It’s that time of year again folks, where Sydney’s own Parramatta transforms into the pumping, otherworldly festival of fantasy known as Parramasala. This year the festival is bigger and better than ever, with live music, dance performances, workshops, delicious food from around the world and of course – the iconic street parade on its opening night.
Let’s start off with the Welcome Parade; that’s the colourful procession of 500 performers dancing, tumbling and drumming their way from Parramatta Town Hall to Prince Alfred Square. This year Parramasala’s paying homage to Carnivale, the world’s most spectacular street parade, so expect it to be next-level insane.
The music line-up brings together some of the hottest talent from around Australia and the world, and we can’t overstate the fact that unbelievably, it’s free.
Friday 15 March
The festival opens with a First Nations concert with acclaimed Indigenous vocalist Emma Donovan and the Putbacks, Calina Lawrence from the Pacific north-west Suquamish Tribe, Wergaia singer-songwriter Alice Skye and Neo-soul Papua New Guinean artist Kaiit.
Saturday 16 March
On Saturday an electric line-up of contemporary live music featuring soulful pop creator Kid Fiction, hip hop artist Adrian Eagle, Triple J Unearthed finalist Genesis Owusu, afrobeat trio True Vibenation, hip-hop master Remi, pop songstress Thandi Phoenix and fire electronic duo the Electric Fields.
Sunday 17 March
On the final day, women take centre stage with earth-shaking performances by singers Rosita Vai, Mi-Kaisha and Sheba Williams uniting for Pacific Women’s Voices. Then get ready for CLYPSO bringing her “tropp chilli flake” beats, basslines and electronica, while Sampa the Great wraps you in the hip-hop spell of her spoken word flow.
The workshops this year are basically an immersion in the most amazing cultural experiences you can imagine. There’ll be sustainable craft workshops like Pacific Island weaving, Indigenous art with eel trap and spear making, recycled art workshops run by the Bower, music and dance classes like belly dancing and West African Rhythms Drum and Dance.
More info can be found here.
What: Parramasala Festival
When: Friday 15 March- Sunday 17 March 2019
Where: Various locations around Parramatta
Sydney's also throwing its own Coachella. More on that here.
Image credit: Supplied