Your free what's on guide to the NT

Down The Track - September

DUE TO RECENT HAPPENINGS, the annual Desert Festival has been forced to go local. But with the Red Centre teeming with unique and diverse talents, it looks like it’s all the better for it.

By Zoya Godoroja-Prieckaerts

Celebrating 20 years this year, Desert Festival producers Red Hot Arts have condensed the one-month program into 10 pumping days of arts and culture, “proudly bringing local artists to the forefront as we showcase nothing but great Central Australian talent”.

With over 20 events in 10 short-but-exciting days – featuring music, theatre, exhibitions, cinema, workshops, family events and more – there’s plenty to enjoy.

Experience virtual reality film Storm Dog, created by NT filmmaker Caro MacDonald – a hit in the Top End, sure to be an eye-opener in the Red Centre. The film considers the impacts of climate change in the Territory through a 360-degree lens and a fictional narrative. It’s an important work that allows us the time and space (and VR tools!) to flex our curiosity.

For a sweeter tone, DesFest couples local singer-songwriters with some of Alice Springs’ favourite café haunts, with daily sets to soothe your soul as you cradle your coffee. XAVIA’s dreamy combination of cello, autoharp and stunning vocals always calms and holds a crowd, whilst Bambadino brings her quirky, upbeat melodies and stories of personal experience to the (café) table. With more local talents lined up, treating yourself to regular café outings during DesFest is a given.

If these aren’t enough for you, there’s a myriad of pop-up performances held daily. DesFest Hub is home to a range of exhibitions, and there’s a night time program to activate venues and businesses around town.

If music is your jam, local favourites include King Marong & Tamala Express, hip hop duo Karnage & Darknis and the Alice Springs World Chamber Orchestra. Mum’s On Tour brings Casii Williams, Patsy Coleman and Jessie K together, collaborating and sharing personal experiences through warm, soulful sounds.

Running from late September to early October, Desert Festival opens alongside the famous Night Markets and ends with a special anniversary celebration. Presenting free and ticketed events, the Festival aims to deliver an accessible and invigorating program, where collaborations with various local businesses and broadcasters entice as many people to join in the fun as possible.

With a 100% local line-up, this year looks like it may very well be the best Desert Festival yet!

Desert Festival

Photo: Xavia. By Kate La Greca

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