Your free what's on guide to the top end

Garrmalang Festival

A three-day celebration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander music, dance, arts and culture, right in the heart of Larrakia country. 

For the traditional custodians, Garrmalang is the name of what is now Darwin’s CBD. The city’s only dedicated Indigenous festival is now in its fourth year and has cemented itself as an event of national importance. 

The free opening ceremony is always a powerful kick-off. This year Larrakia’s Kenbi Dancers, Gary Lang NT Dance Company and traditional performers from Yirrkala and Milingimbi come together for an unforgettable display of Indigenous song and dance. 

The dance theme continues with award winning Djuki Mala, formerly known as the Chooky Dancers. Their latest show is told through dance and video, and tells the intimate story of the troupe’s journey to stardom. 

On Saturday check out the rapidly rising musical star of Yirrmal Marika, grandson of the late Dr Yunupingu, Yothu Yindi’s frontman. This young singer-songwriter is the talk of the industry, and his atmospheric concert should be firmly on your ‘not to miss’ list. 

All-female show Hot Brown Honey is also top of the pile. Described as “a sweet hive of circus and hip-hop, burlesque and beat-boxing, dance and neo-soul cabaret, all performed by a cast of black, brown and mixed beauties, and delivered with a political sting” – this is a guaranteed audacious platter of a night.

There’s more to pack in, with panel discussion 250 Shade of Black including Luke Pearson, Michael Mansell, Josephine Crawshaw and Olga Havnen discussing Constitutional Recognition versus a Treaty. Or check out the free Larrakia artist  exhibition, pop up stalls and traditional healing sessions with Larrakia Elder Bilawara Lee. 

Artistic Director Gary Lang says Garrmalang puts Darwin on the main stage. 

“We’re bringing Indigenous people from around the country together, showcasing what we have, and sharing it with our local community.” 

See the event listing.

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