Events / Features
Rise of South Sudan Music & Arts
Words by James Lynch
Wednesday 13th April, 2022
This Saturday, April 16th, Bunjil Place in Melbourne’s south-east will host R.O.S.S, Rise Of South Sudan Music & Arts Festival, the third event that brings together and celebrates pioneering South Sudanese-Australian creatives across music and art.
Founded by Nostalgic Event director Kush K. T. Kuiy in 2017, the third instalment of R.O.S.S arrives after an extended break thanks to the Covid pandemic. However, this year the festival is back bigger and better than ever, featuring a loaded lineup highlighting South Sudanese-Australian creativity across a breadth of fields, from music to poetry to visual art.

There’s plenty for everyone; rock ’n’ roll fans will be treated to the raucous bluesy soul of Jag, hip-hop heads can get around acts like PREZ, Malesh P and Mike Wang, and those a little more pop minded can dig into the evocative sounds of Ag Johnson or the neo-soul grooves of Jacki Tut. Plus with poets Nyarath Gatkuoth and Flora Chol, visual artists A.costa and Mr. Unique, and dancer Lee, there’s heaps going on and plenty more to discover.

The extensive, multidisciplinary lineup ties in perfectly with director Kush’s original goals, which focused on amplifying the work of South Sudanese-Australian artists while providing a platform to enable them to share their work. However, this year’s event is specifically themed around resilience, strength, and endurance, to remind artists and audience alike that they are part of a community that supports each other. Speaking about this idea, Kush shares “We live in a competitive world, and sometimes it may feel like society has cast a powerful trick on you to constantly feel pressured to compete with one another. I like to believe that the only person we truly have to fight or face at the end of every turmoil is ourselves.”

She hasn’t given it all away but Kush has suggested exciting things are to come from this year’s festival. “Attendees can expect a dynamic and seamless show this year. We've upped our game as far as production goes to include high-quality sound, lighting and visuals, giving the show an atmospheric element never seen before at R.O.S.S. Providing the best tools to ensure our line-up of incredible artists can perform to the best of their abilities was paramount in creating this year's festival.”

Check out the full lineup below, and head here to grab a ticket.

Full line-up:

Ag Johnson
Nyarath Gatkuoth
Flora Chol
Jacki Tut
Mike Wang
Mr. Unique
YTS Gucciboi
Malesh P & Flexx
For all the event info and to find out more about R.O.S.S, here here.