The organisers of Boomerang Festival, the Indigenous music festival that enjoyed its inaugural year in 2013, have announced their decision to make Boomerang a biennial event. In a statement, organisers cited funding cuts to the arts sector and to Indigenous groups as prompting the action.
As a result of the decision, organisers will now be directing planning for Boomerang Festival 2014, which was to be held on 4th-6th October 2014, into next year’s event. Organisers assure fans they are committed to continuing the event and are seeking partners for a return on 3rd-5th October 2015.
“While we are saddened the 2014 event is not taking place, 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,” said Rhoda Roberts, the director of Boomerang Festival.
Boomerang Festival 2013 was financed by Bluesfest director Peter Noble and held at the home of Bluesfest, the Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm North of Byron Bay, with an attendance of over 5,000 people who came to see a lineup that featured Gurrumul, Dan Sultan, Thelma Plum, and more.
However, the event was not without its hiccups. Early ticket sales were critically below the required quotas, with Noble subsequently voicing his concerns about a country that he felt was growing apathetic towards its indigenous population and their culture, likening it to “cultural apartheid.”
“How many people actually know an Australian indigenous person or have ever met one properly?” he said. “Maybe you would be enriched as a person? At one level apathy equals cultural apartheid… if people remain apathetic, what that means is we don’t care about our indigenous Australians.”