The 10-day event, from 5 to 14 May, celebrates the diversity and creativity of 60,000 years of Aboriginal culture through 60 unique events including dance, music, visual art, theatre, film and talks in Melbourne’s laneways, public spaces and venues.
Lord Mayor Robert Doyle said local and international First Nations visionaries from New Zealand, Canada, United States of America, Scotland, Pacific Islands, Wales and Taiwan will gather in Melbourne for the reinvigorated festival.
“Indigenous leadership, dialogue, new ideas, and international collaboration are the four key principles of the YIRRAMBOI Festival, which means ‘tomorrow’ in the shared languages of Boon Wurrung and Woi Wurrung,” the Lord Mayor said.
“With all works created, choreographed, produced, directed and performed by Indigenous artists, the City of Melbourne is empowering a new generation of Aboriginal creatives to become cultural leaders.”
Minister for Creative Industries Martin Foley said YIRRAMBOI will bring together Indigenous artists and Elders from across the globe in Victoria.
“Victoria is the proud home of the world’s oldest continuing culture,” Minister Foley said. “This is what YIRRAMBOI is about – a ground breaking festival that showcases how First Nations people the world over are sharing their culture and stories in exhilarating, contemporary ways.
“The Victorian Government is a proud partner of YIRRAMBOI – it’s a celebration of today that will forge a new tomorrow for artists, and art lovers, of all cultures.”
Chair of the Arts, Culture and Heritage Portfolio Councillor Rohan Leppert said the festival was a significant cultural event for Melbourne.
“The City of Melbourne is looking forward to welcoming First Nations artists and creatives from around the world to our city for this pioneering festival, which will be a highlight of Melbourne’s cultural calendar,” Councillor Leppert said.
YIRRAMBOI Festival Creative Director Jacob Boehme said his vision for the festival was to challenge stereotypes about First Nations art.
“YIRRAMBOI First Nations Arts Festival is an unprecedented opportunity to reframe perceptions and shape a new dialogue about Indigenous arts in Australia and around the world,” Jacob said.
“We are excited to create a city-wide ‘blak out’ when local and international Indigenous dancers, musicians, visual artists, performers and arts leaders gather in in Melbourne this May. YIRRAMBOI is also a festival for everyone with a diverse program of events that will appeal to people of all ages, tastes and walks of life.”
The YIRRAMBOI Festival is presented by the City of Melbourne, supported by Creative Victoria, in collaboration with the Elders Council of Kulin Nations people.
“On behalf of the YIRRAMBOI elders council representing the Wurundjeri, Boon Wurrung, Taungurung, and Dja Dja Wurrung of the Kulin Nations, it is a privilege to be involved in as active contributors, bringing our knowledge and traditions to the creation of YIRRAMBOI,” said Boonwurrung Elder and Council member Aunty Carolyn Briggs.
- Blak Critics, 5 to 14 May, online
- Ngarrga Bullarto Mirnian (Full Moon Party), Thursday 11 May, Federation Square
- Barring Yanabul (We All Walk the Path), Saturday 13 May, Melbourne CBD
- Tooronga Baban Nganjin (New Mums Ceremony), Mother’s Day Sunday 14 May, Birrarung (Yarra River) banks
- Remember Ruby, 5 to 14 May, Arts Centre Melbourne
- Weelam Ngalut events, 5 to 14 May, Meat Market, North Melbourne
For full program details, visit the YIRRAMBOI Festival website.