Your free what's on guide to the NT


Who’s excited? We are. Darwin Festival is finally here! 

By Tierney White

For almost three gorgeous Dry season weeks, Darwin plays host – not only to local and touring acts featuring 500 performers across 70 shows – but an influx of tourists who descend on the ‘big smoke’ for the largest arts and cultural event in the Northern Territory.

Year in and year out, the genre-rich program spans theatre, music, circus, comedy, cabaret, dance and more. Throw in Festival favourite hangouts Festival Park, Festival Lounge and, new for 2016, Club Awi, and you have one warm and buzzing hub of Festival goodness – whilst our southerly neighbours go into winter hibernation, mind you!

Catch the Australian premiere of Lippy by Irish theatre company Dead Centre, or check out our very own piece of award-winning theatre with Mary Anne Butler’s play Broken. The talented performers from Circus Oz and The Birds are sure to impress with their ‘don’t-try-this-at-home’ feats of bodily strength and flexibility, and Yana Alana (cover image) will blow the roof off the roofless Festival big-top, The Lighthouse, with her band Tha Paranas. 

The kids will love hanging out with giant Ants, making up stories with master ‘maker-upper’ Polarbear, and dressing Ted up for a day of picnicking and games, while comedy lovers will have a chuckle at Anne Edmonds, Juan Vesuvius and Steve Hughes, just to name a few. They say music makes the world go round – get ready to get dizzy to the sounds of Northeast Party House, Stonefield, City Calm Down, Black Jesus Experience, Miss Colombia and more. Yes. More.

Look, there’s so much going on we’d need this whole edition to tell you all about it. Get out there and see something new, drink in the Festival buzz (and maybe a few Moscow Mules!) and enjoy your 2016 Darwin Festival experience. We’ll see you there!



What better person to quiz about this year's Festival than its much-respected patriarch? Here's what Darwin Festival's Artistic Director Andrew Ross had to say! 

How would your perfect 2016 Darwin Festival experience play out?
It would play out with contrasting experiences comprised of beautiful, moving and contemplative moments. Watching dance and theatre, and listening to Tamara-Anna Cislowska play her piano. It would finish off with some great, late-night hangouts with good people, listening to music at Festival Lounge at The Rails. 

You’re stuck on a deserted island – who from this year’s program would you be stuck with and why?
This is a tough one. I’d say Rianto and Garin Nugroho from Medium. I know we’d have some great conversations and I think they’d somehow figure out how to cook good food! 

What’s the most exciting thing about working at Darwin Festival?
Getting the chance to meet and work with so many great artists in and around Darwin. Not just in our hinterland, but the archipelago to the north. And, of course, being amongst the Festival audience!

If you were to recommend a Top End location out of Darwin to a visitor, where would it be?
One of the best places I’ve ever been is Bawaka in East Arnhem Land. It was just beautiful – full of interesting stories and history all around you. You’ll sit on the beach and expect a pinisi perahu to come sailing by. 

What’s your go-to karaoke song?
Look, I’m not a big karaoke person but in my youth touring around Western Australia, my country pub jukebox favourite was Charlie Pride singing 'Me and Bobby McGee'.


look, it's no secret - we at Otl crush pretty hard on dfest. we got all romantic and wrote them a poem. yep - it's love.

To see the full program or buy tickets, click here to check out the gorge new Darwin Festival website!

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