Sunday 25 August with the very best in local and international curated cultural events and talent. Get ready to escape the Australian winter and spend 18 hot August nights in the tropical NT with a program rich in cabaret, theatre, comedy, dance, visual arts, words and ideas, music and family fun.
A first taste of the 40th anniversary celebrations has arrived, with ten hot shows on sale!
Darwin loves a Spiegeltent, and this year the masterminds behind 2017’s sell-out success Blanc de Blanc are back with a brand-new show. Head to all-new The Victoria Spiegeltent for a glitzy and glamorous party of Gatsby-esque proportions. From aerial acrobatics to captivating cabaret and burlesque, Blanc de Blanc Encore promises a sexy champagne-soaked world filled with big moves, great tunes and more than a few surprises.
From Australia’s leading physical theatre company Legs on the Wall and co-commissioned by Darwin Festival, Man with the Iron Neck is a stirring piece of theatre that seamlessly interweaves extraordinary aerial and physical skills with evocative visuals and a beautifully written narrative to tell a daring and delicate story of survival. Experience a very different circus show when Cambodia’s premier troupe Phare Circus present their award-winning Eclipse. Based on traditional Cambodian folktales, Eclipse combines a dramatic mix of theatre, classical Cambodian Apsara dance and thrilling acrobatics all set to a live original music score.
For some family fun, Air Race is an action-packed adventure inspired by the amazing true story of the 1919 Air Race from London to Darwin. With incredible moving sets and live music, Air Race is theatre for young people, made all the more poignant by this year’s centenary anniversary of the race ending on Darwin shores.
The master of ABC’s Hard Chat and Hard Quiz, Tom Gleeson is coming to Darwin for a gut-busting night of stand-up. He’s performed at every major comedy festival in the world and, with three Helpmann nominations under his belt, Gleeson is a killer comedian at the top his game, so get ready to giggle!
Kicking off the Festival’s music program is the enigmatic Mojo Juju. This killer vocalist, songwriter and musician has been making huge waves with her latest album Native Tongue and returns to Darwin with her powerful mix of the personal and political for one incredible live show at The Lighthouse. Filled with gorgeous music, Opera Australia is back in Darwin, this time transporting audiences to the exotic sights and sounds of Japan with Puccini’s famous opera Madama Butterfly.
It’s the year for significant birthdays with our own Darwin Symphony Orchestra getting festive for their 30th Anniversary Gala. A program of three very different compositions feature in this musical night to remember, including Sibelius’ rousing Finlandia followed by a world premiere from celebrated Australian composer Lachlan Skipworth commissioned especially for the 30th anniversary and designed to reflect the spirit of the Territory.
Bangarra Dance Theatre is also celebrating its 30th anniversary with Bangarra: 30 years of sixty five thousand, a diverse program of three contemporary works each displaying Bangarra’s trademark passionate storytelling, rich artistry and deep community connections. The much-lovedDarwin Aboriginal Art Fair celebrates its 13th year with art from more than 70 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community art centres, and an exciting program of traditional dance, workshops, film, music and the Fair’s fashion show From Country to Couture. This year, Melbourne fashion labelGorman has collaborated with Mangkaja Arts Collection to showcase 40 looks featuring the artwork of artists from Fitzroy Crossing in Western Australia at DAAF.
Darwin Festival Artistic Director Felix Preval says “Darwin Festival will deliver a truly unique and eclectic program of events to help celebrate our 40th milestone. These early release shows are but a taste of the huge program of cabaret, comedy, music, theatre, visual arts and dance to be unveiled in June. Darwin loves a party and this year we promise to deliver the party to end all parties!”
Darwin Festival Chair Ian Kew says, “Darwin Festival continues to delight its growing audience. In 2018, one in five of the 105,000 attendees originated from interstate or overseas. The board and staff of Darwin Festival intend to grow interstate and international visitation to the Festival over the next two years with the support of the Northern Territory Government. Through the consolidation of our funding into a $2 million package each year for the next two years, Darwin Festival will work with Tourism NT to promote our event through strategic national digital and print campaigns. We look forward to sharing the NT’s best-kept secret – Darwin Festival – with the rest of Australia and our neighbours to the north.”
Minister for Tourism, Sport and Culture, Lauren Moss MLA said the Territory’s unique festivals and events, including the iconic Darwin Festival, were a key ingredient in making the Northern Territory such a great place to live, work and visit.
“That’s why the Territory Government continues to back in our events and festivals sector with additional funding. On the back of our successful Turbocharging Tourism stimulus package, we are investing a further $62.8 million into a TURBO2 package over the next two years to bring more people to the Territory and make sure they have a great time when they’re here. The package includes an extra $20 million into supporting and growing our wonderful festivals, major events and experiences.
“Darwin Festival will be supported with a record $2 million investment a year over the next two years. This event absolutely lights up Darwin in August for locals and visitors alike and we want to see it grow, particularly in terms of attendance from interstate.
“Events and festivals give people even more reasons to visit the Territory, injecting more money into the economy and supporting thousands of local businesses and jobs.”
The full 40th anniversary program will be announced on Friday 21 June.
EARLY RELEASE TICKETS are on sale from 12noon Thursday 9 May and can be purchased at www.darwinfestival.org.au
Darwin Festival is proudly supported by the Northern Territory Government and City of Darwin.