Giiyong Festival. Courtesy of Bega District News, 2018.
Next month, on the 9th of April the Giiyong Festival will be taking place for the first time in three years. The festival presented by Twofold Aboriginal Corporation takes place on Thaua Country within the Yuin Nation, between the towns of Eden and Pambula, South Coast NSW. It is an incredible one day celebration of Yuin arts and culture including music, video, theatre, dance and visual arts and crafts. As shared by Alison Simpson, Manager of Cultural Inclusion at Twofold Aboriginal Corporation (2022), the festival provides an incredible 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.”
Performers at Giiyong Festival. Courtesy of Visit NSW, 2022.
The Giiyong Festival team are hugely excited to have the event finally going ahead this year:
"The format will be slightly different but we can assure you that the crowds will be in for some amazing local and national performers, interspersed with cultural learning, dance and thought-provoking short films." said Giiyong Festival project manager Jazz Williams to About Regional (2022).
Indigenous rapper Briggs. Courtesy of Bega District News, 2022.
This year's festival will feature an amazing lineup, including award winning performers rapper Briggs, singer-songwriter Sheelie Morris and renowned didgeridoo player William Barton. Also appearing will be Buddy Knox, Nooky, Dizzy Doolan, the Gadhu Dreaming Band and internet sensations Matty Walker and Kyarna Rose. Along with these incredible musical performances, will be beautiful visual arts, interviews, dance performances and cultural practice demonstrations.
Giiyong also provides opportunities for young up and coming artists, such as talented Yuin artists Nikea Brooks-Hayes and Dre Wicks. The duo are in their final year at Eden Marine High School and have been playing together for a number of years, performing locally as often as possible. Nikea is known for her incredible, mature vocal skills, and the duo’s track Rights is featured on a compilation album called Djamaga Music: Songs from the South Coast, which was released by South East Arts in 2021. All proceeds from the album sales support Giiyong Festival, as well as other First Nations projects throughout the year.
The Giiyong Festival will be a day full of wonderful experiences, so if you're due for a holiday or live in the New South Wales South Coast area we highly recommend checking out this amazing event! You can learn more about the festival and view the full program here.