First & Forever is the new festival bringing a huge First Nations lineup to Hanging Rock

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First & Forever is the new festival bringing a huge First Nations lineup to Hanging Rock

First & Forever is a new music festival coming to The Gathering Place, Hanging Rock on Sunday 27 November with a stellar First Nations lineup.

Following in the success of similar events like Treaty Day Out, First & Forever – which is part of the state’s ALWAYS LIVE celebrations – is bringing some of the best First Nations acts in the country to the utterly beautiful surrounds of Hanging Rock in Macedon.

Hand-picked by Bad Apples Music founder, rapper and author Briggs (with a special thank you to Paul Kelly), the collected artists represent the myriad forms and genres through which First Nations culture continues to evolve, a dizzying procession of acts interwoven in short, uninterrupted sets.

First & Forever at Hanging Rock

  • First & Forever is a new music festival with a lineup featuring 20+ First Nations talents
  • It’s happening at The Gathering Place, Hanging Rock on Sunday 27 November
  • It’s part of the Victorian government’s ALWAYS LIVE live music celebrations

Keep up with the latest music news, festivals, interviews and reviews here.

Gates to the picnic-style event will open from 1pm, with music running into the night. Artists will showcase a set on one main stage, located at the foot of Hanging Rock – one of VIC’s most majestic and significant backdrops, and one befitting the performers’ awe-inspiring talents. A venue previously reserved for international performers, it’s a fitting setting for a bold and inspiring collection of First Nations talent.

First & Forever lineup

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.

“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 recalls.

“When [Matt] 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.”

Briggs wasn’t the only person MG reached out to…

“My last conversation with Michael just over a week before he died was backstage at Archie [Roach’s] concert,” remembers Paul Kelly, who lent support to Briggs in the curation of this event. “[MG] 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.”

Matt Gudinski, Mushroom Group chief executive said: “Once Dad had an idea in his head, there was little chance of him letting it go. To see another passion project of his come to fruition makes me very happy. Mushroom has always been a big supporter of First Nations artists for decades, and First & Forever is a celebration of the remarkable talent of this country’s First Nations artists. Presented in an amazing setting of Hanging Rock, it’s bound to be a night to remember.”

Tickets ($79 general entry + fees for 12 years old and over) go on sale Friday 14 October (11am AEDT) via Frontier Members can access the Frontier Pre-sale, which starts Tuesday 11 October (11am AEDT), see website for more details.