Ascendant Northern Territory band Kardajala Kirridarra (Sandhill Women) may have been announced as part of BIGSOUND Festival's epic first line-up of acts, but they've got a long way to go — in more ways than one — to get to Brisbane this September.
As a result, the four-piece — who hail from the remote communities of Marlinja and Kulumindini (Elliott), and sing in both English as well as the little-heard Indigenous language of Mudburra — have turned to crowdfunding to help ease the financial stress of creating their self-titled debut album, and to realise their goal of performing for industry types and punters alike at the upcoming showcase in Fortitude Valley.
It's a journey that has been made by only a few acts before and, this year, Kadajala Kirridarra are one of only two acts from the NT (the other being award-winning, Unearthed NIMA prize recipient Baker Boy) to be named on the BIGSOUND line-up so far, Music NT executive director Mark Smith told The Music. So, understandably, it's seen as something of a big deal for the band to make it to the event.
"Having two acts chosen to showcase at BIGSOUND is massive and with one of them being from Elliott in the middle of the NT, this makes it extra special," he said. "The opportunity for Kardajala Kirridarra to showcase at BIGSOUND is amazing, and we know people will be blown away by this group.
"Elliott is a long way from Brisbane so any support they can get will help make this happen and bring NT music to the biggest music market in the country."
Their Kickstarter campaign has so far garnered just under $2500 in pledges for their total $10,000 goal. That may seem like a hefty sum to be chasing, but it's actually quite a reasonable ask given the ends to which the band's members will use the funds, should the project meet its objective.
As well as being used as an order platform for the album and helping to help recoup the costs of its production and distribution, the campaign is looking to help the band cover their travel costs to Brisbane — which come to about $1200 a person, or $4800 all up, and that's just the plane tickets.
"As primarily remote artists living in the Central Desert of Australia, we will need to pay for significant travel costs to get to BIGSOUND … plus there are bus and other shuttle fees as well as accommodation and daily living expenses," the band wrote on their page.
"By attending BIGSOUND, we will be allowed the opportunity to showcase our work, build our reputation and meet industry professionals and future collaborators," they continued.
Kardajala Kirridarra's all-or-nothing Kickstarter campaign will run till Friday 28 July. Their self-titled debut album is out now on Bandcamp, iTunes and Spotify.
Pledges of $15 or more will net fans a reward of Yukkula bush medicine, handmade from natural ingredients by band member Janey Dixon. Pledges of $20 or more will secure a digital download of the album, while $30 or more will include a physical copy.
You can lend your support here, and have a listen to the band's most recent single, Ngurra (Rain Song) below.
BIGSOUND runs from 5-8 September. See the event's website for more information.