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BlakYard Picnic makes triumphant return to Carclew

Phoebe Blogg -
The highly anticipated BlakYard Picnic made an immensely successful return to the grounds of Carclew last Saturday.

With an all-First Nations lineup - in partnership with Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institute - the vibrant picnic event was a day filled with live music, dance, immersive cultural workshops, and an array of festival eats.

Headlined by the award-winning songwriter and musician, Emily Wurramara, BlakYard Picnic shone a spotlight on First Nations artists, boasting a stellar line-up that included Marlon Motlop, Katie Aspel, Sonz of Serpent, SVVLO, Myles Turner, Nimpala Rose, Stand Strong with Eskatology, Tal Kin Jeri and Tjarutja Dance Theatre. 

Attendees enjoying live performances at BlakYard Picnic. (Image: Ben Searcy) 


Celebrated for her honest and inspiring music, with over fourteen million streams on Spotify alone and acclaim from the Australian music scene, Wurramara's work represents a new era for Indigenous Australian musicians. When taking to the stage Wurramara, played a variety of hits, including her two new singles 'Midnight Blues' and 'Magic Woman Dancing'.

Before the festival Wurramara told National Indigenous Times she was excited to be returning to Adelaide and performing at BlackYard Picnic.

“I’m so very excited to be playing on that beautiful country. I have such good memories there and I have some family coming to the show, so this one is going to be a very special one,” she said.

“I’ll be performing songs from my last album Milyakburra, and because I know there will be bubbas there I’ll also be singing songs from my kids EP Ayarra Emeba as well as my new singles, 'Midnight Blues' and 'Magic Woman Dancing'.”

First Nations musician Emily Wurramara performing at BlakYard Picnic. (Image: Ben Searcy) 

An ARIA Award nominee, Wurramara has a stellar live reputation, having graced stages across the country both as a headliner and support act for muscians and bands such as Midnight Oil, Jack Johnson, Michael Franti, Rob Thomas, and Mavis Staples.

When speaking about sharing the stage with other talented First Nations artists performing at the picnic, Wurramara said she was eager to watch mob take to the stage.

“It’s such a beautiful lineup. I’m most excited to see sissy Katie Aspel play and Nimpala Rose. I honestly just love seeing mob and sharing the stage together just makes it 100 times better,” she said. 

First Nations musician Marlon Motlop performing at BlakYard Picnic. (Image: Ben Searcy) 


Also debuting at the event was Water Rites, a body of work produced by Tjarutja Dance Theatre for Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institute.

The performance strived to explore the traditional customs and relationships with the rivers and sea surrounding our Ngarrindjeri Nations utilising movements and dance that blend feminine and masculine qualities with soft, ethereal motions.

In addition to the weekend’s captivating performances, BlakYard Picnic saw attendees enjoy a cultural feast, hands-on art workshops led by local artisans, a mini arts market and a selection of market food stalls.

Created by Carclew - South Australia’s largest multi-art form and cultural organisation dedicated to artistic outcomes by and for people aged 26 and under – BlakYard Picnic celebrated First Nations culture alongside some of the nation's most talented artists with a variety of engaging activities.  

“While we’re sad it’s over, we’re proud to have brought the community together to celebrate First Nations culture and we’re excited to see Carclew’s impact on our community – so watch this space," the Carclew Team said.

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