WHAT'S ON

Briggs headlines award-winning Giiyong Festival's return to Yuin country

Australian hip-hop artist, writer and record label owner Briggs is among the headline acts performing at the 2021 Giiyong Festival near Eden in October. Photo: Tristan Edouard
Australian hip-hop artist, writer and record label owner Briggs is among the headline acts performing at the 2021 Giiyong Festival near Eden in October. Photo: Tristan Edouard

Celebrated Indigenous Australian rappers Briggs and Nooky are among the headline acts as the biggest multi-arts Aboriginal festival in the Yuin Nation returns in 2021.

Giiyong Festival will bring music, dance, art, film, spoken word and conversation back to Jigamy, near Eden, on October 9.

Celebrating traditional and contemporary Aboriginal culture, the award-winning Giiyong Festival will bring people together again on Thaua country by the shores of Pambula Lake at Jigamy, land owned by Twofold Aboriginal Corporation and home of the Monaroo Bobbaru Gadu Keeping Place (Peoples of the Mountains and the Sea).

The 2021 Giiyong Festival is presented by Twofold Aboriginal Corporation, Eden Local Aboriginal Land Council and South East Arts and will feature some of Australia's most respected Aboriginal musicians, speakers and performers sharing the stage with local artists.

Sassi Nuyum - a spoken word artist - made her debut at Giiyong Festival in 2018 and will return in 2021. Photo: David Rogers

Sassi Nuyum - a spoken word artist - made her debut at Giiyong Festival in 2018 and will return in 2021. Photo: David Rogers

GIIYONG FESTIVAL 2021 LINEUP, click here

Two stages are on offer in 2021, as well as an artists market, a reimagined pre-colonisation campsite installation developed by Far South Coast high school students, cultural displays, food and dance.

Reflecting on the 2021 NAIDOC theme 'Heal Country', Giiyong Festival will present speakers and discussion panels exploring traditional land and water management practices, truth and justice, Aboriginal astronomy, Treaty and more.

Nowra-born hip hop artist Nooky will take the main stage at Giiyong Festival.

Nowra-born hip hop artist Nooky will take the main stage at Giiyong Festival.

On the main stage, key headliners include Briggs, Shellie Morris, Buddy Knox, Stiff Gins, Nooky, Dizzy Doolan and the official Giiyong MC Sean Choolburra will return on the mic. Regional favourites Ron 'Callo' Callaghan, Kyarna Rose and Matty Walker, Nikea Hayes and Dre Wicks, Sassi Nuyum, Eastwood (formerly known as Gabadoo), the Gadhu Dreaming Band, Richard Luland, Duurunu Miru Dancers and Djaadjawan Dancers and many more will perform.

Giiyong Festival partners are very proud to be bringing together the Giiyong Gumleaf Band, led by Eden-based Elder Uncle Ossie Cruse. This centenary celebration performance will reconnect skilled gumleaf players from around Australia, taking us back in time to the days of the famous Wallaga Lake Gumleaf Band that toured extensively from the 1920s.

Uncle Ossie Cruse will lead the Giiyong Gumleaf Band at Giiyong Festival 2021. Photo: Angi High

Uncle Ossie Cruse will lead the Giiyong Gumleaf Band at Giiyong Festival 2021. Photo: Angi High

First held in 2018, Giiyong Festival contributed over $750,000 to the local economy and has resulted in regional emerging performers and presenters securing more gigs as well as arts fellowships, creative residencies and ongoing professional development opportunities.

Giiyong Festival took home the gold award in the Events and Festivals category of the 2019 Destination Sydney Surrounds South and Destination Southern NSW Regional Tourism Awards. The 2020 festival was postponed due to COVID restrictions.

"Having an Aboriginal cultural festival on Aboriginal-owned land is such a unique gift which allows us to showcase the amazing artistic talent which thrives on the South Coast," Alison Simpson, manager of cultural inclusion at Twofold Aboriginal Corporation said.

"The festival creates an opportunity to not only unite the Aboriginal community but to bring the whole community together providing a platform for everyone to indulge in the rich and diverse culture that the South Coast has to offer."

In the lead up to Giiyong Festival, South East Arts has been delivering a range of community engagement projects including a residency with music development organisation, Grow the Music who recently worked with Aboriginal students at Narooma High School to create an original song and video clip, and a compilation album of South Coast contemporary Aboriginal songwriters which will be launched and available at Giiyong Festival.

"Grow the Music has been coming to the Far South Coast region for six years, working with us on Aboriginal projects at schools and in communities," Andrew Gray, executive director of South East Arts said.

"It gives us great pleasure to support their work in the region and to be able to offer the stage at Giiyong Festival as an opportunity for these up and coming artists to perform.

"We have some wonderful songwriters in the South East and the compilation album we have been producing will showcase both local legends and rising stars."

More details of the Giiyong Festival program and ticketing will be released in coming weeks. Visit the festival website for more.

This story Briggs headlines award-winning Giiyong Festival's return to Yuin country first appeared on Bega District News.