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DOBBY and SOLCHLD to headline celebration of multicultural creatives

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Aboriginal Filipino rapper, DOBBY, joined by special guests L-FRESH The LION and Sereen Omran, at the celebration of multicultural creatives.

Filipino, Murrawarri and Ngemba artist, DOBBY will be joined by special guests, Aussie hip hop legend, L-FRESH The LION, and hard-hitting Palestinian-Australian creative, Sereen Omran, for a one-of-a-kind performance at New Beginnings Festival.

The festival, produced by the non-profit SSI, is being held on the wharves of the National Maritime Museum on Saturday, January 27, from 3 -11 pm.

“New Beginnings is an important part of our summer Wonderwater program that is full of family-friendly activities for kids of all ages,” said Daryl Karp, CEO and Director of the Australian National Maritime Museum.

DOBBY is set to perform unique collaborations with the duo, as well as his latest release ANCESTOR as a headliner at Sydney Festival’s most iconic celebration of refugee, migrant and First Nations artists.

An electrifying storyteller, whose 2020 single, ‘I Can’t Breathe,’ became an anthem for Australia’s Blak Lives Matter movement, DOBBY is expected to play unreleased tracks from his highly anticipated album, WARRANGU; RIVER STORY.

“I played New Beginnings Festival in 2022. That show was special for me, it marked a new stage in my career and became one of my favourite shows I’ve played,” said DOBBY.

“I’m so excited to join the wholesome, vibrant and joyous array of acts again at this year’s New Beginnings Festival!”

DOBBY is co-headlining the festival with rising Afro-Caribbean, Arrernte RnB and neo-soul artist SOLCHLD, alongside a lineup of Aussie artists from 15+ cultural backgrounds.

“I’m also really excited to have my good friends L-FRESH The LION and Sereen joining me on the stage for this special show!”

SSI’s New Beginnings Festival began in 2014 as a platform to use arts and culture to build bridges between refugee communities and wider Australia. From its origins, the event has evolved to include a strong representation of both migrant and First Nations artists in recognition that true inclusion can only be achieved by acknowledging and celebrating diversity.

“As one of the most multicultural countries in the world, Australia’s creative industry is home to a melting pot of ideas, cultures, and talents. New Beginnings Festival embodies our diversity by showcasing an eclectic mix of music, dance, art, culture, and food from Australia’s leading culturally and linguistically diverse artists and entrepreneurs,” Raphael Brasil, SSI Arts and Culture Producer.

Other New Beginnings Festival performers include:

  • East-African pop band, ChikChika, which draws upon the rich traditions of both Tigrinya and Oromo music, with a healthy influence from contemporary Australia.
  • DJ Deepa from Kerfew, an Australia-wide creative collective of South Asian musicians, designers and broadcasters who use art as a vehicle to explore, reimagine and celebrate cultures and stories.
  • Reggae Powerhouse, The Strides, whose music builds on the foundations of classic roots reggae with a hip-hop edge, forging a sound that brings together modern dance hall, dub beats and reggae-pop.
  • Internationally acclaimed musician, Avaye Rood, presents a blend of Persian-inspired original music, combining English and Persian poems by Rumi.
  • Ghana Road Show is an engaging combination of circus, dance, and music that will take you on a journey through West Africa.
  • The Curious Works Showcase is an exhibition featuring visual art photography, and digital art that provides insight into the experiences of three refugee artists.

After a turnout of nearly 6,000 Sydneysiders in 2023, New Beginnings Festival is again featuring as one of Sydney Festival’s major events, enabling underground artists and hidden gem stall holders to display their talents to an even wider audience.

Guests can explore food stalls featuring cuisine from Jamaica to the Pacific Islands, to Sierra Leone, and market stalls with entrepreneurs selling wares from First Nations, refugee and migrant backgrounds.

“Now in its eighth year, New Beginnings Festival has showcased more than 363 performers and artists from across 80+ cultures – giving the public the opportunity to discover creatives often outside of their circle of understanding,” added Brasil

“Fostering a rich and diverse multicultural society is vital for all of us. Events such as the New Beginnings Festival play a unique role in igniting broader conversations about how we can foster a more inclusive society,” added Karp.

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Menchie Khairuddin is a writer Deputy Content Manager at Akolade and content producer for Third Sector News. She is passionate about social affairs specifically in mixed, multicultural heritage and not-for-profit organisations.


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