Emerging artists take centre stage at Pako Festa

February 22, 2024 BY

The artists involved in the GRID series program (L-R): Baraka The Kid, Daisy Kilbourne, Wild Gloriosa, LENNi and Ridzyray. Photo: SUPPLIED

THE five local artists involved in the Geelong Grass Roots Indie Development (GRID) Series program will take the stage at Pako Festa this weekend.

The GRID Series is an artist development program designed to support emerging creatives from outer suburban areas across Australia.

Aiming to create an environment in which artists can thrive and advance their careers, the program has a focus on communities that have historically been ignored and under-resourced.

The program is supported by the Victorian government through Creative Victoria in partnership with the City of Greater Geelong and the Victorian Music Development Office.

This year’s cohort are the first to experience the program in Geelong.

Program participant Gloria Ragesh, who performs as Wild Gloriosa, said she would be debuting a song called ‘Lover Girl’ at the festival.

“It’s a love letter to myself and anyone else who needs a bit of encouragement, who are soft hearts, to stay believing in love.

“I’m really looking forward to performing alongside all the other artists from the program.

“We’ve been working hard and all of us are so excited to showcase our music.

“The program has definitely helped me overall with my confidence and ability to be sure of myself.”

Cr Melissa Cadwell, chair of the council’s creativity and culture portfolio, said the artists involved in the program had been working with “an all-star group of mentors, producers and content creators to supercharge their careers”.

“Pako Festa provides a unique platform for these talented artists to showcase their original works and bring their wonderful music to the community,” she said.

Organised by Cultura, Pako Festa is Victoria’s largest free multi-arts and cultural festival and celebrates the diversity of the city through music, dance, food and art.

The annual street party will be held on Saturday, February 24 and transform Pakington Street into a vibrant tapestry of cultures and traditions.

Cultura event director Luisa La Fornara said the performances by the GRID Series artists were “not to be missed”.

“With their diverse genres ranging from soul to hip hop and folk to RnB, the GRID Series artist performances are a highlight of this year’s program.

Beginning with singer songwriter LENNi at 12.30pm, each of the GRID Series artists will perform on the Geelong Arts Centre stage, located at the Adriot Chill Out Zone on Hope Street.

For more information about Pako Festa, head to pakofesta.com.au

To learn more about the GRID Series program, head to gridseries.com.au/geelong