Parramatta is set to be transformed into a rich playground of cultural wonder when Parramasala returns with a bumper program featuring pumping live music, workshops for the whole family, incredible dance, delicious world delicacies and the iconic opening street parade.
“With Parramasala 2019 we’re really taking things to the next level,” said Festival Director Paul Osborne. “This year’s Festival is the biggest celebration of Sydney’s vibrant cross-section of cultures yet. From South America to Middle Eastern, Indigenous Australian to South East Asian, and everything in between.”
“Each day of the Festival will provide a unique experience and showcase the talents of Australia’s best multicultural artists, performers and community groups. We invite you to join us at Parramasala this year and the revel in the buzz and energy that the program offers.
Running from Friday 15 – Sunday 17 March, the 2019 program features the very best in international and local acts, including free concerts by singer-songwriter Thandi Phoenix, ARIA nominated rap-duo Remi Indigenous modern electric group Electric Fields, Sydney local CLYPSO and the widely-acclaimed, Sampa the Great.
Crowds will also enjoy the breathtaking Opening Night Parade and the inaugural Long Table Sunday Brunch – a shared multicultural and interfaith feast for all members of the community. Parramasala shines a spotlight on the real people who make up the living, beating heart of this city. It’s a warm invitation to revel in a kaleidoscope of cultures, from your next-door neighbours across greater Sydney and New South Wales.
Every year, the massive three-day extravaganza sees over 35,000 Sydneysiders converging on the streets, laneways and parklands of Parramatta. The city will transform into a cornucopia of awe-inspiring experiences, including cutting-edge live music, vivid dance and theatre, a breathtaking parade of splendid colour, spectacular costumes, and beating rhythms.
Highlights of the 2019 Parramasala program include:
The Welcome Parade of Parramasala 2019 will be an exciting and colourful kick-off to this three-day extravaganza of multicultural arts, food, and entertainment. The vibrant procession of 500 performers, drummers and musicians, will form a cavalcade of colour, music and movement as it makes its way from Parramatta Town Hall to Prince Alfred Square to welcome in the Festival.
This year the Welcome Parade will pay homage to the world’s most famous and spectacular parade – Carnival in Brazil. Expect a kaleidoscope of colour and celebration, perfectly brought together to please all the senses.
Ease into Sunday at Parramasala with the Long Table Brunch, a free event that brings together diverse intercultural and interfaith groups for a celebration of food and community. The Long Table Brunch invites people from all walks of life – politicians, religious leaders and community members – to sit down and enjoy the sensory delights of the World Market Stalls, share stories and be entertained by performers from the World Dance Congress.
The Festival will also ramp things up with a brand new bustling food precinct offering a culinary passport to a mouth-watering array of delectable delights, and a bar area to kick back with a drink as you soak up the best of what Parramatta has to offer.
Friday 15 March the festival opens with a First Nations Concert featuring our own acclaimed indigenous vocalist Emma Donovan and the Putbacks, from the Suquamish Tribe of the Pacific north-west Calina Lawrence, Wergaia woman, singer-songwriter Alice Skye and neo-soul artist of Papua new Guinean heritage Kaiit.
Saturday 16 March is the Festival’s biggest day for contemporary live music and features. The electrifying lineup includes: Sydney’s Kid Fiction and his soulful pop aesthetics, hip hop artist Adrian Eagle, Triple J Unearthed finalist Genesis Owusu, unconventional afrobeat trio True Vibenation, Hip-hop heavyweight REMI, pop songstress Thandi Phoenix, and the epic electronic duo Electric Fields.
On the Festival’s final day the music stage celebrates the incredible female voices. With a deep sense of pride in their heritage, singer’s Rosita Vai, Mi-Kaisha and Sheba Williams unite for Pacific Women’s Voices, giving audiences the opportunity to connect with their expressive repertoire of songs.
Describing her sound as “tropp chili flakes” CLYPSO will bring her mash of beats, basslines and electronica to Parramasala, while the mesmerizing hip-hop star Sampa the Great promises a spellbinding set of spoken word.
The whole family can enjoy a wide array of workshops at Parramasala. From sustainable craft workshops such as Pacific Island weaving, Indigenous art with eel trap and spear making, plus recycled art workshops run by The Bower, to music and dance classes like West African Rhythms Drum and Dance to belly dancing and more all it takes to get involved is a hunger for creativity and a spirit of adventure.
The 2019 Parramasala Festival runs Friday 15 – Sunday 17 March at various locations around Parramatta. For more information and full program, visit: www.parramasala.com for details.
Image: Parramasala 2018 – photo by Salty Dingo