That's a wrap for 2016 Darwin Festival

The 2016 Darwin Festival has drawn to a close following 18 fun-filled tropical days and nights. This year’s bold and diverse program ran from 4-21 August and featured over 500 performers in 150 events that saw more than 70,000 people attend venues across the city and Palmerston.


Darwin Festival Artistic Director Andrew Ross said, “Once again Darwin Festival has delivered an exciting, provocative and diverse program of theatre, dance, music, comedy, ideas and cabaret.


“The 2016 Festival proudly presented two world-premiere works, Medium starring world-renowned Indonesian dancer Rianto and You and Me and the Space Between from Terrapin Puppet Theatre. These works dovetailed the international theatre presentations of Lippy by Irish company Dead Centre and Gobyerno by Filipino company Sipat Lawin Ensemble.


“Numerous events sold out, including the full season of Broken by award-winning NT playwright Mary Anne Butler. Comedians Peter Helliar, Anne Edmonds and Amy Hetherington enjoyed full houses, as did cabaret shows The Birds and Yana Alana. Circus Oz sold out both shows at Darwin Entertainment Centre, and in The Lighthouse Stephen Pigram, L-FRESH the LION and Sampa the Great, Stonefield, Jamie MacDowell and Tom Thum, the Central Aboriginal Women’s Choir and SPUN: Wild all enjoyed capacity audiences.


“The Past. Present. Feast dinners series was the hottest ticket in town, and the surprise original programming of storyteller Polarbear and the Silent Disco Walking Tour were fantastic hits with audiences.


“This year, the Festival revealed innovative new programming with the introduction of family events at Palmerston with participatory performances of Fitter. Faster. Better and Silent Disco Walking Tour. emBARK!, the mini festival for mini humans, was introduced at Festival Park on weeknights. For the big folk, the Festival introduced the late-night Club Awi at Happy Yess featuring DJ James Mangohig and friends, as well as the biggest party the Festival has ever seen, The WRAP, on the final weekend, featuring over 100 artists across 5 stages for 7 hours throughout Festival Park.


“Audiences also enjoyed classical music from Tamara-Anna Cislowska, as well as a selection of jazz and eclectic sounds at the Festival Lounge at The Rails. Plus who can forget the magic of Nabarlek and Sarah Blasko at the Santos Opening Night Concert at Darwin Amphitheatre followed by the exclusive performance by Peter Garrett and The Alter Egos.


“The 2016 Darwin Festival continued its tradition of strong support for local artists, including Gawurra, Nabarlek, Caiti Baker, B2M, Amy Hetherington, SPUN, James Mangohig, Anna Boustead, Serina Pech and the Ad Hoc Ensemble. We were pleased to once again partner with Tracks Dance, the National Indigenous Music Awards, the 33rd Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards and the 10th annual Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair to promote their exceptional work with local and Australian artists.”


Darwin Festival General Manager Emily Mann said, “Darwin Festival remains the Northern Territory’s premiere arts event. The Festival has enjoyed sell-out shows and strong audience attendances across multiple free and ticketed events.


“We were proud to continue the tradition of presenting free and accessible programming for all ages and interests. Festival Park remains at the heart of our program, and we were delighted to see so many patrons and families enjoying this magical venue each night.


“2016 was a challenging season for Darwin Festival. I would like to acknowledge the dedication, strength and resilience of the Festival staff who have worked tirelessly to deliver this year’s program of events.


“The Festival team extends our sincere thanks those in the community who have supported us throughout the year.


“We also wish to thank the Festival volunteers who have assisted us to deliver another successful and enjoyable event for the people of Darwin and the Northern Territory.


“Very special thanks also goes to our sponsors, partners, supporters, government funders, suppliers, donors and Friends of the Festival for their continued support.


“Darwin Festival now looks to the future as we seek to continue to present the Northern Territory’s largest cultural celebration of theatre, music, comedy, cabaret, visual arts, ideas and family programming.


“We look forward to returning to Festival Park in 2017.”