Multicultural Arts Victoria unveils Piers Festival 2016 headline acts


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Multicultural Arts Victoria (MAV) is back in 2016 with a new festival experience for the 5th Piers Festival on Sunday 3 April 2016 at Princes Pier, Port Melbourne. Held during Victoria’s Term 1 school holidays, the day will be headlined by legendary singer/songwriter Archie Roach alongside new global musical collaborations, kids’ activities, forums, exhibitions and a gourmet paradise from Victoria’s exceptional artists and cultural communities.

Piers Festival 2016 highlights:

  • Main Stage will feature one of Australia’s finest celtic rock bands Claymore, Italian Greek aficionados Magna Grecia, Orkeztra Glasso Bashalde’s wide spanning repertoire from Romanian gypsy to Klezmer, Arabic, Macedonian and other Balkan melodies, powerful mana from Polynesian dance group Nuholani, Melbourne’s favourite 60s Asian/Western garage pop explosion Empat Lima, sensational high energy collaborators Amaru Tribe & The Lalibelas ft. Oscar Jiminez and Nhatty Man, headlined by Australia’s iconic and profound Indigenous voice and musician Archie Roach.
  • The Landing will bring together a collection of some of Victoria’s most active cultural associations representing their communities and culture through exhibitions, activities and performances
  • What Happened at the Pier is curated by Lella Carridi and will feature live poetry readings, forums and musical responses inside The Gatehouse on Princes Pier alongside an exhibition of artefacts and moving image illustrating the narratives from the artists and Memory Keepers who arrived to Melbourne from Princes Pier
  • Cultural games, roving activities and performers
  • Food stalls and food trucks from local providers

Piers Festival celebrates and reflects on the collective historical and contemporary migration stories at its site, Princes Pier, the significant entry point where almost half of Australia’s post World War II refugees arrived. The Festival brings to life the pivotal role Princes Pier played from 1915 to 1969 in Victoria’s growth and as a gateway to the diversity of cultures that enrich our community. With 12,000 attendees in 2015, Piers Festival has grown to become an annual highlight in Victoria’s cultural calendar and a significant occasion to acknowledge and bring to light our Indigenous and multicultural talent.

Sunday 3 April (in Victoria’s Term 1 School Holidays)
Princes Pier, Port Melbourne

Supported by Creative Victoria, City of Port Phillip, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, and the Office of Multicultural Affairs and Citizenship.


From the time of its completion in 1915 until 1969, Port Melbourne’s Princes Pier was a major point at which many migrants, particularly during the post-war period, arrived in Australia and therefore played a significant contribution to the transformation of Australian society, not least in regards to the diversity of cultural heritage of its citizens, in the second half of the 20th century. Following the end of World War II between 1947 and 1954, the Port Melbourne piers served as the arrival point for approximately half of the 180,000 refugees to Australia with an average of 61,000 passengers arriving in the port each year. The first ship to arrive under the International Refugee Organisation arrived in Port Melbourne in 1947.

Originally opened in 1915, New Railway Pier (Princes Pier) was able to accommodate the largest of steamers and mail ships. New Railway Pier was renamed Princes Pier in 1921 following the arrival in 1920 of the HMS Renown carrying Edward VIII, Prince of Wales. Over many decades, this pier has played a critical role in commerce, wartime embarkation and migration. With the advent of modern commercial air travel, arrivals to Princes Pier gradually declined from the 1970s. Closed in 1989, Princes Pier has been disused until its recent refurbishment. The redeveloped Princes Pier was launched as a public space in December 2011 and Multicultural Arts Victoria presented the first Piers Festival in January 2012.


Multicultural Arts Victoria (MAV) is a not for profit organisation that has evolved over four decades into one of Australia’s most important bodies for development and promotion of culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) contemporary art, heritage and cultural expression. Over 800,000 participants each year are engaged in MAV’s innovative, educational and culturally rich program. MAV also provides crucial advice and significant initiatives for career development and creative capacity building for artists and communities from established and emerging backgrounds. The organisation can provide expertise in audience development, community engagement, and artistic excellence in CALD communities.

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