Bluesfest director Peter Noble has announced the arrival of a new festival to the Bluesfest site.
Boomerang Festival will be a multi-arts event with an indigenous theme and will be held on Bundjalung land at the Bluesfest site over the Labour Day long weekend in October.
Starting this year, Boomerang will be directed by Bundjalung woman and well known artistic director Rhoda Roberts.
While program details are sketchy at present, Bluesfest director Peter Noble said Boomerang Festival would ‘define a true sense of place and belonging through some daring workshops, and ideas, forums and intergenerational exchange programs’.
At the event’s launch on Saturday Mr Noble said, ‘This is a special moment for me personally, and for us all – hosting a significant cultural event on the Bluesfest site which is actually Bundjalung country not only makes sense but makes me proud. Through the healing of music, the rhythm of language and the power of dance, it’s a time to have fun and gather as we recognise the similarities we all share.’
Festival director Rhoda Roberts told ABC local radio this morning that Boomerang would be a great replacement for Woodford’s Dreaming festival, which wound up two years ago.
‘It’s continuing that wonderful commitment from Woodford and also the engagement we had with our patrons and visitors to the site,’ she said.
Also at the launch was arts minster Tony Burke, who said he ‘wouldn’t be surprised’ if he saw applications for funding of the festival in the near future.
But Mr Noble said the festival, which is estimated to cost $1.2 million to put on, would go ahead with or without funding.
Daltrey to return to bill?
Mr Noble also hinted at a festival Q&A event on Sunday that he hoped to secure Roger Daltrey for next year’s 25th anniversary festival.
Following a question from the audience, he said he would not speculate on the makeup of the landmark event except to say, ‘there’s one band in particular that I want but it doesn’t make any sense dropping names if you don’t have them locked in. They were due to play a couple of years ago but had to cancel out about four weeks before.’
Daltrey, former frontman of The Who, was scheduled to headline last year’s event and perform his famous rock opera Tommy in its entirety but suddenly pulled out after the event had been announced.