23 September 2022

Griffith's Day in the Orchard festival to make comeback as two-day extravaganza

| Oliver Jacques
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group of people dancing in field

A Day in the Orchard went off in 2020. Photo: Supplied.

One of the biggest music, food and arts festivals in the Riverina will make a comeback in October, after an 18-month hiatus due to COVID-19.

A Day in the Orchard festival, run by the Piccolo Family Farm, will take place on Sunday, 9 October and feature musical performances, dance, circus and discussion forums.

As an innovation this year, the main day will be preceded by a day of workshops on Saturday, 8 October, facilitated by artists and experts across various disciplines.

“It’s a great opportunity for some local artists to perform alongside some of the most accomplished names in their field,” event organiser Bonnie Owen said.

The 9 October festival will feature Australian artists such as Adrian Eagle, The Buoys, The Flying Fruit Fly Circus and Jay Gabriel, as well as Griffith’s own Damien “Dookie” Thorne and the Fate Babies. Dookie had the honour of performing in front of the Prime Minister, NSW Premier and other dignitaries at the recent Bush Summit in Griffith. The Fate Babies are a Beyonce-inspired teen musical quartet, all of whom are year 10 students at Murrumbidgee Regional High School. The group won the Griffith Regional Theatre Grass Roots Under 30s Open Mic competition in July.

READ MORE Murrumbidgee Regional High’s Fate Babies to make theatrical debut

The festival also includes a fringe space, the ‘Blossom Tent’, which will feature performances by emerging artists.

group of people dancing in field

A past Day in the Orchard. Photo: Supplied.

The workshops on 8 October, called ‘Speaking Place’, will centre around the concept of ‘place’ and what it means to evoke, express, and challenge the definition of a sense of place within our crafts. Organisers say the day will be an opportunity for networking among creatives and makers, with meals covered in the ticket price including the Speaking Place collaborative dinner.

Speaking Place workshops include:

  • Sound Workshop with percussionist Niki Johnson and jazz musician Hilary Geddes.
  • Wild Fermentation Workshop with Adam James Rough Rice.
  • Art Workshop ‘Picturing Place’ with Gregory Carosi.
  • Spoon Carving Workshop with Carol Russell.
  • Blacksmith Workshop – hand-forged herb choppers with Glenn Simpson and Matthew Mewburn.

READ ALSO Griffith’s hermit, his cave and the Scenic Hill lookout

“We are really excited this year because it’s the first time A Day in the Orchard will be held during Griffith’s Spring Fest,” Ms Owen said.

Spring Fest is an annual event consisting of parties, open gardens, tours and workshops that occurs between 9 October and 23 October. Spring Fest this year will be highlighted by the 25th anniversary of the citrus sculptures, where over 50 sculptures made of oranges, such as a giant guitar and tractor, will line Griffith’s main street of Banna Avenue for two weeks.

For more information and to buy tickets to both the A Day in the Orchard festival and the Speaking Place workshops, head to their website. Further information on the full Griffith Spring Fest program can be found on a Visit Griffith website.

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