Adelaide Fringe

An immersive and monumental experience of First Nations Songlines and Storytelling is headed to Adelaide

Adelaide Fringe is thrilled to announce SKY SONG, a monumental performance artwork. SKY SONG will take place at the Adelaide Showgrounds.

Adelaide Fringe is thrilled to announce SKY SONG, a monumental performance artwork, as the centrepiece of the festival’s 2022 program. SKY SONG is presented by Gluttony and will take place at the Adelaide Showgrounds over 31 nights from 18 February – 20 March.

A collaboration between First Nations artists and drone art specialists, SKY SONG combines state-of-the-art technology with ancient Songlines and storytelling to create a profoundly emotional experience. A powerful marriage of old and new, SKY SONG will reawaken a remembering that we are all bound by universal wisdom.

The SKY SONG performance will feature a swarm of hundreds of drones flying in majestic formation above a colossal 60m wide screen projection, dramatic haze and lighting, hyperreal sound, poetry, iconic anthems and newly commissioned music to tell the stories of First Nations artists on the ground and in the night sky, high above Adelaide.

Narrated by singer, songwriter and tireless campaigner for the rights of Indigenous Australians, the iconic Archie Roach, SKY SONG will unfold over five chapters that focus on topics such as belonging and connection to country, ancestry, the passing on of knowledge, creation stories, land rights, the devastation of the stolen generations and the hopefulness of reconciliation.

SKY SONG features a soundtrack of the work of many of the country’s most acclaimed First Nations artists including cultural icons Archie Roach and Kev Carmody plus celebrated musicians Electric Fields, Iwiri Choir and Nancy Bates; storytellers Major ‘Moogy’ Sumner and Jack Buckskin; poet Ali Cobby Eckermann; dance group Dusty Feet Mob and visual art by Electric Fields’ Zaachariaha Fielding.

Alongside beloved songs such as Roach’s “Ngura”. Took The Children Away’ From Little Things, Big Things Grow” and the Kev Carmody/Paul Kelly classic, SKY SONG will also include new work from Iwiri Choir and a brand new song by electronic duo Electric Fields called “Ngura”.

“Ngura is about the beginning of all things, the embodiment, the essence, the internal and the external. You find Ngura everywhere. I have Ngura in you, you have Ngura in me. And there is something out there that is home to both of us, and that is Ngura” said Electric Fields’ Zaachariaha Fielding.

“The more Australia takes time to listen to our First Nations stories, the richer we become. Rich in our humanity, rich in a way that gives to the world, and not in a way that takes from her. SKY SONG represents the continuation of enduring peoples and enduring wisdom. As light drones dance to interwoven stories, powerful voices will elevate the very consciousness of those gathered together for this experience.” said SKY SONG Soundtrack Supervisor, Nancy Bates.

These artists’ stories, music and visuals will be showcased on a phenomenal scale by Celestial, drone artists that specialise in infusing culture and technology to create a multi-sensory spectacle. Celestial has created major cultural moments for Greenpeace, Amnesty International and Edinburgh’s Hogmanay New Year to name a few.

“Celestial is thrilled to perform at the Adelaide Fringe with the world’s first feature-length drone show. It is nothing less than a privilege to collaborate with such incredible First Nations artists and create a beautiful experience that marries timeless wisdom with modern technology.” said Celestial founder, Tony Martin.

“We are absolutely delighted to have SKY SONG premiering at Adelaide Fringe in 2022,” said Adelaide Fringe Artistic Director, Heather Croall. “Adelaide Fringe first started presenting major outdoor light artworks as part of our program 6 years ago and our cross-disciplinary projects that celebrate the intersection of art, storytelling and technology have been adored by huge audiences every year. Our audiences at Adelaide Fringe truly love these large scales, light, sound and art projects that fuse cutting edge technology with First Nations storytelling and we can’t wait for people to come and enjoy the amazing drone art show, SKY SONG.”

Premier of South Australia, Steven Marshall said: “As Australia’s most liveable city and our state a leader in future technologies and creative industries, it is fitting that SKY SONG premieres in South Australia as part of the iconic Adelaide Fringe. With an incredible lineup of First Nations artists and the merging of innovative technology, this festival highlight is set to capture the hearts and minds of audiences, further enhance our state’s vibrant arts and culture, and entice even more visitors to enjoy our summer festival season.”

SKY SONG is rich in meaning, immense in scale and unlike anything Australian audiences have seen before. “Where poetry, art & culture meet science & technology. Thank you for creating this visual feast” Tim Peake, Astronaut on previous Celestial collaboration

Sky Song is a collaboration between Gluttony, Celestial, Adelaide Fringe, Deadly Management, Archie Roach, Electric Fields, Iwiri Choir, Nancy Bates, Major ‘Moogy’ Sumner, Jack Buckskin; Ali Cobby Eckermann; Dusty Feet Mob, Mali Isabel and APY Arts Collective.

SKY SONG runs from the 18th of February to March 20th 2022.

Tickets start at $13 and are available to purchase here.

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