Yarrabah Music and Cultural Festival has a complex and vibrant history dating back to the creation of the Yarrabah Brass Band at a mission in 1901.
The current iteration of the band features majority direct descendants of the original members and has been a driving influence behind the Festival itself.
The musical history of Yarrabah has been key for reconciliation within a community fractured by the ongoing affects of colonisation and dispossession.
The Festival now welcomes thousands of people each year to showcase cultures from the Gunggandji and Yidinji People, is designed as a gathering place for storytellers and artists to celebrate the region, past and present.
Jessica Mauboy rose to fame on Australian Idol to become one Australia’s most successful pop and R&B singers and will headline the event alongside the Yarrabah Brass Band.
“I am excited to be a part of Yarrabah Music and Cultural Festival, which is such a unique, culturally significant event and to perform alongside the local Yarrabah Brass Band will be an incredibly special experience for me – one I look forward to sharing with audiences,” said Mauboy.
Mayor of Yarrabah Aboriginal Shire Council Ross Andrews said the Festival was responsible for driving visitors to the region and having Mauboy headline was a triumph.
“To have one of Australia’s most successful artists performing as part of our 2022 event is a major coup,” he said.
“Yarrabah Music and Cultural Festival drives significant visitation and economic stimulation for the region and a headline like Jessica Mauboy is a great way to put Yarrabah on the map as one of the world’s most unique music festivals.”
Joel Edmondson, Chief Executive of QMF, said they are always thrilled to create events and opportunities which supports First Nations experiences and culture for visitors and locals.
“Yarrabah Music and Cultural Festival is a wonderful example of reconciliation in action. QMF is very proud of, and grateful for, the deep and authentic relationship we have developed with the Yarrabah community over the years,” said Edmondson.
This year’s Festival will mark the first led by Yarrabah Aboriginal Shire Council, facilitated with support from QMF.
“This marks a historic transition of ownership and a key milestone in the journey to First Nations self-determination,” QMF stated.
“This process, supported by a dedicated three-year training program and ongoing support from QMF, will strengthen local leadership of key aspects of the event for long-term sustainability.
“This ensures the Festival will continue to build on the economic benefits—including job creation, skills training, and direct visitor spend—that the event generates for this isolated and historically disenfranchised community.”
The Yarrabah Music and Cultural Festival will be held on 30 April 2022.Jump to next article