanging Rock

A celebration of Blak excellence, First & Forever showcases contemporary First Nations culture and music at Victoria’s Hanging Rock

CULTURE

First & Forever’s main stage was named Uncle Archie Stage in honour of the late Uncle Archie Roach. Image: Mushroom Creative.

First & Forever, a new day-long festival celebrating Blak excellence and contemporary First Nations culture and music, has been held for the first time in regional Victoria.

Held an hour north-west of Naarm (Melbourne) on the lands of the Dja Dja Wurrung, Taungurung, and the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung people at the base of central Victoria’s Hanging Rock, the landmark event bill boasted some of Australia’s best-known Indigenous artists.

Hand-chosen by rapper and author Briggs with the support of Paul Kelly, the talent-stacked lineup included Yolngu rapper Baker Boy, pop artist and Kuku Yalanj woman Jessica Mauboy, Coodjingburra songwriter Budjerah and Torres Strait Island alternative/indie artist Sycco.

Emma Donovan and Paul Kelly on-stage during the tribute to the late UncleArchie Roach. Image: Mushroom Creative.

The nine-hour Indigenous concert saw more than 20 iconic, progressive and trailblazing songwriting giants perform some jaw-dropping party-starters and inspiring collaborations.

These included artists Budjerah, JK-47 and Kobie Dee collaborating on a cover of 2Pac’s ‘Changes’ and Barkaa joining Electric Fields set performing ‘Fight For Me’, a track calling for the protection of Indigenous children.

The picnic-style event utilised Hanging Rock, one of Victoria’s most majestic and culturally significant backdrops behind Uncle Archie stage, the main stage named after the late iconic Indigenous Australian singer/songwriter and Stolen Generations member Archie Roach.

Jessica Mauboy brought the crowd to life in the Festival’s evening set. Image: Mushroom Creative.

Both Uncle Archie and Auntie Ruby Hunter were paid a special tribute, with Artists Paul Kelly and Fred Leone performing ‘Charcoal Lane’, the title track from Uncle Archie’s 1990 album, and Jess Hitchcock and Kardajala Kirridarra collaborating on a moving cover of Aunty Ruby’s hit ‘A Change Gonna Come’.

Throughout the evening festival-goers were treated to a procession of acts interwoven in short, uninterrupted sets with artists showcasing the myriad of forms and genres through which First Nations culture continues to evolve in Australia.

Performing artists included the likes of Thelma Plum, Jessica Mauboy, Tasman Keith and Baker Boy performing many of their hits, with five-time ARIA award winner Baker Boy bringing the crowd to life with his Like A Version of Blur’s ‘Song 2’.North-east Arnhem Land’s King Stingray lead the festival’s grande finale with a high-powered set featuring hits ‘Get Me Out’, ‘Sweet Arnhem Land’ and their debut hit single ‘Hey Wanhaka’.

It is anticipated that First & Forever will return in 2023.

Rapper Baker Boy on stage at First & Forever. Image: Mushroom Creative.

First & Forever 2022 Lineup

Baker Boy (Milingimbi/Maningrida)

Budjerah (Coodjingburra)

Jessica Mauboy (Kuku Yalanj)

King Stingray (Yolŋu)

Syccov (Torres Strait Islands)

Thelma Plum (Gamilaraay)

Alice Skye (Wergaia/Wemba Wemba)

Busby Marou (Torres Strait Islands)

Christine Anu (Torres Strait Islands)

Dan Sultan (Arrente/Gurindji)

Electric Fields (Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara)

Emma Donovan (Gumbaynggirr/Yamatji)

Tasman Keith (Gumbaynggirr)

Ziggy Ramo

Barkaa (Malyangapa Barkindji)

Birdz (Butchulla)

daameeela (Yugerra)

Eric Avery (Ngiyampaa, Gumbangirr, Bandjalang and Yuin)

Jess Hitchcock (Saibai)

JK-47 (Gudjinburra/ Bundjalung)

Kalyani (Trawlwoolway)

Kardajala Kirridarra (Mudburra)

Kobie Dee (Kamilaroi)

Mo’Ju (Wiradjuri)

MORE = https://nit.com.au/30-11-2022/4408/a-celebration-of-blak-excellence-first-forever-showcases-contemporary-first-nations-culture-and-music-at-victorias-hanging-rock

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