The always highly anticipated Black Gully Festival is set to kick off on Saturday, November 11th, 2023, in the scenic Black Gully Reserve (behind NERAM on the south side of the creek).
This free, family-friendly event celebrates the vibrant spirit of Armidale as the weather warms up, offering a day filled with music, art, environmental and community engagement. The festival promises an entertaining experience for attendees of all ages.
The heart of the festival lies in its live music performances, taking place from 10am to 8pm across three stages. Showcasing the exceptional talent within the region, local bands, soloists, and small groups will captivate audiences with a diverse range of musical styles presented by The Musicians of Armidale. An acoustic stage will be hosted in the NERAM Café courtyard and Six Counties will be open to provide coffee and lunch while you listen.
Complementing the music program is a fantastic range of activities, workshops, and a maker’s market that will showcase the creations of local artisans. Food stalls will be available throughout the day and night, ensuring attendees are well-fed and there will be art making activities for kids.
The festival’s commitment to the environment continues with displays from organizations such as Southern New England Landcare, and Sustainable Living Armidale and back by popular demand are the slow living workshops covering topics such as permaculture, composting, fermentation and the Fix It tent.
This year, festival partners Armidale Tree Group and New England Regional Art Museum are celebrating their 40th anniversaries. Pop over to NERAM to explore their current exhibitions including Inspirations and Iterations features 40 works selected from NERAM’s collections, along with 40 original contemporary responses by invited artists. In its 40 years of operation the Armidale Tree Group has grown and planted millions of native trees and shrubs to create and sustain biodiversity in our local environment, this will be marked at the festival with a campaign to raise funds for a new bridge in Black Gully to complete the Mike O’Keeffe Woodland and for continuing tree planting projects.
As a community-driven event, the Black Gully Festival is known for its surprises and unexpected activities. Look out this year for the Giant 5m high Koala and her baby who will be on site. Festival goers are encouraged to bring a folding chair, a water bottle, a coffee cup, and considering the possibility of hot weather, good sun protection.
Thanks to the support of Arts North West, Armidale Regional Council, and local sponsors, the Black Gully Festival remains free and accessible to all ages. The festival’s success is also indebted to the contributions of numerous volunteers and equipment loans from the community.
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