In 1973, the Aquarius Festival, the bi-annual festival of the Australian Union of Students, was held at Nimbin in northern NSW, now known widely as the Rainbow Region.
Now from 12 – 21 May, the Aquarius 50 Festival at Nimbin will celebrate the anniversary of this remarkable event and its legacy, including the achievements and challenges of the Nimbin township over half a century. The extensive program covers many aspects of the 1973 Aquarius Festival and its impact on the Rainbow Region, and indeed on Australian culture.
Each of the ten days of the festival in May are themed as:
Friday 12: FIRST NATIONS DAY
Saturday 13: DAY OF THE SPIRIT
Sunday 14: HEALTH AND HEALING DAY
Monday 15: ENVIRONMENT DAY
Tuesday 16: PROTEST DAY
Wed 17: ARTS DAY
Thursday 18: HOUSING DAY
Friday 19: DAY OF THE DEAD
Saturday 20: YOUTH DAY
Sunday 21: CLOSING CEREMONY.
The program encompasses a wide range of events in and around Nimbin, including in the Nimbin Hall, the Bush Theatre, the Church of Aquarius, Nimbin Community Centre, Nimbin Showgrounds, Birth and Beyond, the World Rainbow Café Tent, Blue Knob Hall and the Nimbin Bowlo, with open days at the Rainbow Power Company, the Djanbung Gardens Permaculture Centre, and the Tunable Falls Cooperative. Highlights include:
An Exhibition of the Aquarius Archives
- The involvement of First Nations People, including in the Opening Ceremony, and a celebration of the first Welcome to Country in modern times which was conducted at the Nimbin Aquarius Festival
- The visit of Philippe Petit, who was at the Aquarius Festival and later went on to achieve international fame with his high wire walks between the Pylons of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Twin Towers in New York
- The Aquarius Elders Dinner, where Graeme Dunstan and Johnny Allen will tell their stories of the vision and challenges of the Aquarius Festival, tributes will be paid to Elders no longer with us, and a range of perspectives will be presented on the festival
- Ellis D FoggFree Liquid Lightshow Concertwith the Healing Voices Choir, Pagan Love Cult, Liquidelic & Others.
Unfortunately, Bruce Pascoe, aboriginal author of Dark Emu, has had to withdraw from the festival program due to illness.
Full program details at: www.aquarius50.com.au