Events like the Yarrabah Music and Cultural Festival in north Queensland bring people together to celebrate and showcase the power of language in music.

11 October 2019

The Festival was funded through the Australian Government’s Festivals Australia program and 2019 was the first year the event was hosted over two days – in a special celebration of the International Year of Indigenous Languages.

‘Over the last few years, Yarrabah's really engaged in cultural transmission of the local dialect,’ said Ross Andrews, Mayor of Yarrabah Shire Council.

‘I think the more we can preserve it for our young kids and the future generations, the better we will be as Indigenous people because it is an attachment to us and we should never lose language, art, culture. It's part of our life.’

The theme of language was prevalent throughout the festival with big acts such as Yothu Yindi and Baker Boy performing some of their songs in language.

‘Language means everything,’ said Elverina Johnson, producer of Music and Cultural Festival.

‘It's one part of the puzzle that keeps us connected to our country and connected to the people and the stories.”

Applications for this year’s Festivals Australia funding close on 18 October at 5pm AEDT for projects commencing from 1 February 2020.

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