When one door closes, another opens, so the saying goes, and in the case of Black Stump Festival, it’s proven true.
When the curtains closed on the former Christian music festival in 2014, organisers started thinking about how they could continue to celebrate the arts and justice—in a totally new way.
And so Beyond Festival was born.
Now in its second year, Beyond Festival is Australia’s only festival focussed on justice, music and the arts, and this year will be in Canberra running from September 30 to October 3. It’s been described as a ‘multi-faith and no-faith festival’, birthed out of a Christian justice perspective, yet setting aside Christian practices like worship and preaching, so that people outside the faith community can be fully involved.
The Festival That Changes the World
Designed as a social change event, it gives people from all walks of life a chance to consider how they can make a difference in their world, for good.
Festival director Jasmine Mawson said the reason for focussing the new festival around justice was to try and counter the fear and sadness that’s all too common in today’s society.
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“We wanted to show that there’s an alternative to fear and injustice.”
“We’re living in uncertain times, both in Australia and overseas, which is creating fear for many Australians,” she said, “and unfortunately fear seems to evaporate compassion – and leads us to blame others. We wanted to show that there’s an alternative to fear and injustice.”
She said the festival will both entertain, and educate people around the big issues in our world – and how we can all make a difference.
“[We look at] issues like Aboriginal justice, global poverty and trafficking, asylum seekers and refugee policy, and domestic violence issues,” she said. “These are issues that I think really matter to God as well. We want to inspire and inform people how we as a community can best respond to these issues.”
Impressive Lineup of Speakers & Musicians
The festival also aims to give a platform to a significant contingent of women, to counter the trend of male-dominance in Australia’s music festival arena.
Female performers and speakers will include academic Professor Gillian Triggs, singers Megan Washington, Montaigne, and Aboriginal elder, actress and activist Rosalie Kunoth-Monks.
Others in the festival lineup include singer-songwriter Lior, justice speakers like Ben Thurley of Micah Challenge and anti-porn campaigner Melinda Tankard-Reist, musicians Frank Yamma and Shane Howard, and folk band The Soorleys.
For festival details see Beyondfestival.com.au. Festival discounts are available using the code Hope1032.