There are more things to do this Australia Day than you can poke a stick at, from a socially acceptable distance, of course.
Labelled The Great Aussie Picnic by organisers, this Australia Day will be a buzz of free entertainment hubs and one huge ticketed concert featuring live performances from Australian icons Lee Kernaghan, James Reyne and Daryl Braithwaite.
The National Capital Authority and National Australia Day Council, in association with Events ACT, will host the events at Lake Burley Griffin on 26 January.
CEO of the National Capital Authority Sally Barnes said each picnic hub will be marked with physically distanced picnic spaces to keep the community safe. There will also be plenty of room for you and your family and friends to groove along to the massive line-up of music on offer.
“On Australia Day, the central basin of Lake Burley Griffin will be a relaxed and safe space for people to come together and celebrate the importance of community as part of Australia Day,” Ms Barnes said.
Australia Day celebrations begin at 11:00 am. The bridge-to-bridge walk will be a buzz of entertainment with five free picnic-style hubs, while at the Ankle Biters Hub, there will be acrobats, live music from Tim & The Fuzzy Elbows, dance performances and more.
The Rhythm and Brews Hub will feature Canberra’s finest brews and live original music curated by Music ACT including Kim Yang, Lucy Sugerman and more.
The Rockin Regatta Hub will showcase local covers bands like Night Train, H-Cee Family and 5150, making it the perfect destination to celebrate the great Aussie pub songbook.
Over at Aspen Island, the Sand Grooves Hub will see Canberra’s very best DJs playing house music all day long, while the Garden Jive Hub will feature smooth jazz sounds from the J.E.P Trio, One Seventeen and more.
Each of the hubs is open from 11:00 am to 7:30 pm.
Fully licensed bars and a host of Canberra’s very best food trucks will be dishing up perfect Australia Day eats at all hub locations. Plan or pre-book a custom picnic hamper via Sweet Pea Catering or BYO eats. Just leave the alcohol at home as all hubs (excluding Ankle Biters) are fully licensed.
The main hub is a massive ticketed Stage 88 Australia Day Concert from 1:00 pm to 9:00 pm. It features a truly iconic music line-up including James Reyne, Daryl Braithwaite, Lee Kernaghan, Kingswood and Fanny Lumsden.
The concert is for all ages with socially distanced picnic-style seating available. Tickets are strictly limited and organisers strongly recommend buying early.
ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr said the modified event will ensure Canberrans can acknowledge Australia Day in a COVID-safe way, while CEO of the National Australia Day Council Karlie Brand is also encouraging the community to reflect, respect and celebrate their national day.
Performer Lee Kernaghan said he is looking forward to getting back on stage again and performing some great singalong tunes to a live audience.
“I’m really looking forward to being in our nation’s capital on Australia Day and sharing the stage with some of the all-time greats of Australian music,” Kernaghan said. “It’s always a spectacular day and an amazing feeling, coming together to celebrate the greatest country on earth.”
Safety marshals will help keep everyone COVID-safe at each picnic hub and direct attendees to hygiene facilities such as handwashing and sanitiser equipment.
Entry to each free picnic hub and the ticketed Stage 88 hub will require mandatory check-in with the Check-In CBR app. Please note you will not be allowed access if you do not use the app. Each of the event locations has been registered, so please charge your phone and familiarise yourself with the app.
Tickets for the Stage 88 Concert start at $29.95 plus booking fee and will be on sale from 8:00 am on 14 January via the Stage 88 website. Five dollars from every ticket sold will be donated to Fortem, which supports first-responder families to proactively look after their wellbeing and mental fitness.
More information on each of the hubs is also on The Great Aussie Picnic website.