Free & Special Australia


Performed by the Wurundjeri/ Woiwurrung, Boon Wurrung, Taungurung, Wadawurrung and Dja Dja Wurrung

Free Event

Free Event

Each year the first words of the Festival come from those who have carried this land’s stories the longest—the First Peoples of Melbourne.

Tanderrum is a ceremony bringing together the Wurundjeri/Woiwurrung, Boon Wurrung, Taungurung, Wadawurrung and Dja Dja Wurrung language groups of the Eastern Kulin Nation—a ceremony of celebration that reaches across Aboriginal time. This sacred ceremony had been hidden since European invasion, until six years ago the Eastern Kulin brought Tanderrum back to central Melbourne to open the Festival.

Since then this cross-cultural moment has become an essential and living element of the Festival and a Welcome to Country for local and international artists and audiences. Melbourne is sacred to the Traditional Custodians. Through this event we ensure that Aboriginal culture remains present and relevant to our city today. Tanderrum is your invitation to share this sacred place.

Live stream

Can't make it in person?

We'll be live streaming Tanderrum on our Facebook Page on the night.

Please note permission is required to record and capture images of the ceremony and those participating. We ask you respect the request of the clans of the Eastern Kulin Nation and their families.


  • Presenting Partners

  • Bardas Foundation
  • The Humanity Foundation
  • With support from
  • City of Melbourne