Homeground builds on thirteen years of the acclaimed Message Sticks festival by celebrating First Peoples’ music, dance and culture in a free outdoor event on the Sydney Opera House Western Broadwalk. The inaugural Homeground festival was held on April 5-6 2014, presenting performers from across Australia and around the world in a family-friendly event for all ages to enjoy.
Festival highlights included:
- The Opening Ceremony was a delightful medley of the performances to come over the weekend. From a corroboree to pay homage to the ancestors to choirs, ancient drones, music and dance from diverse cultures.
- Boomerang Concert blew everyone away. The unique collaboration of song, music, imagery and dance saluted the past and celebrated the future. Developed for performances at the 2014 Commonwealth Games Festival in Glasgow, and featuring some of Australia, Scotland and New Zealand’s leading First Nations musicians and dancers, with choreography devised by Frank McConnell (Scotland), Kemara Kennedy (NZ) and Tim Bishop (Aus).
- Casey Donovan with Street Warriors: The ARIA and Deadly Award winning diva with a spotlight-demanding voice busted out beautiful ballads while Indigenous hip hop stars Street Warriors busted their moves.
- The interactive Move it Mob Style proved to be a favourite for many. People of all ages were up learning moves by following the lead of dancers from the Bundjalung, Gamilaraay and Torres Strait Islands combining traditional and contemporary moves.
- Iconic Australian singer and Borraloola woman Shellie Morris wove her heart-breaking and life-affirming story into the set. Joined on stage by the great Djakapurra Munyarryun, maestro Aaron Burrawanga and Yirrmal to make a breath-taking performance.
-The festival closed with a very special collaboration from Shane Howard, Emma Donovan (Black Arm Band), Amy Saunders (Tiddas) and Yirrmal - the latest Aboriginal talent from Gurrumul’s home in the Top End of Australia. All took turns at taking centre stage – what an immensely talented collection of artists!
For more photos from the weekend, have a look at our Facebook gallery. Homeground will return in 2015 and event information will be confirmed at a later date.
Photo credit: Dan Boud