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May 31, 2023

Lismore Youth Festival going to be epic

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JK-47. Photo supplied.

Bigger and better than ever, Lismore Youth Festival will take place across multiple venues in Lismore from 14-16 April.

Organisers say there will be three days packed with music, performance, art and workshops to entertain and inspire young people. And it’s all free!

JK-47 to headline music line-up

Kicking off the festival on Wednesday 14 April at NORPA at Lismore City Hall will be Bundjalung hip-hop sensation and 2020 Triple J Unearthed Winner of the Year JK-47, headlining an awesome line-up of music by local acts.

Lismore Quad. Photo Terra Sword.

On Thursday 15 April and Friday 16 April, The Quad and surrounding buildings will come alive with a half-pipe, skating comps, DJs, comedy, light saber dance offs, and a huge workshop program that offers everything from street art to bush survival.

Lismore Regional Gallery will feature youth art exhibitions by Defiant/Beyond Empathy and The Rainbow Collective (LGBTIQ Youth Group).

Free festival

All Lismore Youth Festival events are free, but bookings are required for some workshops and events as numbers are limited.

‘Lismore Youth Festival is going to be huge!’ says Blake Rhodes of Dream Bigger, who has helped curate the music program. ‘Lismore’s coolest organisations have joined forces to create something really special and positive for young people in our region.

‘This is an opportunity for young people to come together and have fun again, to share experiences and learn some cool new things as well!’

Quad Outdoor

Skating in the quad half pipe. Photo Andrew McNeil.

A half-pipe will be set up in The Quad on Thursday and Friday with the Popsgood Skateboarding crew and their coaches hosting free learn-to-skate clinics and comps for all ages, genders, and abilities.

There will be prizes for the top three riders in each division as well as fun skate jams to practice new tricks.

Bring the picnic blankets and chill on the grass, listening to The Northern Rivers Conservatorium’s youth Jazz Orchestra on Friday afternoon.

Remember to also check out the super special public art installation by the Quad-based student crew from New Choices (Rivers Secondary College).


Join well-known local street artist KiKi in her Collage & Paste Up Graffiti Workshops at Lismore Regional Gallery, create your own self-care box with Headspace, test your skills in the art of musical impro at the Conservatorium with Sean O’Boyle AM.

Then head over to the Library where you can jump into everything from drawing anime characters to Claymation, learning bush skills and money management.

Make free styling illuminated sculptures with the lantern loving folk from LightnUp, have a crack at cracking others up with Larry Laughs stand-up comedy workshop and take part in a music industry masterclass hosted by the Dream Bigger team. And that’s just scratching the surface of what’s on offer!

Music at NORPA

JK-47. Photo supplied.

The 2020 Triple J Unearthed Winner of the Year JK-47 will be joined by local acts LAS, ROOM19 and Desert Wizard.

JK-47 recently delivered a jaw-dropping Like A Version on Triple J covering ‘Changes’ by 2Pac. He believes in ‘speaking positivity and shining light on things that are often overlooked today in society’.

Hailing from Tweed Shire, JK-47 also scored a Triple J Feature Album with his debut album Made For This.


As well as hosting workshops, Lismore Regional Gallery and Elevator ARI (behind the Regional Gallery) will be full of beautiful and powerful art created by young people, with the Defiant exhibition upstairs, and work from the Rainbow Youth Collective in the Lismore Regional Gallery Event space downstairs.

Defiant/Beyond Empathy. Photos supplied.

New exhibition space Arch Studio Gallery, located under the Northern Rivers Conservatorium (Quad side) will launch their exhibition program with the work of three young women from the Northern Rivers region Frewoini Baume, Gaia Heart and Lara Pisarek, with an exhibition co-curated by Frewoini Baume and Claudie Frock.

Jump onto www.lismorequad.org.au for full program and details.

Lismore Youth Festival is presented by The Quad in partnership with Lismore Regional Gallery, Lismore Library, The Northern Rivers Conservatorium, NORPA, The Clubhouse Social Futures, Dream Bigger, Headspace Lismore, Elevator ARI and Arch Studio Gallery.

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