The Festival’s breathtakingly bold 2021 program of 84 events is out now and the invitation for audiences to get to the tropical Top End for Australia’s hottest winter arts festival has never been more compelling.
Over 18 hot August days and nights, Darwin Festival will intoxicate the senses and offer up stirring theatrical performances, some of the hottest live music acts in the country, incredible cabaret and circus, cross cultural collaborations, thrumming dancefloors under the stars and epic outings for the whole family. Plus, so much more.
An all-star line-up of Australian talent will share the spotlight with an inspiring showcase of Northern Territory talent, with locals represented in every genre of the program. Some of the incredible shows on offer have been years in the making, while others have been forged directly through the trials of 2020.
The stunning open-air INPEX Sunset Stage will feature live music gigs from the likes of Ngaiire, JessB, Gordon Koang, Montaigne, Rainbow Chan, Miiesha, King Stingray, Fanny Lumsden and Angie McMahon.
This vibrant contemporary music line up is completed with Flight Facilities, who will be headlining an epic night under the stars at The Amphitheatre, alongside Confidence Man and Sycco.
Cabaret will also be coming in hot with the likes of Constantina Bush and Selina Jenkins, unsung powerhouses Amelia Ryan and Libby O’Donovan and Reuben Kaye, bringing an explosion of high camp and filthy humour in The Butch is Back.
Comedy greats from across the country are bringing the laughs including Hannah Gadsby, Zoë Coombs Marr, Karen from Finance, Dilruk Jayasinha, Ivan Aristeguieta and Oliver Twist.
This year Darwin Festival looks to the future by making space for the voices of young people. Generations collide in I’ve Been Meaning To Ask You, as 16 plucky performers aged 9 – 13 from Darwin’s Corrugated Iron Youth Arts take the stage, and the power, for a rollicking hour of hard questions and home truths.
Aspiring teen DJs and party planners pack the most fun possible into a shipping container in 10 Minute Dance Parties, under the guidance of Melbourne artist JOF. And a collective of young performers cast a fresh light on the plight of children in detention in We All Know What’s Happening, in collaboration with theatre makers Lara Thoms and Samara Hersch.
A canopy of 3,000 colourful dream flags will fly high at the Darwin Waterfront for Fly Me Up To Where You Are – a conceptual project that started in 2020 representing the hopes and dreams of Darwin’s young people.
While the City of Darwin Teddy Bears’ Picnic returns to The Esplanade for a big day out for the littlest art lovers and Justine Clarke headlines a huge free concert to close out the family fun at the end of the Festival.
“Our 2021 Festival is packed with big ideas and big nights out; it’s an invitation to the community to come together and have enjoy the best time of the year in Darwin,” said Darwin Festival Artistic Director Felix Preval.
“The program features 194 performances, spread across 30 venues and featuring 597 artists from around Australia, the Territory, and even a few kiwis who made it through the bubble.”
“So, whether you’re a local looking for some dry season fun, or an visitor seeking an escape from the winter chills, we’re looking forward to hosting you for this year’s Festival,” said Preval.
The 2021 Darwin Festival runs 5 – 22 August. Tickets are now on sale. For more information and full program, visit: www.darwinfestival.org.au for details.
Image: I’ve Been Meaning To Ask You – photo by Stephen Henry