Organisers of the Barunga Festival have announced its 2017 dates and program, boasting a family-friendly line-up that includes veteran outfit Coloured Stone, singer-songwriter Missy Higgins, actor, singer and Play School host Justine Clarke and more.
Held in the Northern Territory community of Barunga, near Katherine, the annual event marks its 33rd anniversary in 2017, and will be held over three days from 9-11 June.
Each year, the festival brings more than 4000 people to the area and, with more than two-thirds of attendees being Indigenous, provides a vital chance to engage in some genuine cross-cultural participation for people of all walks.
Along with previous festival attendee Higgins, Coloured Stone (who will be marking their 40th anniversary) and Clarke — who will perform with students from the Barunga School — the line-up also features appearances from Coloured Stone frontman Bunna Lawrie and Skinnyfish Sound System, as well as more than 15 bands from across the Territory including B2M, The Lonely Boys and more.
“I had such an amazing experience at Barunga Festival when I attended a few years ago,” Higgins said in a statement. “I loved being immersed in the local culture and getting to see some really awesome bands from surrounding communities. I'm super-excited to go back this time to be a part of the musical line-up.”
The music offerings also include the Barunga Beats hip hop program and the Friday-night Barunga Disco, held by students at the community's school, but the program goes well beyond just putting on some tunes: as a major part of community life, sport features in a big way, with more than 45 teams from the NT, east Kimberley, Queensland and central Australia headed to Barunga Fest to take part in Australian rules, basketball and softball competitions.
Alongside the sporting side — which looks after all ability levels, so there's no need to feel like you can't just have a go — culture plays a big role in Barunga Festival. This year's event features a range of activities such as traditional dance, spear throwing, didgeridoo (yidaki) playing, weaving, damper making, storytelling, community and bush tours (courtesy the Jawoyn Junior Guides) and more.
The whole event is alcohol-, smoke- and drug-free and has a healthy-food policy in place, so you can look after your body as easily as the rest of the festival looks after your mind.
Tickets are available now from $50 (+bf) for adults ($15 ages 12-17; $5 ages 5-11), and will be on sale at the gate.
Barunga Community, Barunga
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