The Gulf Country Frontier Days Festival, a four-day music, dance and culture extravaganza (16-19 August) located in remote North-West Queensland, has announced its 2018 programming.
Previously held at Burketown, this year will be the first time the festival has taken place at Gregory Downs, which is a particularly special location for festival organisers Alec and Amy Doomadgee. “This festival changes lives,” Alec says.
”Traditionally in the Lower Gulf region women have held the cradle of Aboriginal society. Women held the Coolamon and somewhere along the line it’s been knocked out of their hands, so we’ve created a festival that places it back in their arms, thus placing women back in their power.
“Further to that is the aim to create a union, to reinstate the family circle so father and mother become one again, like yin and yang or yothu yindi. I’m pleased to see this year’s NAIDOC Week theme ‘Because of Her We Can’ resonates with what we are doing up here.”
The festival is owned and operated by Goodidja Productions, which was founded by Alec and Amy and remains an entirely Indigenous enterprise that aims to bring together and celebrate the many cultures of the Lower Gulf region, and drives to create positive change.
Gulf Country Frontier Days, which takes place on Waanyi land, features an incredible dance programme titled the Kabarrubi Wangkijbi Dance Spectacular, and includes renowned Native American dance troupe Indigenous Enterprise, along with Native Canadian actor/ dancer Eugene Brave Rock.
Other attendees from the United States include Kenneth Shirley, demonstrating the Men's Fancy Dance, and Shaina Nizhoné Snyder, demonstrating the Jingle Dress style.
From the local Waanyi region comes the Buminji Dancers, with various other Indigenous troupes coming from across the country. A troupe from the Torres Strait is also joining the programme as well as Te Pu o Te Wheke Kapahaka of New Zealand.
There is also a stellar line-up of musicians set to play the festival, including Archie Roach and Yirrmal as well as American artist Micki Free and New Zealand's Katchafire.
Other events at the festival include the hugely popular Indigenous rodeo as well as the Rodeo Queen & Princess Ball & Pageant.
2018 Gulf Country Frontier Days Festival Dance Spectacular
Jorge Gonzales-Zuniga Jr
Te Pu o Te Wheke Kapahaka
Jamaal Isaac Jones
Shaina Nizhoné Snyder
Eugene Brave Rock
2018 Gulf Country Frontier Days Festival Music Line-up
Yothu Yindi and the Treaty Project
Bennet Bowtell & Urquhart
Friends and Family play Warumpi Band