Mushroom Group teams on First & Forever festival
Details have been announced of new Australian festival First & Forever, which will celebrate Blak excellence and contemporary First Nations culture and music.
Launched by Mushroom Group, the Victorian government and record label Bad Apples Music, the landmark event will take place at The Gathering Place, Hanging Rock (cap. 18,000) on Sunday 27 November.
Hand-picked by Bad Apples Music founder Briggs, artists will include Baker Boy, Budjerah, Jessica Mauboy, King Stingray, Sycco, Thelma Plum, Alice Skye, Busby Marou and Christine Anu.
“MG got the ball rolling. After he passed, the ball was in my court. I had to take it home”
Briggs reveals the festival came about through a chance meeting with late Mushroom founder Michael Gudinski.
“For years I’d had an idea for a First Nations-led contemporary music festival, something cool and boutique that was really about the music and culture,” he tells Concrete Playground. “When Gudinski called me about a similar idea he’d had, we found this really collaborative working relationship.
“We both had a passionate approach to Melbourne, Victorian music, and amplifying Blakfellas’ stories. MG got the ball rolling. After he passed, the ball was in my court. I had to take it home.”
Briggs co-curated the event with Paul Kelly after Gudinski had previously approached him about the idea backstage at a concert just over a week before he died.
“I said no to Michael many times over the years, and I said yes lots. I’m glad I said yes this last time”
“He was bubbling with ideas for a new project, a big concert with headlining First Nations artists,” says Kelly. “He urged me to get involved. I said no to Michael many times over the years, and I said yes lots. I’m glad I said yes this last time.”
General sale tickets go on sale on 14 October, priced AUD$79 (€52). Proceeds will be split between The Archie Roach Foundation and the Adam Briggs Foundation.
“Once Dad had an idea in his head, there was little chance of him letting it go,” adds Mushroom Group CEO Matt Gudinski. “To see another passion project of his come to fruition makes me very happy. Mushroom has always been a big supporter of First Nations artists for decades, and First & Forever is a celebration of the remarkable talent of this country’s First Nations artists.”
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