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Arts Centre Melbourne presents

Spinifex Gum

Ft. Marliya Choir, Emma Donovan, Felix Riebl & Ollie McGill


9 April, 2021 | 6.30pm
Gates open: 5pm

Welcome to Country, Allara & Culture Evolves featuring Lauren Sheree and Djirri Djirri Dancers: 6.30pm

Spinifex Gum: 7.30pm

$25 - $150 ($25 per guest)
+ $9.35 Service Fee per order

See full pricing breakdown below

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A compelling performance celebrating the passion and talent of our Indigenous youth

The highly-anticipated Spinifex Gum performance scheduled to open the Live at the Bowl series on Friday 8 January has been postponed to Friday 9 April. Due to travel restrictions and potential border closures, it is not safe to tour the young Indigenous choir to Victoria.

Marliya of Gondwana Choirs, conductor Lyn Williams AM, The Cat Empire’s Felix Riebl and Ollie McGill, choreographer Deborah Brown and the team at the Spinifex Gum collective thank ticket holders for their support and encourage holding onto their tickets as they will be automatically transferred to the new date.

Spinifex Gum is looking forward to sharing its music and stories with audiences very soon.

A compelling performance celebrating the passion and talent of our Indigenous youth with Spinifex Gum – a show-stopping collaboration of voice, sound, movement and change featuring Marliya Choir, an ensemble of Aboriginal and Torres Strait teenage singers, together with Emma Donovan, The Cat Empire’s Felix Riebl and special guest artists.

Part protest, part celebration, Spinifex Gum is a uniquely modern Australian song cycle. It has the power to disarm, inspire, and speak to us in a way that no individual voice can. This work addresses pervasive issues from the social disparity present in the Pilbara to deaths in custody, disproportionate incarceration, land rights and more. Marliya Choir – who sing in English and Yindjibarndi – bring a vibrant young voice to the Australian issues in Spinifex Gum through their compelling blend of harmony and protest, while trailblazing a new pop-choir genre.

Cairns-based Marliya Choir command your attention as they deliver evocative truth, with a vocal mastery born from weekly rehearsals under the tutelage of 2019 Art Music Award winner Lyn William AM. They give an unflinching poignancy to the songs written and produced by The Cat Empire’s front man Felix Riebl.

The live performance, choreographed by former Bangarra Dance Theatre dancer Deborah Brown, illuminates music built from found sound samples of The Pilbara – rustling leaves, bouncing basketballs and chugging trains, and is “full of the exuberance of youth, underwritten by basslines that would feel at home on a Beyoncé album” (The Guardian).

Nominated for Best New Australian Work at the 2019 Helpmann Awards, Spinifex Gum toured extensively last year to Sydney, Arnhem Land, Darwin, The Pilbara, Canberra and Melbourne.

Spinifex Gum with Marliya Choir have released two acclaimed studio albums and performed at International Arts and Music Festivals across Australia to smiles, tears and standing ovations. Featured artists include Briggs, Peter Garrett and Emma Donovan. Marliya Choir sing proudly in English, Yindjibarndi - and Kala Lagaw Ya, and have made longstanding relationships with families and communities through their music.

“a show-stopping work of choral protest”
– The Adelaide Review

“Honest, political, with tales of disparity and injustice that hit home, Spinifex Gum is the stunning musical celebration our country has been waiting for, and their voices must be heard.”

$5 from every ticket purchase goes to VACCHO, the peak body for the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal peoples living in Victoria

Price range
Each order incurs a $9.35 Service Fee

There are 3 ticket categories for Live at the Bowl. Each option reserves a designated area for a group of people and must be booked in one transaction. You are welcome to book a group ticket for fewer guests than specified, however you will receive and pay for all seats within the designated area.

Private Decks
Lawn Deck for up to 6 guests: $150 ($25 per guest)
Terrace Deck for up to 4 guests: $100 ($25 per guest)

Stalls Tables

Table for up to 2 guests: $50 ($25 per guest)
Table for up to 4 guests: $100 ($25 per guest)


Seat for 1 guest: $25
Seats for up to 2 guests: $50 ($25 per guest)

Ticket categories

So how does it work? Sidney Myer Music Bowl has been transformed into a socially distanced COVIDSafe space. Find out more information about each of the ticket options available.


Age restrictions: This event is all ages, however guests under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Babies under 24 months do not need a ticket.

COVIDSafe Venue: Sidney Myer Music Bowl has been transformed into a socially distanced COVIDSafe space. For more information visit our Staying Safe page.


For detailed access information for the Sidney Myer Music Bowl, please visit our Accessibility page →

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Spinifex Gum has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body and the Major Festival Initiative in association with the Confederation of Australian International Arts Festival Inc., Adelaide Festival, Sydney Festival and Monash Academy of Performing Arts; Ryan Cooper Family Foundation, The Aranday Foundation, The Myer Foundation, The Yulgilbar Foundation, Limb Family Foundation, SALT Catalyst, Mamoma Foundation, Annamila Foundation, Lightfolk Foundation, The Humanity Foundation, Canny Quine Foundation, Igniting Change, many generous individuals, and by Creative Partnerships Australia through the Australian Cultural Fund and ACF Boost.