Becca Hatch to headline free Museum Park concert as part of New Annual festival

25 Aug 2023

City of Newcastle (CN) has unveiled details for This Land, Global Gathering and Ngiarrenumba Burrai (Our Country) as part of the final program for its flagship New Annual festival, which will deliver 10 days of art, culture, and creativity across the city from 22 September.

Music fans will be in for a treat when rising Kamilaroi-Samoan singer-songwriter Becca Hatch takes to the Museum Park stage on Friday, 29 September to headline This Land, a musical showcase of nationally renowned and local First Nations artists presented by the University of Newcastle.

The Sydney performer rose to prominence after winning Triple J Unearthed High’s Indigenous Initiative in 2017 and has gone on to carve out a name for herself in Australia's R&B scene, including a solo headline show at this year's Vivid LIVE and 2022 tours in support of Spacey Jane and Vera Blue.

Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said New Annual offered a diverse and inclusive program, with CN working collaboratively with local communities to ensure it reflected Newcastle’s Indigenous and multicultural heritage.

“New Annual provides a vehicle through which we can tell our city’s story, share our histories and better understand our local identity,” Cr Nelmes said.

“City of Newcastle is committed to developing a deeper local connection with, and understanding of, the people, practices and stories of the traditional custodians of our land, and the diversity of cultures that make up our community today."

Minister for Multiculturalism Steve Kamper said the NSW Government was proud to provide $400,000 to the City of Newcastle under Multicultural NSW Festival and Event Grants.

"The NSW Government is supporting more than 80 festivals and events through the latest round of Multicultural NSW grant funding, including Newcastle's diverse and eclectic New Annual festival," Minister Kamper said.

"Through this grant funding, City of Newcastle has been able to significantly expand this year's festivities to further celebrate the rich local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and multicultural fabric of the city."

Minister for the Hunter Yasmin Catley welcomed the inclusion of Hunter-based artists in the festival.

"The New Annual festival is a wonderful promotion of local, home-grown talent and celebrates the diversity of performers from the Hunter," Minister Catley said.

Hatch will be joined on the bill by Truwulway woman and hip hop artist Denni, Wiradjuri singer-songwriter Blanche and Maanyung, a proud Gumbaynggirr and Yaegl singer-songwriter who performed at the opening and closing of the First Nations Runway at the Melbourne Fashion Festival in 2022. Acoustic duo Chain Daisy from the University of Newcastle will round out the bill.

Award-winning Worimi and Gamilaroi musician Jacob Ridgeway, who curated This Land and will also be performing on the night, said New Annual provides a key opportunity to highlight First Nations talent.

"This Land continues the First Nations' musical celebration of the soul and spirit of the many nations in this country. This year’s iteration will continue to nourish the musical tastes of all who attend," he said.

The action will continue in Museum Park on Saturday 30 September with Global Gathering, a vibrant celebration of diverse traditions, food, art forms, and cultural expressions.

Renowned Australian podcaster, author and presenter Yumi Stynes will MC the free community event, which features a wide range of musical and dance performances including acclaimed Spanish flamenco guitarist Paco Lara and dynamic dance and percussion company Samba Frog, as well as Afghani, Sudanese and Tibetan food demonstrations, Chinese lantern making workshops and more.

Both This Land and Global Gathering will also feature epic community-led performances of Noise, which will see up to 100 local drummers join Dancenorth to thump out a scintillating live score.

Throughout New Annual, Museum Park will play host to Ngiarrenumba Burrai (Our Country), offering a program of dance, workshops and performance that centres Awabakal cultural practice, people and stories.

Workshops will be held in art, language, clap sticks, dance, bush tucker, tools and spears, and canoeing across a number of dates, with the schedule available on the New Annual website.

Cr Nelmes said there would be something for everyone at New Annual this year, with a mix of free, low-cost and family-friendly events across the 10-day period.

"Building on the success of last year's festival, which attracted almost 40,000 people to more than 140 performances and activities, New Annual will once again surprise, inspire and delight audiences as they discover a new side of Newcastle and its creative community," Cr Nelmes said.

Visit for more details about the full New Annual program and to secure your tickets.