On Saturday 6 November at 4:30 pm Bunyapa Park will come alive with a free community event featuring some deadly local Meanjin artists; Dancing Water and Sachém. Two incredible groups with strong First Nations voices, both on the rise, doing great things musically and within the community. Dancing Water bringing a new wave of neo-soul fused with heavy riffs and spoken word; whilst rapper, singer, and spoken-word poet Sachém will be bringing his incredible debut EP “Part of the Picture” to life with a full band. Inspired by societal injustices and the drive for global equity, both artists will be speaking truths, through the power of music, as we hope to bring people together and celebrate our community.

Originally this event came about following the development of the Sideshow West End Fringe Program in late 2020 which was supported by Arts Queensland through the Play Local Fund. Developed by me and produced and delivered by with the team at the Sideshow Hub, we included Dancing Water’s debut EP release as part of the program along with other First Nations artists JK-47 and the Boy of Many Colours. Following this I spoke with front woman Nadine from Dancing Water about putting on a free event, inspired by Sampa the Great’s Bunyapa concert which had hundreds of people spilling out into the street during sunset.

Dancing Water, Kurand Roots

The significance of Bunyapa Park is a big part of the intention behind this event, as many residents are already aware, the Aboriginal word ‘bunya’ describes a native pine tree species which produces large edible nuts, but also the festivals which were held in the Bunya Mountains, when clans from across Southeast Queensland gathered to harvest bunya nuts. The Bunya Festivals were a time of celebration, ceremony and strengthening communal ties. Local elders chose the word ‘Bunyapa’ (‘place of bunya’) for this park, in the hope that it too will be a hub for community and celebration.

The music that both Sachem and Dancing Water write is driven by their culture and their experiences; it has fire, it is truth telling, and it is passionate. The importance of playing at Bunyapa Park and bringing community together in this way, on this spot, is the desire to bring the intention of the Elders who named this park together with the young people of the community, with the support of the Gabba Ward and the wider community in West End.

We hope to see people sharing in this experience, celebrating this cross-section of culture, creating some joyful memories, and supporting local Meanjin artists.

Come down to Bunyapa Blak Out, kicking off at 4:30 pm on Saturday 6 November.

Thanks to Jonathan Sri and the Gabba Ward for supporting us, with support from the Lord Mayors Community fund, this project is also support by Arts Queensland, and the Sideshow Hub .

Images supplied. Cover image, Sachem