25 August 2023 | Media Release

Cairns Festival opens today (August 25) with an historic cleansing ceremony combining First Nations  groups and Elders on the grounds of the Court House Gallery.

Led by Gujara Dancers, Gimuy Walabara Yidinji Dancers and Minjil, the Buluru Yangajin ceremony  unites representatives from the Djabugay, Kunggandji and Kuku Yalanji Nations to stand in solidarity with the Yidinji Nation to honour the stories of past to allow genuine healing moving forward.

The ceremony commences at 4.30pm with a blessing and Elders and representatives from each group will create the fire for a smoking ceremony.

The night at Festival HQ at the Court House Gallery continues with a celebration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture with vibrant dances and fabulous music and song, from angelic harmonies to Hip-hop, featuring Thursday Island maestro MauPower.

The awe-inspiring Reef Lights show will run from 7pm along the Esplanade until 8.30pm with the plaza end of the lagoon a great spot to record the action.

Sam Hales, leader singer of The Jungle Giants, headline act for Cairns Festival, said he couldn’t wait to join the festival party at Munro Martin Parklands on Saturday, September 2.

“We are so excited. I love Cairns! I live in Melbourne, so going to Far North Queensland for some heat, sun and the tropical landscape is exciting.

“It has been five years since we played in Cairns, so this is well overdue. I’m excited to see the energy we can pull when we get there,” he said.

The official Cairns Festival program of events features the extraordinary showcase of talent, innovation and imagination brought together for 10 days of celebration in the arts and cultural capital of Far North Queensland, along with show times and whether individual events are free or ticketed.

Festival highlights this year include Saturday’s Grand Parade and fireworks display on the Esplanade, indie-rock sensation the Jungle Giants at Munro Martin Parklands, the world premiere of Gulgi-barra dance work by Miriki Performing Arts, and a music and fun-packed Carnival on Collins.

Cairns Festival runs from Friday, August 25, until Sunday, September 3. For the full program of music, theatre, film, dance and events and more information go to www.cairnsfest.com.au.

Source: cairns.qld.gov.au

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