After the highly successful inaugural festival in 2021, Kidogo Arthouse proudly hosted, “Hand in Hand Festival 2022”. As Perth hunkered down for the peak of our pandemic experience, we were determined to follow through with our mission to create a safe music festival experience for all and give these incredible musicians a much needed platform where they could perform freely.

This year’s festival was an intimate 2 day gathering, held by the ocean on Kidogo’s beautiful deck and included performances by David Milroy, Lucky Oceans,  Danilo da Paz, Wayne Freer, Maitland Schnaars, Kenneth Dawson, Bryan Rice Dalton, Kavisha Mazzella, John Reed, Brian Finnemore, Fiona Rea, John Clare, Donough O’Donovan & Poetry by Máirtín Ó Dubhlaigh. It also featured the very special “Hand in Hand” Art Exhibition by two very important West Australian Artists, Kenneth Dawson (Gooniyandi) and Ilona McGuire (Whadjuk Nyoongar) as well as a projection wall featuring virtual performances by legendary Irish stars – Musician Luka Bloom & Poet Tony Curtis.

“This festival is a grass-roots, boutique festival run by a small group of friends with a shared love for the arts in Western Australia and we welcome you to join us and be part of this community. “

– KIAF Team


Kenneth Dawson • Bryan Rice Dalton • Kavisha Mazzella  • Ilona McGuire • Fiona Rea • John Clare • David Milroy • Lucky Oceans • Danilo da Paz • Wayne Freer • Maitland Schnaars • Donough O’Donovan • Máirtín Ó Dubhlaigh • Art Exhibition • Projection Wall • Virtual performances by Irish legends Luka Bloom & Tony Curtis





In March 2021, this unique and relatively unknown connection was embraced for the first time in a program that included live music connecting Irish and Western Australian performers, poetry, book launches and readings, exhibitions, dance, friendly AFL and GAA football, an Irish soda-bread versus damper cook-off as well as A 10 metre-high mega projection wall that featured virtual performances by internationally renowned Irish musicians.

Legendary Irish folk singer-songwriter Luka Bloom  performed a brand new song virtually on the 10-metre high mega projection wall, as will award winning folk artist Daoiri Farrell, critically acclaimed singer songwriters SON (Susan ONeill) and Steve Cooney as well as Irish poet Tony Curtis. Aboriginal performers include Olive Knight Kankawa Nagarra, the world-travelled, legendary Blues singer from the Kimberley, The Yabu Band and Dave Milroy & The Wilarra Band.  These notable musicians were joined by local legends such as double Grammy Award winner Lucky Oceans.

Producer and Artistic Director of Kidogo Arthouse, Joanna Robertson, originally from Dublin said, “This is a celebration of two cultures that has never been done before. There are long familial and friendship connections between the local aboriginal community and the Irish people that arrived in Australia. This festival is an opportunity to recognise them and create new and exciting creative collaborations between Ireland and Australia.”

“We have Irish and Aboriginal musicians songwriting together. Famous musicians in Ireland are delighted to perform virtually at this Festival as they love the idea behind the Festival.”

Joanna is a Fine Art graduate of the National College of Art in Dublin and established Kidogo Arthouse as an independent art centre 22 years ago. She has a 15 year history of running professional development courses with aboriginal artists at Kidogo Arthouse, which is how she first uncovered the stories of their Irish ancestry.

KIAF 2021 Lineup

The Yabu Band • Welcome to Country & Smoking Ceremony by Walter McGuire • The Rogues • Traditional Noongar Dance by Tjukan Keeninyirra (Dancing Sisters) • Ciaran O’Sullivan • Fieldsy & The Corrberries • Dave Milroy & The Wilarra Band • Patrick Woodley • Steve Cooney • Kenneth Dawson • Bryan Rice Dalton • Olive Knight Kankawa Nagarra • John Bennett • David Hyams • Lucky Oceans • Kavisha Mazzella • John Barrett • Fiona Doyle • John Reed • Lauralee Faith • Giri Mazzella • Tommy O’Brien • Brian Finnemore • Sharyn Egan • Fiona Rea • Nigel Healy • Dan Ablett • Donough O’Donovan • Comhaltas Traditional Irish Music – Sean Doherty • Fenian Festival Readings • The Perth Irish Choir • Poetry by Máirtín O’Dubhlaigh • Peter Murphy’s “Fenian 63” book launch • Friendly Footy GAA + AFL • Irish Soda-bread vs. Damper Cook-off • Warlayirti Artists Exhibition (Balgo, WA) • 10-Metre Mega Projection Wall • Virtual Performances by Daoiri Farrell, SON (Susan O’Neill), Luka Bloom, Steve Cooney & more big names in Irish music • Ciaran O’Sullivan – Pre single launch / music video screening

KIAF 2021: In the Media

Irish Examiner: St Patrick’s Day: A festival of friendship between Aboriginal and Irish people in Australia

ABC Saturday Breakfast with Roanna Edwards: The unique connection between Aboriginal and Irish Australians

Scenestr: Hand In Hand Celebrates Western Australia’s Aboriginal-Irish Cultural Connections

Cockburn Gazette: Page 3. Coming together of two cultures