The long wait is over as the acclaimed Giiyong Festival returns in early 2022 to bring together Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australian communities.
It’s been three years since the first hugely popular festival was held in the Yuin Nation in 2018. It then suffered cancellations in 2020 and 2021 during the COVID-19 pandemic, but it has now been announced that it will resume on the 9th. April, 2022.
“The format will be slightly different, but we can assure you that the crowds will be drawn to amazing local and national performers, interspersed with cultural learning, dancing and engaging short films,” said Jazz Williams, festival project manager. Giiyong, of South East Arts.
She said the event cancellations two years in a row had been debilitating and it had been a challenge for anyone hosting large-scale events for the past two years.
“We have considered many options, including moving to fully digital delivery, but we know that the magic of the Giiyong Festival lies in its ability to bring together Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities in person for such a rich and positive cultural experience.” Ms Williams said.
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She said the 2022 festival will provide a unique opportunity for people to immerse themselves in an event that is not only entertaining, but offers cultural education.
“Local, regional and national Indigenous artists and cultural leaders will present the event with endless authority and talent, and the ultimate effects of this will be evident in an increased appreciation of the value of Indigenous culture, meaningful engagement and emerging relationships; and a significant financial contribution to the local economy due to an influx of visitors taking advantage of our local accommodation, food and other activities, ”said Ms. Williams.
The 2022 event lineup includes rapper Briggs, singer-songwriter Shellie Morris and award-winning didgeridoo player William Barton.
Also appearing are Buddy Knox, Nooky, Dizzy Doolan, Stiff Gins, Ron Callaghan, Gadhu Dreaming Band, Nikea Brooks-Hayes and Dre Wicks, Gabadoo, and Internet lockdown sensations Matty Walker and Kyarna Rose.
The festival screen will feature local art, interviews and demonstrations of cultural practices, while the MC Sean Choolburra festival will also be returning.
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The inaugural Giiyong Festival drew a crowd of 6,000, mostly from South East New South Wales, and although there were attendees from across the state and beyond, the intention main of the organizers was to create a cultural gift for the local region.
“We know the upcoming event will attract visitors from outside of South East New South Wales, but from the perspective of the organizing team, the 2022 event is first and foremost for the people of our region, ”Ms. Williams said.
“Giiyong is the premier multi-arts indigenous cultural festival in southern NSW, and exposure to indigenous artists and cultural experiences here in our area is limited, so we wanted to create an event that showcases the rich and diverse cultural history and talent that exists here. .
“It also gives us the chance to bring nationally recognized artists to an audience here in the region who would otherwise not have the chance to access these experiences.”