DJ Noiz, Kennyon Brown and Donnell Lewis roll down the Tanami Road, heading 300km west of Alice Springs to play their only Indigenous community gig on their NT Tour. Walpiri kids and adults alike wait in anticipation for their favourite singers to visit the small Indigenous community of Yuendumu.

Hearing the beats of these artists pumping out of the WANTA school bus on a daily basis, Tenille Rickard – WANTA’s Yuendumu Manager got in touch with the singers to see if they would make the year’s of Yuendumu kids and to play a gig in the remote community. The artists and the management from FutureNow Music didn’t hesitate, changing their plans to jump straight off a plane from the east coast and hit the red dirt road to perform.

As a WANTA “No School, No Noiz” initiative, children attended school to receive a wrist band to attend the gig, resulting in the highest school attendance of the term. PAW media worked alongside WANTA allowing senior girls students to interview the band prior to their gig. PAW radio coordinator Grace Marshall taught the kids how to interview and recorded it to be played across the Walpiri radio stations.

Collaborating together with Walpiri Youth Development Aboriginal Corporation (WYDAC) the gig was hosted at the local youth recreation hall with hundreds of Yuendumu locals of all ages and genders showing up to hear the live set performed in their home community. Before heading back to Alice Springs the musicians kindly posed for photographs with excited fans.

WANTA would like to thank DJ Noiz, Kennyon Brown, Donnell Lewis and Mark Martins from FutureNow Music for doing everything possible to make this gig happen. WANTA would also like to thank the WYDAC Youth Services team and PAW for collaborating to make this event happen. As well as Tjuwanpa Outstations Resource Centre Aboriginal Corporation for bringing international standard sound production and training for Indigenous staff all the way from Ntaria for the day. The smiles and excitement for all Yuendumu people was definitely worth all of your amazing efforts.

As part of WANTA’s efforts to develop community events and music engagement programs  to engage young people in education and employment pathways, we hope to make this an annual event, inviting artists and musicians from across Australia to perform to ensure young people living in remote Indigenous communities can have the same opportunities as young people living in urban areas.

Written by Tenille Rickard, Director – Yuendumu RSAS and Sports Academy.

Photo credit: James Melky.