Festival line-up announced

Dan Sultan is the headline act for the 2024 Yabaardu Festival. PHOTO: MICHELLE GRACE HUNDER
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Ceduna’s Yabaardu music festival promises to celebrate Eyre Peninsula’s Indigenous culture and community bigger and better than ever in 2024 – with the much-loved Dan Sultan announced as headline act for the all-Aboriginal showpiece.

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As one of Australia’s preeminent and most-famed First Nations’ artists, Dan is sure to woo what is expected to be a large crowd at the Far West Aboriginal Sporting Complex on July 19, with his iconic “country soul rock and roll” set to take centre stage.

Across a decorated career Dan has seven ARIA awards to his name, along with multiple top five ARIA-charting albums as well as an ARIA-certified gold record.

The singer-songwriter has headlined countless sold-out tours, supported the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Midnight Oil and Vance Joy, and has featured at Australia’s biggest festivals – including Splendour in the Grass, Byron Bay Bluesfest and Falls Festival.

Balya Productions executive producer and Yabaardu event organiser Letisha Ackland – a proud Kokatha, Wirangu and Mirning woman – said excitement levels were building for the event.

“It’s been really well received by community, we dropped the whole line-up all together, it’s been super exciting to get that out into community and seeing the positive reaction,” she said.

The Yabaardu organiser believed Dan to be the “perfect fit” for the all-ages, family friendly festival.

“Dan’s just released a new album, he’s on the up and he’s really come into his own, he’s a great musician, I think he’s a great fit, a good balance for the community with older crew and younger crew,” Letisha said.

“I think a lot of the oldies in particular really love his music, they’re big fans, he just has a great presence, his voice is amazing.”

Supporting Dan at Yabaardu will be fellow First Nations artists Barkaa and Kobie Dee, as well as Eyre Peninsula Indigenous acts A. Ware & Jusst, Shaun Miller, DJ Angel, DJ Sarz and DJ Phoenix, with Gemma Trueman to MC.

Letisha said the all-Indigenous festival was becoming a great platform for First Nations’ performers.

“Balya Productions is a big advocate for First Nations’ artists, whether they are established, emerging or in-between, Yabaardu is a space where we can put our artists up on the stage so the industry can see who these artists are and what they can do – it’s just black excellence on stage really,” she said

“We hope this puts a real positive focus on what Ceduna and the region has to offer, especially to have such an amazing community event that comes together and that’s what Yabaardu is – it means everyone.

“It is sacred ground over at the Far West Aboriginal Sporting Complex, it’s a very welcoming space for all to come and enjoy.”

The family-friendly festival will again play host to an array of children’s entertainment.

“The kids’ rides and amusements were a massive hit last year, I remember the kids just absolutely enjoying themselves, so all the rides are back, a lot of the same food vendors are back, a lot of those local resources and businesses are getting involved again, we’re excited,” Letisha said.

“The [state] government has also come on board with sponsoring the event this year, which is really lovely to have that commitment to South Australian regional events.” Last year’s Yabaardu drew a crowd of more than 2000 under perfect West Coast skies, with a similar attendance expected this year.

The 2024 showpiece kicks off at 1pm on Friday, July 19, which is during school holidays and follows NAIDOC Week.

Yabaardu is a free community event for all.

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