A bluestone ampitheatre in Footscray is hosting dazzling soul and hip-hop concerts

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A bluestone ampitheatre in Footscray is hosting dazzling soul and hip-hop concerts

Words by Coco Veldkamp

Bluestone Sessions has returned for all those who bask in the vibrant sounds of slinky soul, 90s RnB tunes, groovy hip hop and afro beats. 

As the weather begins to cool and the leaves start to change, the eclectic city of Melbourne is once again gearing up for another sensational season of live music events; and this is not one you want to miss.

This March, Bluestone Sessions will hold two concerts set against the scenic backdrop of the Footscray Community Arts’ amphitheatre; nestled near the banks of the Maribyrnong river.

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With landscapes of Melbourne’s city skyline visible from the cascading bluestone tiers, the dynamic venue is the perfect haven to lay down a picnic rug, have a drink from the pop-up bar, and enjoy the music filling the autumn air with friends and family.

The concert series kicks off on March 4 with the first show featuring an entirely First Nations line-up.

Bluestone Sessions 1: March 4

Bandok Tati

To inaugurate Bluestone Sessions’ return, an opening ceremony will be performed by the traditional Aboriginal dance group Bandok Tati; a brotherhood of young Aboriginal boys aged between eight and 20 years old who aim to keep themselves and their community connected to their culture through song and dance performances which have been passed down from generation to generation.


Then, spectators will hear from the show’s headliner Izy a trio with a futuristic slinky sound inspired by old-soul sensibilities. The group is considered to be perhaps Far North Queensland’s first neo-soul success with a sound that is inspired by a deep lineage offering a unique representation of post-colonial Australian identity.

Philly and DJ Naycab

Backing them up is Phillyone of the hottest Aboriginal hip-hop acts on the scene today. Born in the golden era of hip hop in the 90s, he combines that classic sound with his cultural practice of storytelling to deliver strong beats with meaningful sentiment. Closing the show is DJ Naycab with their groovy beats reverberating through the amphitheatre and bringing you to your feet.

Bluestone Sessions 2: March 18

One Spirit Africa

The second show will be held on March 18 and headlines with the Afro-fusion sound of One Spirit AfricaTheir thumping percussions are not only something to be heard but also to be seen with their energy-charged performances and colourful costumes. The outfit is led by Fredrick Kpakpo Addo; a master in the music industry with over 25 years of experience performing across the world with the aim of inspiring peace and unity through the musical expression of traditional African culture.

CLADDY and DJ Kgomotso

Following them is the 90s RnB sound of CLADDY who brings her vibrant energy into their dance music. Then DJ Kgomotso will close off with some upbeat house.

On the lands of the Boon Wurrung and Woi Wurrung peoples of the Eastern Kulin Nation, Footscray Community Arts have always placed significant emphasis on cultural development.


Having fostered Australia’s cultural footprint and worked closely for decades with the First Nations community, Footscray Community Arts continues to endeavour to keep First Nations’ traditions alive with a dedication to sharing stories and a vision of all communities being valued as makers of culture.

Initiatives like Bluestone Sessions are part of Footscray’s lifeblood; being one of Victoria’s most culturally diverse areas due to continued migration over the last 60 years.

To celebrate the return of Bluestone Sessions, organisers are offering 50% off tickets for the first show on March 4, available simply by using the code BLUESTONESESH at the checkout. Otherwise, full-price tickets to the shows are $25, Mob tickets are $15, and kids are $10. Children under 5 are welcome for free.

To show your support, grab your tickets here.

This article was made in partnership with Footscray Community Arts.