Barunga Festival continues celebration of First Nations music

The Barunga Festival is one of Australia’s most important cultural events celebrating the best of First Nations art, sport, cultural activities, and contemporary and traditional music from remote locations.

Held over 3 days, from Friday June 7 to Sunday June 9, 80 kilometers south-east of Katherine, it brings together 4000 people from the Northern Territory and beyond.

The theme of this years festival will be Indigenous Languages, following the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) declaring the 2019 the year of Indigenous Languages.

This year’s line up will include talent from across Australia and beyond including Mambali Band (Numbulwar), who have just gained nationwide attention after playing Nannup Festival and WOMADelaide this year, Nabarlek Band (Manmoyi), Wagilak & the Australian Art Orchestra, Billy Jack (Gumbaynggirr), Justine Clarke, Wire MC (Gumbaynggirr), Sang Mei Chang (Taiwan), Tasman Keith (Gumbaynggirr), Mick Coates and Archer.

This year will welcome three generations of Gumbaynggirr musicians with the quickly rising star Tasman Keith, reuniting with his legendary father Wire MC and distinguished grandfather Billy Jack.

The event has a healthy food policy, with a range of cuisines on offer as well as 100% drug,  smoke and alcohol-free policy to ensure the family spirit of Barunga community is maintained.

The AU attended the 2019 edition of this festival, and can attest to the wonderful inclusive nature of the event.

Check out Tasman Keith’s music video for My Pelopolees which features shots of both Wire MC and Billy Jack



For further information and to purchase tickets, visit their website HERE

Header image by Bruce Baker at the 2018 Barunga Festival

Bruce Baker

Probably riding my bike, taking photos and/or at a gig. Insta: @bruce_a_baker