Miss Kaninna, JK-47, Becca Hatch & More Playing Blak Powerhouse Festival On Jan 26

15 January 2024 | 2:59 pm | Ellie Robinson

The community-led event returns for its second year, courtesy of Nooky’s social enterprise We Are Warriors.

Miss Kaninna / JK-47 / Becca Hatch

Miss Kaninna / JK-47 / Becca Hatch (Supplied)

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Nooky’s culturally focused social initiative, We Are Warriors, has announced the second edition of the Blak Powerhouse festival, returning to Sydney (Gadigal Land) later this month.

Returning to the Powerhouse venue in Ultimo on January 26, the event aims to “turn a day of sorrow into one of power and positivity”. It hosts a full itinerary of First Nations talent, including live performances from the likes of Maanyung, Mi-kaisha, Rona, Miss Kaninna, Becca Hatch, 3% and JK-47, as well as “surprise special guests”.

The event will also feature a screening of the 2022 documentary Through The Fire – which chronicles the story behind We Are Warriors – plus art installations from Shal, Michael Cook and Tjukurpamaru, and a panel discussion on Blak Power and Excellence. From 5pm in the Powerhouse forecourt, too, there will be a Welcome To Country and Smoking Ceremony, followed by a dance performance from Muggera.

It’s all free to attend, however you will need to register online for entry on the day – more info on that can be found here. For those unable to make it in person, the event will be streamed live on NITV.

Blak Powerhouse first launched in January 2023, attracting more than 3,000 punters for its inaugural edition. It was followed in June by the launch a major partnership between Powerhouse and We Are Warriors, for which they committed to an annual program of events dubbed the Powerhouse First Nations Collection.

In a statement released today (January 15), Nooky said of Blak Powerhouse’s return for 2024: “Last year we put on Blak Powerhouse and the sense of Blak joy we created was so overwhelming for me, and I know all the mob who attended felt the same. There was so much power and resilience in the day for me it changed how I felt about January 26. If we can capture that same feeling this time around, in my eyes it’s a win.”

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The sentiment was echoed by Beau James – the associate director for Powerhouse’s First Nations programming – who said in a statement of his own: “Blak Powerhouse is a formidable reclamation, a showcase of some of our finest talent. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aren’t defined by a date or a vote, and the scale of this amazing event makes it clear– since the first sunrise and until the last sunset, we are always here. Powerhouse is very honoured to be partnering for a second year with We Are Warriors.”

Also commenting was Powerhouse chief executive Lisa Havilah, who added: “The Powerhouse Museum is proud of our partnership with We Are Warriors and to be supporting the very best in First Nations contemporary cultural practice. Blak Powerhouse has already in its second year become an epically important event on Sydney’s cultural calendar.”