Image of Emma Donavan by Michelle Grace Hunder

Out of the Park Picnic 2023

Sun, 12 Mar 2023 1:16 am Book


Edwardes Lake Park
Griffith Street, Reservoir
VIC 3073




Event accessibility
Accessible Toilet
Wheelchair Access

Gender Neutral Toilets

Revive with an afternoon of musical royalty at Out of the Park Picnic, a free celebration at Reservoir's most celebrated lake.

MAV and FUSE presents Out of the Park Picnic to launch the FUSE AUTUMN festival, a family-friendly and free event delivering on a culture-blast of live music and performance crafted locally.

This year, join highly celebrated, ARIA-nominated Noongar/Gumbaynggirr singer and songwriter Emma Donovan and her band the Putbacks for soulful songs and powerful stories plus cult pop-mystiques Dorsal Fins, turntablist DJ Jumps and more.

With an interactive Drum and Movement activity led by FUSE Curator “Shabba” of African Star Dance and officiated by Queen Acknowledgements, Out of the Park presents a safe and inclusive opportunity to soak up the skills of our uniquely diverse community in laid-back style.

Stay tuned for details of free drumming and dance workshops in the lead up to the festival!

Plus, we'll have food trucks and pop up activities, all in the natural surrounds of Edwardes Lake Park.

Come outside and feel at home.

Content and Trigger Warnings
This is a family friendly and all inclusive program and event. It does include live drumming and community participation. The drums onstage are amplified to a standard and safe level. The audience may bring their own un amplified instruments to join in the music for part of the event at 1 pm . Those triggered by organic sound may want to avoid the main stage at 1pm for 50 mins.

Language Information
Our programmed artists are of Indigenous, Ghanaian, Australian and Indian backgrounds. At times they will sing in cultural sections and /or DJ Family friendly world music. Their style is to translate in English before the song begins to support the audience to understand the languages other than English. All of our artists are also fluent in English so they can be understood well when singing in English and translating. We will also have Auslan interpreters on site translating all English words and lyrics and singing and signing them in Auslan.

Out of the Park Picnic, is the opening event of FUSE Autumn and is presented by FUSE in partnership with MAV and supported by Darebin Arts.

About the artists

Emma Donavan

With a Darebin history, highly celebrated, ARIA-nominated, award-winning Indigenous singer and songwriter Emma Donovan has been touring the country for over 20 years, performing soulful songs, and sharing powerful stories with audiences around the globe. 

"Donovan can front a well-oiled soul band in her sleep" - Rolling Stone Magazine (AU), Doug Walla

"Donovan is reflective, contemplating the good, bad and indifferent of the world around her; in Donovan’s voice, it’s all worth listening to. Great soul singers are born, not made, and Emma Donovan is a charismatic soul singer for the ages." Beat Magazine, Patrick Emery 

”Donovan’s raw, soulful vocals are equally as commanding of the listener’s attention, as she conveys struggle and strength effortlessly.” Soul Music and Beyond - Kitten Jam 

“Emma’s voice is everything you’d want in a soul singer. She’s the real deal.” Wax Poetics - Devin Rimer.

”Years of experience have brought her the ability to put a song over in a direct and powerful way, but with a refreshing feeling of naturalness — there’s nothing forced, no slick stage craft.” The Daily Telegraph 

“Heartbreak and redemption bleed from every lyric – washed over with 70s-inspired funk and soul, rhythm and blues in a collaboration that’s best described as ‘new soul’.” ABC

Jamshid 'DJ Jumps' Khadiwhala

DJ Jumps has found himself occupying a unique position in the world of DJs and turntablists. After 22 years of touring the globe, playing the intensely rhythmic, live and highly eclectic music as a former member of The Cat Empire , Jumps has come into contact with musicians from many different cultures.

In Melbourne, Barcelona, New York or Havana, his own knowledge, both as a performer and as a listener, has been enriched and deepened by this journey. The record crates have piled up over the years. An appreciator of all good music, especially that which is driven by funky drums and percussion, DJ Jumps has dedicated himself to finding the best dance floor music from across the globe, with an emphasis on African and Latin rhythms.

There are many different beats to dance to in this world. DJ Jumps brings them all together, onto the dance floor, in his quest for universal funkiness.

Dorsal Fins

Dorsal Fins - The Ultimate Darebin Picnic band! Melbourne’s cult pop-mystiques, Dorsal Fins are back after an extended stay in the musical wilderness. 5 years on from their most recent release, they’re back with new record Star of the Show was out in early 2022.

Rising from the Hope/Ovens Street studio mile of Brunswick, the Fins have recently peeled back from the epic cast of 9 mates, entrusting band’s songwriting trinity, Liam McGorry, and co-vocalists aka The-Twin-Tweaks Ella Thompson and Jarrad Brown to navigate a kaleidoscopic bag of sun soaked horns, love-puddle funk, and brat-pop night moves. Soak up a splash of fresh Fins magic with epic new single Sugar. An ecstatic song about instant gratification… the sugar hit, that social media like, that sweet online purchase.

It’s Dorsal Fins meets Sesame Street with Wah-Wah Trumpet, a Bass Clarinet Choir, washed-out Wurlitzers, a funky beat, and a classic double dare co-lead from Jarrad and Ella bringing a big-fins-energy to this long overdue new cut. Dorsal fins bring their new music to life with a fresh live show ready for Out of the park Picnic!

Queen Acknowledgement

Darebin resident and Superstar host Queen Acknowledgement returns to host Out of the Park Picnic. Words from the Queen: "I am a First Nations woman living & learning on Naarm Country in Melbourne. Founder of Queen Acknowledgements which provides a safe space and opportunity for all people to heal with the connection to self, culture & country, bettering the mind, body, spirit & earth in return. I love using storytelling in different ways to express myself & connect others to Indigenous culture & the country. My work has reached thousands of people from across the world. I am also a mother who continues to grow my knowledge, understanding & connection to our culture & this land we call home. I am passionate about women's voices to be counted & empowering their healing journey to nurture & mother themselves to the healthiest life possible."

Edward Eshun aka Shabba aka African Star

Long time Darebin personality has a history of working in the area bringing together community and is passionate about teaching all people about African culture and tradition. Specialising in delivering impressive performances, workshops and classes African star provides inclusive & authentic West African cultural experience.

High-energy and sure to create a memorable experience for everyone. For Out of the Park Picnic - the community is invited to rehearse with African Star and or turn up on the day to get involved in sharing a whole lot of drumming movement or rhythmic fun! Stay tuned for how to get involved or just turn up!

Event accessibility
Accessible Toilet
Wheelchair Access