Budget cuts lead to festival re-think

GOOD and bad news for fans of the Boomerang Festival held at the home of Bluesfest.

The event was meant to be held from October 4 to 6 this year, but that has now been shifted to October 3 to 5 next year due to funding cuts to the arts sector.

As well a number of Aboriginal organisations are feeling the brunt of the latest Federal Budget.


Boomerang Festival organisers are as ever committed to making sure that the momentum of pride and interest continues and are currently seeking partners and supporters.

Australia has a reputation for producing world-class festivals and events and there are many across the Australian landscape but the Boomerang Festival (pictured courtesy of www.tonedeaf.com.au) is not just another music festival, it’s so much more with an extraordinary point of difference.

Boomerang Festival Director Rhoda Roberts is currently in Glasgow, Scotland for the 2014 Commonwealth Games to present the Boomerang Concert; a Tri Nations Project featuring some of the incredible performers of Boomerang Festival in 2013. The project is a fantastic demonstration of what the festival has already achieved.

Rhoda Roberts says: “Boomerang is a world class event and it is for many, their first real interaction at an event that is programmed by and with a First Nation’s perspective. It is our cultural responsibility to ensure the authenticity, control and authorship of the event reflects the depth and diversity of our cultures, rituals and arts practices.

It is essential that the festival program represents remote, rural and regional Australia along with international and often unseen First Nation global music and culture. This is an essential ingredient to what gives Boomerang its edge but faces costly challenges due to the nature of distances and travel expenses.

Actions speak louder than words and if we could only clone the generosity of Peter Noble, Festival Director of Bluesfest who financed the 2013 festival. What Peter did was an extraordinary moment of true reconciliation at work; he entered into deep dialogue and redefined the relationship with our world’s first peoples.”

Rhoda Roberts added “Boomerang Festival is a destination event and the 2013 Festival held on the October long weekend saw the first festival open at the Bluesfest site with over 5,000 attendees.

From the spectacular opening night ceremony and the drone of the world’s first instruments, eclectic music across all genres, the captivating dance grounds as well as theatre, film and discussions to the Pow Wow of the closing night, the festival was all about global cultures exchange of knowledge, connecting and also having a bit of fun.

While we are saddened the 2014 event is not taking place, by making our event biennial allows us to nurture and strategically look at the marketplace and seek financial support that will enable us to deliver an extraordinary event and meet even the most discerning festival-goers’ expectations. We need your help to join us to share in the diversity. Ideally we are seeking sponsorship support in some way for what is a truly unique Australian and international cultural event.”

Boomerang Festival has inspired a new direction in celebrating and sharing Indigenous culture and we look forward to presenting the 2015 festival at the home of Bluesfest, the Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm North of Byron Bay.

Boomerang 2015 will continue to demonstrate the standard of excellence, the empowerment across community and highlight the extraordinary and meaningful cultural practices that reflect our age-old traditions and its relevance, discovery and maintenance in the 21st century.