COLOURFUL SPECTACLE: The Dreaming Festival held as part of Woodford Folk Festival.
COLOURFUL SPECTACLE: The Dreaming Festival held as part of Woodford Folk Festival. Thedreamingfestivalcomau

Be touched by cultural Boomerang experience

THE Northern Rivers is fast becoming known as the festival capital of Australia.

There is Bluesfest, Splendour in the Grass, Mullum Music Festival, The Writers' Festival, and now the Falls Festival coming to Byron in December, and now the Boomerang Festival in October.

Boomerang Festival director Rhoda Roberts said Boomerang was the first of its kind: an indigenous festival with music, dance, theatre, comedy, film, discussions and visual arts.

"This festival line-up is really exciting. It is the continuance of that organic nature of storytelling; we are sharing the culture," she said.

The Boomerang line-up is extensive and includes experiences from music to workshops, fire gatherings, dance participations and conversations.

The indigenous performers will include 70 clans represented from across Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australia.

Quique Neira
Quique Neira

Ms Roberts said the festival could truly call itself unique; the type of festival that you once would have had to travel to a remote area of Australia to experience (and even then you would not find nearly as many artists from Australia and around the world). The fact that it is here, on Bundjalung land, holds special significance.

"Having the festival on Bundjalung land is exciting," she said. "It shows the world, that the cultures of the Bundjalung are as relevant as the rest of the country."

Ms Roberts has said in the past that she finds some of the indigenous inclusions at events tokenistic and "lacking heart".

But she said Boomerang was not about paying lip service - it was a genuine sharing of cultures.

"There is nothing PC about me or this event," she said.

"Boomerang is about sharing our culture.

"This is a festival experience where audiences are able to be personally touched by the experience of connecting and embracing the social, cultural and the spiritual aspects of Australia's first peoples' traditional lives and other culture's contemporary practices from across the globe.

"I'm always inspired by the generous spirit of the indigenous people.

"Everywhere I go, I have people saying to me 'make sure you tell them this' or 'make sure you pass on this that' and I think this is what Boomerang is all about."

Boomerang Festival will host two stages.

The Main Stage will be in a large undercover tent where this year's headliners will perform.

Archie Roach plays Boomerang on October 4 and 6.
Archie Roach plays Boomerang on October 4 and 6.

The AlterNative Stage will host hot discussions, warts and all.

It is also where you will see films, theatre, poetry, speakers and conversations.

Every night a fire circle will be hosted by Troy Brady, with various guests stopping in for a warm conversation and time to contemplate the day.

Boomerang highlights


  • Gurrumul Yunupingu
  • WANTOK Sing Sing
  • Airileke
  • Archie Roach with guests and a Ten-Piece Ensemble
  • Thelma Plum
  • The Medics
  • Quique Neira (Chile)
  • Rako Dancers (Fiji)
  • Busby Marou
  • Casey Donovan
  • Shellie Morris
  • The Medics
  • Dubmarine
  • Moana and the Tribe
  • Dance:
  • Arakwal Dancers
  • Move it Mob Style
  • Malu Kiai Mura Buia
  • Chooky Dancers
  • Jannawi Dancers
  • Koomurri Dancers
  • Bunggul Dancers


  • Sean Choolburra's 50 Shades of Black
  • Tammy Anderson's play I Don't Wanna Play House


  • Ernie Dingo
  • Jack Charles
  • Dr Djiniyini Gondarra OAM
  • George Negus
  • Melissa Lucashenko
  • Romaine Morton
  • Richard Frankland
  • Djon Mundine
  • Professor Larissa Behrendt
  • Melissa Lucashenko
  • Romaine Moreton
  • Kate Welsman Systa BB

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