28 January 2024

Headliners and free transport announced for multicultural festival serving up feast for senses

| Claire Fenwicke
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people at a multicultural festival stall

More than 170 cultures and countries will be represented at the 2024 National Multicultural Festival in Canberra. Photo: Lucy Ridge.

Canberrans will be able to take advantage of free public transport for this year’s National Multicultural Festival.

Free shuttle buses were available last year but this year both bus and light-rail options will be free from 4:30 pm on Friday, 16 February, until end of services on Sunday, 18 February.

Transport Minister Chris Steel encouraged Canberrans to avoid traffic snarls and parking gridlock by utilising the free public transport across the festival weekend.

“Last year’s festival saw the biggest attendance ever and we anticipate large crowds again. Road closures will be in place around the city, and we are encouraging visitors to plan their travel in advance,” he said.

“Public transport is the best way to get to the city, and with free travel in place for the duration of the festival, it’s never been easier to come along and enjoy the fun.”

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The key program and event details have also been released, with the entertainment program to be headlined by future soul R&B artist Ngaiire, funk hip-hop creative Citizen Kay, and world percussion ensemble Taikoz.

Canberra-based artist Citizen Kay couldn’t believe he’d been given the chance to headline one of Canberra’s largest events.

“Getting to headline such an iconic Canberra and national event like the National Multicultural Festival is an incredible honour and something I never thought would happen,” he said.

“I go to the festival every year and am really excited to be part of it this year and play some new music.”

The Territory’s 26th National Multicultural Festival will be held in the CBD and Glebe Park.

More than 170 multicultural communities will be represented at the event, sharing their culture, history and heritage through food, art, song and dance.

The Slovenian Australian Association of Canberra has been represented at the festival since the event’s beginnings almost 50 years ago.

In a statement, the club said members couldn’t wait to be involved once again.

“One of the initial aims of the festival was to introduce multiculturalism to the people in Canberra, by celebrating and sharing the rich varied cultures within the community of the ACT and its surrounds,” it stated.

“We are proud to be sharing our food and culture with the wider community all these years later.”

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International performers, award-winning national artists and talented locals will all make their mark during the event.

Popular festival workshops and family activities will also be held in Civic Library and the Canberra Museum and Gallery.

Multicultural Affairs Minister Mick Gentleman encouraged everyone to check out the event program and footprint to see how they could potentially spread their attendance across all three days of the festival.

“No matter which day or time you choose to attend, you’ll be able to see great entertainment spread out over eight stages in the city, eat your way around the globe with hundreds of amazing food stalls and share in a great range of activities,” he said.

“The strong engagement of Canberra’s multicultural community over the past 26 years has made our annual festival a true celebration of diversity in a harmonious, friendly atmosphere.

“The diverse line-up of artists is guaranteed to deliver an unforgettable festival for everyone.”

The full program and timetable can be found at the National Multicultural Festival website.

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