I know what your first question is – yes it’s free!
Homeground is an annual festival in front of the Opera House, running all this weekend, that celebrates First Nations culture from Australia and around the world. For thousands of years, the land that the Opera House is built on was a gathering place for the Gadigal people, who danced and sang here and called it Tubowgule.
One of the highlights will be Dance Rites, Australia’s national Indigenous dance competition.
It’s inspired by Pow Wow Circuit in North America and Canada, and by the Kapa Haka in New Zealand, as a way to pass on traditional dance, language, skin markings and instruments to young people. Dance Rites heats are on Sunday morning (10am-1pm) and the finals will be from 5-7pm.
Kahl Wallis, lead singer and songwriter for indie/alternative band The Medics, will be making a solo performance. He’s also an environmental and social activist who works as a mentor for the Jimmy Little Foundation, working with children in remote communities. Kahl identifies with his grandfather’s country, the Wuthathi Nation from the white sands of Shelburne Bay in Cape York Peninsula, and his grandmother’s mob, the Lardil people from Mornington Island in the Gulf of Carpentaria. He takes his last name from his great-great-grandfather of the Polynesian islands of Wallis and Futuna.
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the legendary Filthy Lucre remix of Treaty, ARIA Hall of Famers Yothu Yindi will be reuniting with Gavin Campbell (Filthy Lucre), and popular Indigenous singer/songwriters Yirrmal, Constantina Bush and Yirrnga Yunupingu.
Powerful duo Electric Fields will be performing, uniting composer Michael Ross with singer Zaachariaha Fielding. They weave traditional culture with electronic music, often featuring Zaachariaha’s traditional language of the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara people.
Also performing are the Muggera Dancers, founded by Darren Compton and Jacqui Cornforth. They’re a family group that prides itself on its cultural knowledge, and their ongoing support from community and family elders.
Don’t miss the workshops and a sand mandala created by Tenzin Choegyal, a traditional Tibetan artist born into a nomadic family in the Himalayas. His award-winning music describes that landscape as well as the experience of living as a refugee.
See you at Tubowgule.