Hanging Rock festival First & Forever adds to its glorious First Nations lineup

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Hanging Rock festival First & Forever adds to its glorious First Nations lineup

MO'JU. Photo credit WILK

With one week to go, the set times are out and new artists have been added to the music festival coming to The Gathering Place, Hanging Rock on Sunday 27 November.

Bringing some of the best First Nations acts in the country to the utterly beautiful surrounds of Hanging Rock in Macedon, Victoria’s new day-long festival First & Forever has just expanded its lineup, adding three more incredible artists to the celebrations in Mo’Ju, Eric Avery and Kalyani.

Curated by Briggs, First & Forever takes place at The Gathering Place, Hanging Rock on Sunday 27 November, and will see some of the country’s most celebrated contemporary First Nations artists converge for a brand new landmark event celebrating Blak excellence.

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

Mo’Ju (Wiradjuri) is chameleonic. They shapeshift between albums, often several times within the same release: jukebox-rattling, ‘50s rock n roller to swinging soul crooner; pop experimentalist to synthesised funk adventurer.

Using sound, movement and filmic techniques, Eric Avery (Ngiyampaa, Gumbangirr, Bandjalang and Yuin) takes a multi-disciplinary approach to pushing music and culture into new formations. Avery will perform throughout the day in support of several artists, as lead violin in the First & Forever house band.

With an ear keenly tuned to the low-end frequencies of club culture, Kalyani (Trawlwoolway) explores dance music from across the globe. She takes a confident and idiosyncratic approach to her sets, which can traverse bass-heavy genres including booty bass and trap; or transport audiences with gems of Turkish and Hindi pop rarely heard in clubs this side of the equator.

Special performances by the Djaara Dancers, Djirri Wurundjeri Women’s Dance Group and the Taungurung Choir will lead us into tributes to both Aunty Ruby Hunter and Uncle Archie Roach delivered by Dan Sultan, Paul Kelly, Emma Donovan, Jess Hitchcock and Kardajala Kirridarra.

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

These artists join the massive lineup featuring the likes of 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, and more.

Gates to the  event will open from 1pm, with music running into the night. Artists will showcase a set on one main stage – the ‘Uncle Archie’ stage – located at the foot of Hanging Rock. It’s 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.

Alongside the music, whet your appetite on the day with a wide range of ​ vendors, from local wineries to First Nations owned and operated foodies, such as Blak Brews and Cooee Café. Other vendors include Melbourne Paella Company, Taco Station, Dum and Dumplings, Route 66, Two Fat Indians, The Kaiser’s Sausage and many more. Being a picnic-style event, everyone can bring their own food, in a supermarket sized cooler bag.

As First & Forever is a licensed event, there is no BYO alcohol. All bars will have EFTPOS available for ease on the day. ​

Final tickets ($79 general entry + fees for 12 years old and over) are on sale now via firstandforever.com.au.