King Stingray
King Stingray | Image: Marc Grimwade/WireImage

Introducing First & Forever: A Celebration Of Blak Excellence At Hanging Rock

Baker Boy, Alice Skye, Thelma PlumKing Stingray, Christine Anu, Budjerah and many more are on the lineup for the inaugural First & Forever event at Hanging Rock this November. Organised by the Mushroom Group, the Victorian Government and Bad Apples Music, the single day festival will celebrate Blak excellence and First Nations culture and music.

First & Forever will take place at The Gathering Place at Hanging Rock, Victoria on Sunday, 27th November. The lineup was curated by Bad Apples Music founder, rapper and author Briggs, featuring many of the leading First Nations artists in the country.

First & Forever is a First Nations-led contemporary music festival

The seeds for First & Forever were sown following an encounter between Briggs and late Mushroom founder Michael Gudinski. “For years I’d had an idea for a First Nations-led contemporary music festival, something cool and boutique that was really about the music and culture,” Briggs said.

“When Gudinski called me about a similar idea he’d had, we found this really collaborative working relationship. We both had a passionate approach to Melbourne, Victorian music, and amplifying Blakfellas’ stories. MG got the ball rolling. After he passed, the ball was in my court. I had to take it home.”

Paul Kelly supported Briggs in the curation of the event. “My last conversation with Michael just over a week before he died was backstage at Archie [Roach]’s concert,” said Paul Kelly. “[Gudinski] was bubbling with ideas for a new project, a big concert with headlining First Nations artists … he urged me to get involved. I said no to Michael many times over the years and I said yes lots. I’m glad I said yes this last time.”

Taking place on the lands of the Dja Wurrung, Taungurung, and Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung people, performances at the event will take place on the Uncle Archie Stage, named for the late Archie Roach with the approval of the Archie Roach Foundation.

First & Forever

  • Baker Boy
  • Budjerah
  • Jessica Mauboy
  • King Stingray
  • Sycco
  • Thelma Plum
  • Alice Skye
  • Busby Marou
  • Christine Anu
  • Dan Sultan
  • Electric Fields
  • Emma Donovan
  • Tasman Keith
  • Ziggy Ramo
  • Barkaa
  • Birdz
  • Dameeeela
  • Jess Hitchcock
  • JK-47
  • Kardajala Kirridarra
  • Kobie Dee
  • + More

Dates & Venue

  • Sunday, 27th November – The Gathering Place, Hanging Rock, VIC

Sign up for presale now. Tickets on sale from Friday, 14th October.

Further Reading

Watch Baker Boy and Bernard Fanning Play a Last-Minute Show in ‘Wish You Well’ Video

Melbourne’s West Set Festival Returns With Birdz, Pookie, And More

Haim, Joji, & Phoebe Bridgers Lead 2023 Laneway Festival Lineup

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