The Northern Territory isn’t short on festivals. The rich cultural heritage of the area comes alive through the music, art and food of the communities that live here. And what better backdrop than the spectacular surrounds of this stunning wilderness.
A visit to the Northern Territory is a once in a lifetime experience, from Uluru to Kings Canyon, the top end to the centre and everything in between, make the most of your visit and tick a few experiences off the festival bucket list. Here are some of the best.
Wide Open Space
Where: The Ross River Resort, East MacDonnell Ranges
When: 4-6 May 2018
Wide Open Space (or WOS as it’s known) is a huge art, music and desert culture festival just outside Alice Springs with an eclectic mix of artists and experiences on offer. The big draw is the music and the program always includes a heady mix of live bands, electronic producers and performers, hip hop, superstar DJs, acoustic acts and desert reggae acts to name just a few. The line up is always varied and interesting with lots of local performers on stage. The performance programme includes burlesque and circus, spoken word and installations and even live painting to decorate the event. If it all gets a bit much chill out with a yoga class or body percussion – like you haven’t already tried that yourself. There’s something for everyone.
Bass In The Grass
When: 19 May 2018
Taking place in the atmospheric Darwin Amphitheatre, Bass In The Grass is a 12 hour short and sweet music festival featuring top bands from near and wide. Featuring electronic acts, acoustic, rock and even a battle of the school bands, this is very much an all ages festival with music to suit everyone. If you like a chilled vibe and leafy surrounds, this one’s for you.
Yirrkala Yarrapay Music and Dance Festival (YYMDF)
Where: North East Arnhem Region
When: 30 June – 1 July 2018
A little different to your usual festival, experience the incredible culture of the Yirrkala in North East Arnhem Land at YYMDF and enjoy mesmerising music and dance performances, learn from the stories and cultural traditions at the same time. Art, music, dance and story all combine to create an immersive experience and you may well find yourself learning more about the cultural history of the NT than at any other festival. It’s also well known for promoting aspiring young artists and is the best place to hear up and coming musicians.
Territory Taste Festival
Where: Darwin Waterfront
When: 2-3 June 2018
Taking place on the beautiful Darwin waterfront, this two day extravaganza of cooking demos, masterclasses and live entertainment is a relaxed foodie experience. Expect top chefs showing off their skills and sampling the very best of Northern Territory cuisine with tastings and pop ups. There are also a great selection of tasty Aussie wines on offer should you need to refresh your palate. A top day out.
Desert Harmony Festival
Where: Tennant Creek
When: 3-7 August 2018
Aboriginal community members travel from far and wide to perform in music, dance, art and theatre, as well as participate in workshops, tours and sports and cultural activities. Hosted by the Barkly Regional Arts on Warumungu lands this year’s festival will focus on ‘Place and Belonging’ so expect to learn about the local indigenous culture, all in one of the most remote settings of any festival in the NT. This is a special one.