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Yirramboi explores Naarm and unearths new talent with headlining free program

Rhiannon Clarke -

Unveiling the second phase of their program, Yirramboi will showcase First Nations artists from across Australia, weaving through the city of Melbourne (Naarm).

Yirramboi 2023 will rock the city with a ten-day festival featuring more than 300 First Nations creatives taking over Melbourne (Naarm) laneways, streets and spaces from 4-14 May; creating a citywide "Blak out" and a fire live-music line-up for the Uncle Archie Roach Block Party at section 8 and the Toff.

Coming into its fourth year, Yirramboi, which means 'tomorrow' in the local languages of the Boonwurrung and Woi-wurrung people of the Kulin Nations, celebrates some of the most exciting First Nations creatives in Australia and beyond, giving the stories of 'now' back to the lands that have held them for over 80,000 years.

Yirramboi's free programs will set Naarm alight with their wide-spanning artistic expression ranging from installations, visual art, photography, music, drag and dance on Saturday 6 May.

Taking place for the first time at night, Barring Yanabul - meaning 'we all walk the path' in Boonwurrung and Woiwurring language, will present immersive experiences and installations across the city.

Barring Yanabul is open to for all-ages to attend as there'll be something for everyone, events include a visual arts collaboration by Enoki and Bby J exploring a spiritual future realm.

There will also be a sneak peek at Crooked TP's unreleased album LIFE; a piece on climate change lighting up Federation Square by Waniki Maluwap and some added glam from makeup artist Zoë Freda.

The Uncle Archie Roach Block Party presents a line-up of Blak excellence including:

Songman Amos Roach

Rapper and master storyteller, Kobie Dee

Rapper, producer and triple j radio host, Nooky;

Hip-hop duo Yung Warriors

The legendary Kutcha Edwards and RnB songwriter Keely.

The Toff will host the launch of Philly's new album 'GROW' with support from the hottest, up and coming RnB & Hip Hop acts in the country.

Yirramboi Festival 2023 includes 170 shows taking place across 40 Melbourne venues and locations, with more than 80 per cent of the program making an Australian debut.

The festival also presents five world premiere commissions, including a biopunk drag cabaret show Alluvium by Stone Motherless Cold, and powerful theatre piece MEETRA-Rise Up! The Ballad of James Arden, led by Gunditjmara/Kokatha singer-songwriter, David Arden.

Other Yirramboi Festival 2023 program highlights include:

The DJ PGZ Live Experience, will see the Gunai/Kurnai & Yorta Yorta DJ and producer, bring his dark, underground club sound to Melbourne Town Hall's iconic Grand Organ.

A runway show redefining First Nations Fashion, as part of Tomorrow: The Experience.

BUBUP Fest for children and families, with music and fashion workshops.

A unique collaboration with the Dark Mofo festival, connecting with the Palawa people of Tasmania to highlight cross-cultural connections and kinship.

International collaborations through dance works by Canadian First Nations choreographers Lara Kramer and Jeanette Kotowitch, alongside local artists Brent Watkins and Jada Narkle.

This year's Festival hub at North Melbourne's Meat Market, The Uncle Jack Charles – named in tribute to the late Aboriginal actor, activist and great arts Elder.

It will be a central place for artists and audiences to gather and feast on First Nations art, comedy, cabaret, music and fashion.

For the full festival program and to purchase tickets, visit YIRRAMBOI.

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