Inspiring music and arts at Renew Fest

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Renew Fest, now less than two weeks away, has just released its full action-packed schedule of around 100 presenters, including its music and arts program.

"We are really thrilled with all the musicians and artists coming together for Renew Fest this year. Our earthy and contemplative arts offer experiences to weave people’s big visions and learnings with their hearts and whole selves," says musician and Renew Fest arts programmer Luke Jaaniste.

The festival begins and ends with Indigenous performers and Elders. At the Opening Night both Delta Kay, Arakwal Bundjalung woman, and Uncle Magpie Yerrubilgin, Minyungbal Yugambeh song man, will offer a Welcome to Country, before Indigenous Elders Judy Atkinson and Miriam Rose Ungunmerr-Baumann open up a dialogue on deep listening and truth-telling.

The closing ceremony, “Weaving Our Dreams Together”, will be led by the didgeridoo playing of Bundjalung Elder and Wahrla-Bal Custodian Uncle Lewis, along with Uncle Magpie and his dancing group.

Nattali Rize and the Black Sistaz will be headlining the Saturday night music, poetry and fireside program. Nattali is a global powerhouse and conscious artist from Blue King Brown.

“Nattali's stripped back acoustic performance will showcase the power of her rich vocals, energising rhythms and inspiring lyrics. Accompanied by the Black Sistaz from West Papua, she will be positive, all embracing, interactive, raw and emotive,” says festival organisers.

Also appearing on the festival music lineup is the Batala Percussion Group, Laura Targett and Peter Hunt. The immersive "music for the Fig Trees" soundscape created by Luke Jaaniste will return, having been a festival favourite in 2018.

The contemplative and interactive arts and performance program includes the Weaving Connection space led by Kim Tait, spinning wheel mediation by Joss Lewis, a labyrinth walk created by Jacqueline Wills and Jenni Cargill-Strong, morning movement sessions with WeMove and Noa Rotem, pop up performances from Byron Youth Theatre, with poetry and story-telling from Vashti Eastern, Paul Crebar, Thomas Keily and others.

Children and young people can enjoy the Little People’s Nature Crafts program, and the Youth Zine Making space hosted by Byron Youth Service.

The festival is free for Indigenous First Nations people, as well as children 16 years and under. The festival runs Mother’s Day Weekend at Mullumbimby Showground 8-9 May, with an opening night Friday 7 May at Mullumbimby Civic Hall. Full program and tickets at www.renewfest.org.au.

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