Bluesfest gets Indigenous stage

At last week’s opening of the InDIG stage are (from left) Yvonne Stewart, Troy Cassar-Daley, Lewis Walker, Mick Kay, Peter Noble and (front) Peter Marshall.
At last week’s opening of the InDIG stage are (from left) Yvonne Stewart, Troy Cassar-Daley, Lewis Walker, Mick Kay, Peter Noble and (front) Peter Marshall.
EAST Coast Blues and Roots Festival director Peter Noble has achieved many milestones and seen many dreams come true in his career, but none has have been quite so poignant as the launch last week of a new stage at this year’s Bluesfest which will showcase Australia’s best Indigenous musicians and artists.

The InDIG stage will be one of the highlights of the 2009 festival which is celebrating its 20th birthday.
At the launch at the Byron @ Byron Resort last Wednesday, Mr Noble said dreams do come true.
“I just have to pinch myself when I think about Bluesfest and the launch of this new stage,” he said.
“I am so proud. This is one of my greatest moments.

“Bluesfest has won many international awards over the years, but I would have to say that this is just the best.”

 Mr Noble said the new stage would give Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders the opportunity to show off their singing, dancing and their traditions.

“We have the full support of the local Arakwal people and our guest artists are really looking forward to performing on the new stage,” he said.

“Bluesfest is all about the music.

“What would our lives be like without music?

“I just couldn’t imagine it – it’s the universal language.”

 The launch of the InDIG stage has also been supported by Events NSW.

Events NSW general manager John Montgomery said Bluesfest was one of the world’s best music festivals.

He said 80,000 people attended the five-day festival and it injected $13.5 million into the local and State economy.

“The festival is more than just a big blues gig, it’s a home-grown event that is supported by the local community and we look forward to what the next 20 years will bring,” Mr Montgomery said.
“The launch of the new Indigenous stage will rejuvenate the spirit of the festival.

“This is an iconic event and I congratulate everyone for making the InDIG stage a reality.”

 Arakwal spokesperson Yvonne Stewart said it was about time that Bluesfest had a stage for Indigenous people.

“Every site that Bluesfest has been held on has been sacred land and of great cultural significance to the Bundjalung people,” she said.

The new InDIG stage has been named ‘Bumbaline’ after Yvonne’s great-great-grandfather, Bobby Bumbaline.

The launch also featured Bundjalung dances and a surprise performance by one of Australia’s greatest country music stars, Troy Cassar-Daley.

Troy, who is also a Bundjalung man, said he was thrilled to perform at the launch.
“From little things big things grow,” he said. “It’s such a privilege to be here.”

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