Saltwater Freshwater Festival Returns This Australia Day – New Coffs Venue

Saltwater Freshwater Festival will take place in Coffs Harbour next month, giving the community a meaningful and inclusive showcase of the best of the old and the new in regional Aboriginal culture.

The much-loved free, all-ages festival will run on Australia Day, 10.30am to 5pm Saturday 26 January 2019. It will be a waterfront event, taking place for the first time on Coffs Harbour’s landmark Jetty Foreshores, amid the culturally significant Gumbaynggirr sites around the harbour.

Headlining the music program are Queensland duo Busby Marou and 2018 ARIA-nominated singer-songwriter Emily Wurramara, with more acts to be announced shortly. Also on the main stage will be finalists from the Made Deadly open-mic series, which has travelled around five community regions unearthing Aboriginal musical talent. Plus:

  • Aboriginal cultural stalls
  • Workshops including dance, art, weaving, canoe-making, didgeridoo playing and language.
  • A food market with stalls offering cuisines from around the world.

The festival will complement Coffs Harbour City Council’s Australia Day citizenship ceremony which starts from 8.30am at the foreshores.

Saltwater Freshwater festival is an initiative of the Coffs Harbour-based Saltwater Freshwater Arts Alliance (SWFW). It complements the work of the SWFW Cultural Programs Unit which serves communities throughout the year, and offers Aboriginal program participants the chance to get involved as festival workshop facilitators, artists, performers and volunteers.

Chris Spencer, Saltwater Freshwater Arts Alliance’s general manager, said:

“We are so excited to present another Festival this 26 January. Festival gives non-Aboriginal Australians the opportunity to engage with Aboriginal culture and all the things that make us unique as the first Australians. We want to share that stuff openly with everybody.

“Festival makes it possible to get hands-on and interact with Aboriginal culture rather than only passively watch a performance or hear a talk. The festival workshops make that possible. Many non-Aboriginal people are looking for these experiences. For us that’s extremely heartwarming.

“It’s reconciliation via active participation. What we can do by enjoying events like this together is be part of making a future Australia that’s truly receptive to all the cultures that call Australia home.”

There is still time for businesses to share in the success of the event by becoming a sponsor.

For sponsorship, media and stallholder enquiries, please contact Chris on (02) 6658 1315 or 0428 002 313 or email For details on Saltwater Freshwater Arts Alliance visit