National treasure, Archie Roach is thrilled to announce the launch of the inaugural THE ARCHIE ROACH FOUNDATION STAGE at 2022 Port Fairy Folk Festival. The stage will be curated by Archie Roach and the local Gunditjmara community of southwest Victoria, and will provide the opportunity to share the ancient knowledge of the Gunditjmara people through dance, art, music, storytelling and conversations about native plants and bush medicines.
"It's very important and culturally significant that we, as the Gunditjmara community in southwest Victoria, can share our culture which has existed for well over sixty thousand years, with the rest of the community, especially those attending the folk festival," explains Archie. "For me personally, it's huge! I was taken away as a child from my mother's country when only two years old. To come back to my community and to be able to present our culture on the Archie Roach Foundation stage would not have happened if I had not found my way back to my people. The local Gunditjmara community will be programming the stage and that's what is exciting about this idea. We are only limited by our imagination. I am very grateful to both RISE and Port Fairy Folk Festival for getting behind this, and I'm so stoked and can't wait to present something exceptional!"
Archie will unveil the first episode of Kitchen Table Yarns - his twelve-part YouTube series initiated to support emerging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander singer songwriters. Episode one will see Archie invite the supremely talented Yorta Yorta woman, Allara Briggs Pattison to yarn with him (via zoom) at his kitchen table to share stories about her songs, her community and her language.
With thanks to Creative Victoria and the Australia Council For The Arts for making this project possible, this incredible series will be a story of intergenerational celebration and connection through music. The first episode is released on August 4, and the second and third episodes featuring Rulla Mansell & Marlon Motlop will land at 5pm AEST on August 18, and Lydia Fairhall at 5pm AEST on September 1. And then new episodes will drop at 5pm AEST on the first Wednesday of each month thereafter, all available to stream on Archie Roach's YouTube channel www.youtube.com/archieroachmusic
"When I started off in music nobody had much of a clue about who I was and what I was writing about," Archie explains. "I was considered a curiosity. Yarning at my kitchen table with these young artists will help people understand who they are and give them another platform to promote their music. The kitchen table has always been a place of inspiration for me. It's a place where I've written most of my songs, drank many cups of tea, ate meals, played music whilst my children ran around making plenty of noise. It represents family, community and love. We thought it would be a great idea to have a YouTube series and conversation at the kitchen table."
"It's important their voices are heard so they don't have to go through what I went through. They are our future and when the time comes for us older singer songwriters to finish up we know it's in good hands."
And it is bittersweet that today Archie has been announced on the lineup for Queenscliff Music Festival set to take place on November 26, 27 and 28 this year, but regrettably also today announces the rescheduling of his nine-date regional NSW tour due to the evolving COVID-19 circumstances in NSW. All tickets purchased will be honoured for the new dates (which will be announced in the coming weeks), without need for exchange.
"We are sorry to inform you that we had to reschedule the NSW regional tour that was going to happen in August - to early next year because of the current COVID situation," explains Archie,"Please hold on to your tickets, as we are really looking forward to catching up with you early next year. I hope everybody stays safe during these uncertain times. Look after yourselves."
Tune in to each episode at youtube.com/archieroachmusic