Review by Wanda Hill
Photo Credit: Julius C Montes
Boomerang Festival was a huge success and will be back next year for sure. The big smiles on punters faces and huge cheers at the closing ceremony yesterday, said it all. Festival organisers affirmed that they had indeed done well, everyone had a great time and that plans are already in the pipeline for next year’s event.
Being the last opportunity to spend the day with the Billinudgel Weavers and make a basket from Lomandra leaves I escaped the heat in their tent and wove the funky sounds of Slip on Stereo and Tjupurru into my basket under the weavers excellent tuition.
As the day got cooler I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to leave my mark on the awesome rainbow serpent woodcarving that Tonu Shane was creating with the help of the festival community in the middle of the grounds. John Williamson’s music was particularly conducive for carving. It was amazing watching kids contribute to this sculpture with no fear of the mallets and chisels.
Travelling around the festival I heard no complaints other than that there should be more food and coffee stalls. Hot drinks were very popular over the weekend with the one coffee shop having a permanent huge line up of people waiting to purchase. Where as the line up for the bar was almost non-existent.
The closing ceremony summed up the festivals cross cultural exchange beautifully with guests from Aotearoa and the Pacific Islands joining in the ritual, adding their unique instruments, dance and culture to the occasion. Heartfelt moments within the ceremony brought people to tears, and the excitement got everyone up on their feet and dancing at the end.
The ceremony did not signal the end of the night. OKA provided the perfect transition from day into night with their unique sound that draws you in, makes you dance and connects you to country. As the new moon set in the darkening sky I felt the start of something wonderful growing out of this festival and broadening into the wider community.
The night continued with Moana and the Tribe on their way home from a European tour gracing the festival with their music, activism and proud warriors, while at the opposite corner of the festival the rugby league grand final was being broadcast on a big screen with Ernie Dingo and George Negus providing commentary.
Feeling warm of heart and spirit, very content and tired I had to go home and hence my one festival regret… missing Nga Tae, a band that blends electronica, with traditional Maori music. Apparently they received a standing ovation as they closed the night.
Fortunately there is always next year and the next year and the next year, hopefully the artists will be like boomerangs and keep coming back. Congratulations Rhoda Roberts and Peter Noble. You have started something worth coming back for. Boomerang festival is everything a celebration should be and so much more. Thank you.
The Boomerang Festival will be held at Bluesfest’s home, the Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm on the October Long Weekend, October 4th -6th 2013.
Check here for our Boomerang Festival reviews and photos