With spring well on its way it’s time to emerge from your winter hibernation and get out there and see some of the best our glorious State has to offer. And one easy way to do that (which is also relatively close to Perth), is a sneaky little road trip out to York for the annual York Festival.
Featuring a jam-packed two-week, three-weekend program, the festival is loaded with Ballardong Noongar events, craft and writing workshops, theatre dance and music events, photo walks, historical tours and loads more.
You can check out the massive program HERE, and read on below for a few of the (many) must-see events:
Two Mountains Dreaming (Opening Event)
An exciting aspect of this year’s York Festival is the Noongar storylines that filter through much of the festival’s program, no more on show than in their opening event, Two Mountains Dreaming. The show will connect York’s two big hills – Walwalling (place of weeping) and Wongborel (sleeping woman) with a light installation, music and dance based on an original concept by Ballardong Noongar woman Marion Kickett and York Festival Producer Elliot Chambers. It’s free to attend, but make sure you register HERE.
DATE: Fri 23 Sep
VENUE: Avon Park
Mark Turner With Strings
A jazz weekend headline event, relax into the lush harmonies of Mark Turner, bringing some Nat King Cole, Elvis and Brahms vibes and beautifully backed by world-class string quartet featuring Rachael Aquilina, Teresa Vinci, Alix Hamilton, and Anna Sarcich. An absolute must-see for fans of jazz and just music in general! Tickets are $35, get ‘em HERE.
DATE: Fri 24 Sep
VENUE: York Town Hall
Jazz Recovery Brunch with Lucy Iffla Quarter
The York Festival’s big first weekend deserves a beautiful recovery brunch to get the next week off to a good start, and some delicious brunch goodies from Gather York should do the trick! Soundtracked by smooth stylings of WAM Award winners the Lucy Iffla Quartet, tickets are only $40 and can be purchased HERE.
DATE: Mon 26 Sep
VENUE: Gather York, Old Flour Mill
Tool-Making + Weaving Workshops
Straight after the brunch you can pop over to Avon Park for a couple of workshops. Firstly you can join local York elder Lucas Cleave Knarkle as he explains the process of making Noongar tools – passed onto him by elders including his grandfather, father and uncles, who all lived on country together. Or you can catch up with Whadjuk Nyoongar woman Sharyn Egan for a Weaving Workshop, using natural materials from the bush to make a small basket to keep.
DATE: Mon 26 Sep + Sun 9 Oct (Tool-Making Only)
VENUE: Avon Park, Janet Millett Lane, York
Land Art Workshop
Working with site-specific Land Artist Elaine Clocherty and friends, attendees to this free workshop will work together to create a magical environment using found loca materials, sculpting a space beside the Gogulgar Avon River.
DATE: Thurs 29 Sep
VENUE: Avon Park, York
Act Belong Commit Avon River Walk
Join the River Conservation Society’s John Crook and Ballardong Noongar woman Dr. Marion Kickett for an eye-opening walk through the Avon Valley’s spectacular Avon River, taking in the cultural and ecological significance of one of WA’s most famous water bodies. This is a free event and includes a Q&A and light refreshments at the new Environmental Discovery Centre – just make sure you register HERE.
And if you can’t make this particular walk, there are plenty of others to choose from, just head to the York Festival What’s On section and filter your search by “interactive”.
DATE: Sat 1 Oct
TIME: 10:00am, 2:00pm
VENUE: Meet at Mile Pool (end of Water Street)
Bogan Shakespeare: Julius Caesar
While we’d love to just leave it at, ‘it’s called Bogan Shakespeare, what more do you need?’, we guess we’ll tell you a little more! The homegrown Perth Fringe, comedy award-winning talent makes his way to York for three special shows, telling the tale of Busselton Bunnings’ Jewlz Caesar. High art and not to be missed, grab your tickets HERE.
DATE: Thu 29 Sep + Fri 30 Sep
TIME: 7pm (Thu and Fri), 2pm (Fri)
VENUE: York Town Hall
The River’s Alchemy
This world premiere event features a cross-cultural dialogue in verse between Ballardong Noongar woman Marion Kickett and Wheatbelt poet John Kinsella, honouring land, river and country. This will then be followed by a panel discussion led by York Festival Artistic Director Will Yeoman.
DATE: Sun 2 Oct
VENUE: Speakeasy, 152 Avon Terrace (Rear Gallery 152)
A powerful solo dance theatre work by leading Australian contemporary dancer Natalie Allen, co-created with Sally Richardson, ‘Julia’ is their response to former Prime Minister Julia Gallard’s time leading the country. On the eve of the 10 year anniversary of her iconic misogyny speech, this performance tackles not only her legacy, but the #MeToo movement as a whole and the sexism, misogyny, discrimination and violence directed towards women in Australia. Tickets are $35 and you can get them HERE.
DATE: Sat 1 Oct, Sun 2 Oct
VENUE: Masonic Hall
Cubby House Making
Much like Bogan Shakespeare, we feel like this really needs no introduction – it’s cubby making! Head to Avon Park and work with plant fibre artist Fiona Gavino to design and engineer your own village of cubbies! It’s free for kids of all ages (including grown ups), just make sure you BYO scissors, secateurs and gloves and make sure you REGISTER.
DATE: Thurs 6 Oct, Fri 7 Oct, Sat 8 Oct
TIME: 10am-12pm & 1pm-3pm
VENUE: Avon Park, Janet Millett Lane
Like we said, this barely scratches the surface of what’s going on at York Festival, September 23-October 9 – start planning your experience via the York Festival Website.
This article is sponsored by York Festival and very happily endorsed by us. Please see our Editorial Policy for more info.