View Menu

Remote Artist Access Initiative Brings Two Remote Kimberley Bands to festival Stages!

16 Feb

Kimberley acts Rocky Ridge Band and Main River Band are the first two bands to benefit from a landmark new scheme to boost touring and performance opportunities for remote First Nations artists at major festivals.

The Nannup Music Festival, Perth Festival and West Australian Music (WAM) are proud to partner in delivering the new Remote Artist Access Pilot Initiative (RAA) thanks to support from the State Government’s Contemporary Music Grant Fund. The exciting new program aims to support and enhance career opportunities for remote community First Nations artists through providing major festival performance opportunities and funding for travel and accommodation.

The Rocky Ridge Band and Main River Band hail from WA’s Kimberley region. The two bands have created strong profiles throughout the region and were featured on WAM‘s Sounds of The Kimberley compilation album release (May 2020). Both artists’ tracks were selected as singles and serviced to radio nationally in the lead up to the album release. ‘Indigenous people’ by Rocky Ridge Band and ‘Wet Season’ by Main River Band garnered great traction across ABC stations and community radio whilst racking up tens of thousands of streams on digital platforms.

Rocky Ridge Band are a family band from Wangkatjungka, a remote Aboriginal community in the Fitzroy Valley, where Wangkatjungka, Walmajarri and Gooniyandi people live with strong links to their desert culture. The band blend country music and desert reggae in alluring songs about the power of music to heal, their land, their family, their culture and life in the Kimberley. In early 2018 the band released their debut EP ‘Mardoowarra’ through Desert Feet records. The EP has garnered almost 50K streams and their single ‘Wangkatjungka Woman’ earned a nomination in the 2018 WAM Song of The Year Indigenous category.

One of the Kimberley’s most loved current acts, Main River Band are Gooniyandi people of the famous Fitzroy Valley. The band hails from Girriyoowa community, an outstation of Yiyili community, located 175 km east of Fitzroy Crossing. Main River Band write songs that describe the love for their country, people and families and have toured to Derby, Turkey Creek, Fitzroy Crossing, Halls Creek and Wyndham. They played at last year’s NAIDOC week festival in Port Hedland and have performed at the Garnduwa Festival in Fitzroy Crossing.

Perth Festival’s Iain Grandage says “We are so thrilled to have these phenomenal artists join us and to be able to share their stories with our Perth audiences. It’s a beautiful thing to be able to bring remote sounds to the city and we are delighted to work alongside WAM and Nannup Music Festival through the RAA initiative. It will be an incredibly joyous night – one not to be missed.”

Nannup Music Festival’s Phaedra Watts commented of the new initiative, ‘It is always such an honour to be able to work with and showcase remote musicians. Our audience welcomes and embraces them with the same passion I have in programming them, whilst the artists get to experience something new, on new country. The collaboration with Perth Festival and WAM is really exciting – something pretty special could evolve from this.’

You can catch Rocky Ridge Band and Main River Band live on stage at the below shows!

State Theatre Courtyard
Thursday 25 February 2021 | 8pm-11pm

Saturday 27 February 2021
Sunday 28 February 2021

Government of Western Australia Department of Culture and The ArtsGovernment of Western Australia Department of Culture and The Arts

WAM is supported by the State Government through the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries and Lottery West, and is assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.