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about the festival 2008
Merrepen Festival is celebrating its 21st birthday in 2008 with a special concert performance and the famous annual Merrepen Art Sale and Art Auction.

Palumpa Dancer
Photo: Todd Condie, Courtesy of the NLC
B2M ad hoc string collective
The Festival is an annual event and always held on the first weekend in June. Over the years the Festival has grown with the bulk of the art centre’s sales made on the Sunday of the Festival weekend. In 2000 and 2002 the Darwin Symphony Orchestra was invited to perform at the Daly River Crossing as part of the Festival which has been the inspiration for the the 2008 outdoor concert featuring a collaborative performance with Melbourne based accomplished string quartet Ad Hoc String Collective and the Top End’s own award winning musician Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu.
The Ad Hoc String Collective are a group of acclaimed strings performers that hail from a classical trained background but have demonstrated their musicianship and versitility and are now one of Australias most ecelctic string qaurtets . Individaully and as a group they have played with Orchestra Victoria, the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, the Australian Chamber Orchestra, the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Ensemble Modern (Frankfurt), Ensemble musikFabrik (Dusseldorf) and Chamber Made Opera.
As well as writing music for film, television, dance and theatre, their contemporay forays have seen them perform and record with many great Australian and International Artists such as Missy Higgins,Archie Roach, Ruby Hunter , Paul Kelly,Midnight Oil,Renee Geyer, Nick Cave, Mark Seymour,and the John Butler Trio and Kanye West, Led Zeppelin, José Carreras and Stevie Wonder. Some memebers of the qaurtet found fame with the bands like Not Drowning,Waving, the gypsy/tango band Cosmo Cosmolino, and as the founding memebers of My Friend the Chocolate Cake as well as touring the world with Circus OZ. The Ad Hoc String Collective are fresh from a national tour with the ‘The Black Arm Band’ show Marunduk which has recieved rave reviews and sold out at the Sydney Festival, the Perth International Festival of the Arts and WOMADelaide.
The members of the Ad Hoc String Collective are Sue Simpson, Andrea Keeble, Erkki Veltheim and Helen Mountford.
Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu
Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu needs no introduction to Top Enders! His recent solo album released nationally in February to critical acclaim has cemented him as one of Australia’s best singer/songwriter/musicians. Gurrumul is a blind left handed guitarist singer songwriter. Blind from birth, he is a powerhouse of musical creativity, a Yolngu speaking Indigenous person from Elcho Island in NE Arnhemland he has performed in Europe and America as a member of Yothu Yindi and is a founding member of Saltwater Band. Gurrumul’s solo excursions highlight his amazing talent and his beautiful voice. Singing the songs of his Gumatj country his magical voive will never leave you.
Nicky Bomba
The concert will begin at sunset on Saturday May 31st with traditional dancing performed by the Palumpa Dancers and a traditional water ceremony welcoming.

Bush Tucker Picnic Baskets, prepared by Darwins famous ‘Walk About Chef’ Steve Sunk will be avaible for purchase at the concert.

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