Crowd gorges on feast of Karijini cultural delights
It has been labelled the premier cultural event in WA and the 2019 Karijini Experience did not disappoint.
The festival, which started in 2013 as a long-table dinner for 75 people, ran over six days and finished last Sunday night with Dan Sultan performing at the Yurlu Lounge on the park’s airstrip.
The event is organised by the Nintirri Centre and chief executive James Jarvis said they had a 20 to 30 per cent increase in visitor numbers from last year.
“I haven’t seen the official count, but we’d be pushing over 2000 people in the park over five and a half days,” he said.
The Experience is run in partnership with the Banjima Native Title Aboriginal Corporation and is driven by a desire to connect non-Aboriginal people with Aboriginal culture.
“Over the last three to four years, there has been a real organic recognition that if we want to hold the event on Banjima land, then Banjima people need not just to be involved, but to be driving, co-designing and co-producing,” Mr Jarvis said.
“They’ve been trialling things like tool and weapon making and bush medicine. Non-Aboriginal people have a real hunger and appetite to understand that history and will pay for the experience.”
Some of the highlights of this year’s festival included Fervor’s 10-course degustation dinners held in a secret location, Gina Williams and Guy Ghouse singing Songs in the Gorge, which they had written out of last year’s Experience, and a free jam session, which was uniquely Karijini Experience and drew a crowd of 170 people.
With this year’s festival done and dusted, sights are set on 2020.
Mr Jarvis said people could expect more of the same and some new things as well.
“What we try to do is keep all of our good acts but also change it up,” he said. “We take about 25 per cent of our program and turn it over, create something new and give people a taste of something different.”
The 2020 Karijini Experience will be held in April.
Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.
Sign up for our emails