ABC to broadcast specials on First & Forever and Sydney WorldPride festivals

Both festivals will receive their own special productions

The ABC have have announced specials centred on two culturally significant live music events: the recent First & Forever festival, and the upcoming Sydney WorldPride celebration.

The former will screen first, being released on ABC iView next Thursday (December 15) before it’s aired on ABC TV at 8:30pm the following Thursday (December 22). It’ll feature performances recorded at the inaugural First & Forever event – which took place at the site of Victoria’s iconic Hanging Rock on November 27 – as well as interviews filmed backstage at the festival. 

A full itinerary for the program is yet to be detailed, but triple j reports that artists showcased will include Baker Boy, King Stingray, Thelma Plum, Sycco, Budjerah, Tasman Keith, Kobie Dee, Alice Skye and Jessica Mauboy. The festival’s full line-up was co-curated by Briggs with assistance from Paul Kelly, and saw a slew of First Nations artists perform on the Uncle Archie stage – named so in honour of the late, great Archie Roach.


The special itself will be co-hosted by Karla Ranby (a Gomeroi woman and host of triple j’s Blak Out program) and Tyrone Pynor (a Torres Strait Islander man and host of triple j’s Weekend Lunch and Soul Ctrl shows). In a statement shared with its announcement, Ranby said: “In all my years in the music industry, I’ve never seen a line-up like this. It feels like a once in a lifetime show that we’re going to be talking about years from now.”

In addition to the ABC’s filmed special, triple j will air an accompanying program at 5pm next Sunday (December 18). Hosted by fellow Blak Out host (and Yuin and Thunghutti man) Nooky, that special will similarly comprise of highlights from the festival’s performances, as well as interviews with some of the artists that performed at it.

Sydney WorldPride, on the other hand, will be showcased with multiple specials airing across February and March. The festival itself will run over ten days next February – from Friday February 17 to Sunday 26 – with over 300 acts performing altogether. The ABC will air its opening concert, dubbed ‘Live And Proud’, with the line-up including Kylie Minogue, Charli XCX and Jessica Mauboy, as well as hosts Casey Donovan and Courtney Act.

On Saturday February 25, too, the ABC will air a live presentation of next year’s Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. Also screening over the season will be a presentation taped at Blak & Deadly: The First Nations Gala Concert, a showcase of the Sydney WorldPride Human Rights Conference, a showcase of next year’s Pride March, and a premiere of the queer history docuseries Queerstralia.

In announcing Sydney WorldPride back in October, chief executive Kate Wickett said: “We want to show the world the beauty that Sydney is, the beauty of our community, the beauty that we have to offer… We want to shine a light on our diverse communities here in Sydney, Australia and all of the region.”

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