Hand in Hand, the inaugural Kidogo Irish Aboriginal Festival is a celebration of the love stories and friendships shared between Irish people and Aboriginal people in Western Australia.
This unique and relatively unknown connection is embraced in a program including live music connecting Irish and Western Australian performers, poetry, books, exhibitions, dance, friendly AFL and GAA football and even a soda-bread versus damper cook-off. A 10 metre-high mega projection wall will feature a virtual greeting from His Excellency Mr Breandán Ó Caollaí, Ambassador of Ireland to Australia and internationally renowned Irish musicians in a virtual performance from lockdown in Ireland. It is a mix of free and ticketed events and runs from 12-14 March with a special St Patrick’s Day program on 17 March.
Producer and Artistic Director of Kidogo Arthouse, Joanna Robertson said, “This is a celebration of two cultures that has never been done before. There are long familial and friendship connections between the local aboriginal community and the Irish people that arrived in Australia. This festival is an opportunity to recognise them and create new and exciting creative collaborations between Ireland and Australia.”
“We have Irish and Aboriginal musicians songwriting together. Famous musicians in Ireland delighted to perform virtually at this Festival – as they cannot perform and have not been able to do so for months.”
Legendary Irish folk singer-songwriter Luka Bloom will perform virtually on the 10-metre high mega projection wall, as will award winning folk artist Daoiri Farrell (Van Diemen’s Land) and star of the viral airport performance viewed by 17 million people, and critically acclaimed singer songwriter SON (Susan O’Neill). Aboriginal performers include Olive Knight Kankawa Nagarra, the world-travelled, legendary Blues singer from the Kimberley, The Yabu Band and Dave Milroy & The Wilarra Band.
Hand in Hand commences on Friday 12 March at 6pm with a Welcome to Country and smoking ceremony with Traditional Owner Walter McGuire. It is followed by traditional Noongar Dance by Tjukan Keeninyirra (Dancing Sisters) and performances by The Yabu Band; music of The Cranberries & The Corrs by Fieldsy & The Corrberries; and visiting Irish musicians and songwriters. A virtual greeting from His Excellency Mr Breandán Ó Caollaí, Ambassador of Ireland to Australia will screen on the 10 Metre Mega Projection Wall followed by virtual performances by Daoiri Farrell, Luka Bloom and SON (Susan O’Neill). There will be BBQ catering, a singalong and traditional Irish session after the performances. The Warlayirti Artists from Balgo WA will hold an Exhibition inside the gallery at Kidogo Arthouse which will be open from 4pm.
On Saturday 13 March the program is all about the collaboration between Irish and aboriginal musicians and songwriters. Well known WA musicians including Ciaran O’Sullivan, John Barrett, Kenneth Dawson, Lucky Oceans and Brian Rice Dalton perform live. The 10 Metre Mega Projection Wall features virtual performances by Daoiri Farrell, Luka Bloom and SON (Susan O’Neill). It is followed each night by the premiere of Fremantle -based Irish musician Ciaran O’Sullivan’s animated music video for his new single from his upcoming debut album. The night will end with a singalong and traditional Irish session.
On Sunday 14 March there will be free events on the lawn and inside Kidogo Arthouse from 11-5pm, including traditional Irish music with Sean Doherty’s Comhaltas branch, an AFL & GAA Friendly Footy game, dance performances, Book Launch of Peter Murphy’s “Fenian 63”, Fenians Festival readings and the Perth Irish Choir. From 5pm it will be a ticketed event with Ciaran O’Sullivan and Brian Finnemore followed by Dave Milroy, Lucky Oceans, LauraLee Faith & The Wilarra Band, the 10 Metre Mega Projection Wall features virtual performances by Daoiri Farrell, Luka Bloom, and SON (Susan O’Neill) followed by The Rogues band. The night will end with a singalong and traditional Irish session.
On St Patrick’s Day, Wednesday 17 March, doors open from 4pm and the ticketed events are from 6pm. There will be live music by superb local Irish musician Donough O’Donovan and his friends, an open mic, a singalong and traditional Irish session, BBQ Catering, the Warlayirti Artists Exhibition, and virtual performances by Daoiri Farrell, Luka Bloom, and SON (Susan O’Neill) projected onto the North facing wall of Kidogo Arthouse.
Hand in Hand Performers & Partners
The Yabu Band • Welcome to Country & Smoking Ceremony by Walter McGuire • The Rogues • Traditional Noongar Dance by Tjukan Keeninyirra (Dancing Sisters) • Ciaran O’Sullivan • Fieldsy & The Corrberries • Dave Milroy & The Wilarra Band • Kenneth Dawson • Bryan Rice Dalton • Lucky Oceans • Kavisha Mazzella • Giri Mazzella • Máirtín O’Dubhlaigh •Brian Finnemore •John Barrett • Fiona Doyle • John Reed • Lauralee Faith • Rose Parker • Sharyn Egan • Fiona Rea • Dan Ablett • Donough O’Donovan • Tommy O’Brien • John Clare • Comhaltas Perth,Sean Doherty Branch Traditional Irish Music • Fenians, Fremantle & Freedom Festival Readings • The Perth Irish Choir • Poetry • Peter Murphy’s “Fenian 63” book launch • Friendly Footy GAA + AFL • Irish Soda-bread vs. Damper Cook-off • Warlayirti Artists Exhibition (Balgo, WA) • Mr Martin Kavanagh, Ireland’s Honorary Consul in Western Australia • 10-Metre Mega Projection Wall • Virtual Performances by Daoiri Farrell, Luka Bloom, and SON (Susan O’Neill); and a Greeting by His Excellency Breandán Ó Caollaí, Ambassador of Ireland to Australia.
General Admission $60
General Admission – Friends of Kidogo $50
General Admission – Professional Musicians $25 – Request Access
Kidogo Arthouse is a bustling independent art centre located at the water’s edge at Bathers Beach in Fremantle, Western Australia
Location: Kidogo Arthouse, Rear 47 Mews Road, Bathers Beach, Fremantle, Western Australia