YIRRAMBOI festival promises another stunning showcase First Nations works


Australia’s renowned First Nations festival returns to Naarm for another year, delivering a program of awe-inspiring performances, innovative commissions, and global premieres of creative content.

From May 4 to 14, YIRRAMBOI – which translates to “tomorrow” in the local languages of the Boonwurrung and Woi-wurrung peoples – will provide audiences with a spellbinding display of art, music, fashion, and theatre.

The festival will feature the work of more than 300 creatives across 170 shows at 40 Melbourne venues. More than 80 per cent of the creative content is making an Australian debut at YIRRAMBOI.

The festival’s co-founder Sherene Stewart invites Melburnians to step into a “world reimagined.”

“YIRRAMBOI is curated in celebration of Blak love, joy and excellence; it’s a platform for voice and change, change which heralds in a future where our culture and shared history is respectfully celebrated by all,” she said.

A dedicated event hub – the Uncle Jack Charles – will serve as the core meeting place of the festival. Named after the late Indigenous actor, activist, and revered arts elder, the Uncle Jack Charles is located in North Melbourne’s Meat Market.

The event hub will exhibit a variety of creative work by First Nations artists, from comedy and music to fashion and cabaret.

Audiences can also expect to see five world premiere commissions, alongside DJ PGZ performing at Melbourne Town Hall’s iconic grand organ, a runway show reimagining First Nations fashion and a one-night-only show by drag performer Kween Kong.

The festival also welcomes First Nations communities from around the world, including Canadian First Nations choreographers Lara Kramer and Jeanette Kotowitch, who are set to perform a double bill of dance routines.

The council’s Creative Melbourne portfolio lead Cr Jamal Hakim emphasised that the festival was one not to be missed.

“YIRRAMBOI has something for everyone. The festival will connect and entertain while celebrating the incredible work of our First Nations creatives, and forging international connections,” he said. •

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