All tastes to be catered for with a genre-crossing day of ‘Free and Live’ music

Lottie Twyford 4 May 2021
The Super Rats

The Super Rats will bring their eclectic energy to Belco Arts on Saturday, 8 May 2021. Photo: CIMF.

A diverse range of artists and performers will take to the stages, galleries and foyers of Belconnen Arts Centre this weekend, bringing a mix of traditional and contemporary jazz and blues, hip-hop, gypsy, folk and more.

It’s all part of an entirely free collaboration between the Canberra International Music Festival (CIMF) and Belco Arts.

Free and Live will kick off on Saturday (8 May) and run from 10:00 am to 4:30 pm.

Performances will span multiple genres and disciplines, and it’s hoped the day will engage a broad demographic.

The program has been created so that visitors can take a journey throughout the day – enjoying the acts and the gallery installations.

“There’s to be an eclectic and interesting mix of artists performing in our new as well as old spaces,” Belco Arts Live Programs Officer Chenoeh Miller said.

“Both gallery and performance spaces are going to be activated, and it’s really something we’ve never tried before. Each of the performances is going to be repeated a couple of times on the day so that you don’t miss out on anything.”

Visitors are encouraged to come along and stay for as little or as long as they’d like. If the weather is good, bring a lakeside picnic to enjoy in the nearby John Knight Memorial Park.

“The theatre bar will also be open from 10:00 am for those eager beavers,” Chenoeh said.


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The day will begin with the big brass sounds of the Golden Gate Brass Quintet, followed by Jess Green, the writer of the Skywhale theme song.

The energy for the day will well and truly kick off with beats and groove sounds from DJ Diola in the Theatre Foyer.

“We’re really excited to have DJ Diola here, she’s a bit of a powerhouse in the industry and this will be a real highlight for me personally,” Chenoeh said.

Visitors can head back to the Theatre for a spiritual sound bath from leading composer Kim Cunio, Aria award-winning vocalist Heather Lee and their son Samurai.

According to Chenoeh, this is one very talented family and one performance that is not to be missed.


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Things heat up with Canberra’s own toe-tapping Romanian gypsy folk band Super Rats featuring Coolio Desgracias in the Rehearsal Room.

There will also be the classical strains of the Wesley Music Scholars in the Generator Gallery followed by the eclectic songs of the Woden Valley Youth Choir.

Finish the afternoon with the very special final performance of the day – Tiwi Strong Women sharing traditional Indigenous island culture and songs learnt from their mothers and grandmothers incorporated with a jazzy, bluesy vibe.

“And this is what I really love about the day. Many performances are angled towards tradition but with a contemporary twist that makes them really interesting and exciting,” Chenoeh said.

For more information, visit Belco Arts.


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