The Rocks has always been the party capital on Australia Day. This year is all about fun in the sun and an all-inclusive atmosphere, says festival organiser Sophia Gibson from the Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority.
Australia Day is traditionally a celebration of Australian culture and identity, which marks the anniversary of the arrival of the First Fleet, and the proclamation of British sovereignty.
This year’s program of “All Australian acts” headlined by Cloud Control, who have achieved international success, also features an increasing number of world music/multicultural acts. This includes Papua New Guinean-born singer Ngaiire, the Middle Eastern inspired sound of Tijuana Cartel, and Indigenous artists Emma Donovan and The Putbacks.
The rocks will also host an interchange of artists from Victoria Park’s Yabun Festival, the largest Indigenous music festival, which is held on the same day. Indigenous acts are gradually becoming households names.
Acknowledgment of Aboriginal prior ownership of Australia is now widely acknowledged through ‘Welcome to Country’ greetings at all major events.
“I hope to see it [Australia Day] as a festive celebration of community… and I hope the day is an all inclusive celebration,” says Sophia Gibson. (VP)
Jan 26, various locations, The Rocks, Sydney, free, therocks.com
BY VANESSA POWELL