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Procession and The Vigil

These two Sydney Festival events provide a thoughtful way to collectively reflect on January 26.
By Lauren Vadnjal
January 22, 2020
By Lauren Vadnjal
January 22, 2020

If, this January 26, you're looking for a thoughtful way to reflect on the impact of the arrival of the First Fleet and Australia's colonisation on its First Nations people, you should join the folks from Sydney Festival the evening prior.

The fest will hold two events on the evening of Saturday, January 25: Procession and The Vigil. Led by Aboriginal Elders at Sydney Town Hall at 6pm, the procession will make its way through the CBD streets until it reaches Barangaroo Reserve at around 8pm.

There, after the raising of Jacob Nash's huge flag installation, the overnight vigil will begin. For the second time, Sydneysiders will stake out at Barangaroo from sunset right through to dawn on the morning of January 26 (that is, what's recognised as Australia Day). It's a long night, but there will be performances and talks from First Nations artists happening throughout; as well as a traditional smoking ceremony and Welcome to Country, you'll be able to see Dan Sultan, Muruwari musician Matthew Doyle. the Buudja Buudja Dance Clan and the Meuram Murray Island Dancers perform.

You can drop by at any time or stay all night — if you're in it for the long haul, make sure you bring warm clothes and snacks. Feel free to take some mates with you, but the event is also a good opportunity to meet new people and have conversations around the anniversary and what it means for all Australians.

Both events are free, but you should register your interest for Procession here.

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