King Stingray to headline BLAKTIVISM concert as part of ALWAYS LIVE

by the partae

Photo credit: King Stingray, Live at the Bowl 2023. Photo by Darren Chan.

Hamer Hall, 1 December

Arts Centre Melbourne is thrilled to announce the third iteration of BLAKTIVISM in Melbourne as part of ALWAYS LIVE with the next generation, King Stingray, leading the line-up of living legends and rising voices of First Nations musical activism at Hamer Hall on Friday 1 December.

Stand up and join Tasman Keith, Bart Willoughby, Emma Donovan, Deline Briscoe, Suga Cane Mamas and Sorong Samarai and more, for a collaborative set, performing together as the galvanised chorus of an unstoppable movement.

Curated by Artistic Director Deline Briscoe, BLAKTIVISM 2023 will explore Skylore, the Lore that connects all First Nations cultures across the country through stories in the sky; following the journey from the rise of the Evening Star in the Kulin Nations to the rise of the Morning Star in West Papua.

“Our cultural connections run deeper than colonial borders. BLAKTIVISM connects our BLAK Artivists across generations, across oceans and across genres. At the core of it all, is song,” said Briscoe.

In Aboriginal culture, Lore refers to the stories, customs, beliefs and spirituality of Aboriginal people. It was given to them from the Dreaming and passed down through generations by their ancestors, guiding their everyday lives. It is, however, important to recognise the diverse range of Aboriginal peoples throughout Australia and that each language group has their own unique spirituality, beliefs and Lore.

Hailing from Northeast Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory, the fresh sounds of Yolŋu rock band King Stingray will follow the explosive BLAKTIVISM set. The five-piece outfit have cemented themselves as one of Australia’s eminent home-grown acts in a meteoric rise performing songs with lyrics in both English and Yolŋu Matha. Listen as they weave an ancient tradition of songlines dating back tens of thousands of years with modern surf-rock, connecting to home and family through each song.

The evening will begin with Mundanai which means embrace: a ceremonial opening and an invitation for the many multicultural communities to heal together. It will be led by Songwmen from each clan group of the Kulin Nations – Dr Lou Bennett (Dja Dja Wurrung), Mandy Nicholson (Wurundjeri), Isobel Paipadjarook (Taungarrung), Renee Sweetman (Bunwurrung) and Corrina Eccles (Wadawarrung) – as they share the spirit of healing through the power of culture and the richness of ceremonial song.

BLAKTIVISM first burst onto Arts Centre Melbourne’s stage as part of Live at the Bowl in 2021. It was created in direct response to the global dialogue around the Black Lives Matter movement in 2020 and Australia’s response to Indigenous sovereignty. By centring and celebrating Blak Cultures and Blak Artivism in this country, BLAKTIVISM has now become a platform for reconnecting ancient songs across the region in a powerful one-night only special event.
Stay tuned for more BLAKTIVISM artist announcements over the coming weeks.

This event is part of ALWAYS LIVE, a 17-day state-wide celebration of contemporary live music supported by the Victoria Government through Visit Victoria.

Gaba Musik, ALWAYS LIVE & Arts Centre Melbourne present


Hamer Hall | Friday, 1 December

Set Times

7:00pm Doors
7:30pm BLAKTIVISM (including Welcome to Country and Mundanai)
8:30pm Interval
8:50pm King Stingray
10:00pm Finish

Images can be found here.

For more information visit

About Gaba Musik
Ancient knowledge, modern vision. Based in Australia and Papua, Gaba Musik is a First Nations organisation bringing First Nations music and art to its rightful forefront. Impact focused, full scope live show/event curation, promotion and production, record label, music publishing and aggregation, film and video production, art and documentary, and much more: we’re ever evolving.
Culture driven. Collaborative. Celebrating and pushing First Nations and Pacific talent in Australia, Papua and beyond. Popular reggae, soul and hip hop, grime, krump, soundtracks and scores, singer/songwriters, traditional music and more. First Nations and Pacific heritage artistry highlights the strength of our community cementing positive foundations.
Local, global, universal… Gaba Musik.
ALWAYS LIVE is an epic 17-day state-wide celebration of contemporary live music across Victoria, the live music capital of Australia. Featuring stadium shows, intimate performances, free and family events, artist showcases, pop-up performances and more, ALWAYS LIVE is curated for everyone, everywhere.
From iconic music venues to picturesque locations across the region, ALWAYS LIVE showcases the very best of live contemporary music.  ALWAYS LIVE is where Memorable Music Moments are made each year, only in Victoria.
ALWAYS LIVE is proud to once again be raising funds for charity partner Support Act. This means that $1 from each participating event ticket sold will be going directly to Support Act and the amazing work they do with music workers, artists and crew.

In partnership for a second year, TAC and ALWAYS LIVE will also encourage audiences to ‘Keep the Band Together’ through their joint road safety campaign, encouraging gig goers to be sensible on the road and look out for their mates.

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