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Photo: Darwin Festival’s Marketing & Communications Manager Kate Napper and CEO Emily Mann with Con Daglas from Treasury Wine Estates, sponsor of the Major Festivals & Events Brolga Award Category. Image via Brolga Northern Territory Tourism Awards. 

Darwin Festival is the delighted recipient of the Major Festivals & Events Award for its 2017 Festival at this year’s Northern Territory Brolga Tourism Awards. Announced at a gala event hosted by Tourism NT on Saturday 10 November, the Brolga Awards is the official tourism program that celebrates and acknowledges businesses, people and events bringing invaluable tourism to the Northern Territory.

The Brolga Awards Facebook page reads, “Steamin’ home for the win! Darwin Festival delivered eighteen ‘hot August nights’ capturing the spirit of the Northern Territory. As Australia’s leading tropical winter major arts festival it delivered a program drawn from the Northern Territory’s Indigenous and multicultural communities, enhanced by contemporary mainstream and fringe acts from around Australia and the world. Bravo, team!”

The 2017 Darwin Festival program featured 599 performers in 244 events, with more than 99,000 people attending shows across the city of Darwin. The Festival achieved its highest overall ticket sales since 2013, with a 70% increase in gross box office receipts on 2016 sales. There was a staggering 75% increase in the number of tickets sold compared to 2016, with more than 36,600 tickets sold in 2017.

Despite a drop in visitation to the NT, the 2017 Darwin Festival reported growth, with research data revealing that 14% of Festival visitors originated from outside the NT and 2% originated from overseas.

Darwin Festival is extremely proud of the 2017 results, yet has since gone on to break new records with the delivery of the 2018 Festival. The 2018 Darwin Festival saw the highest overall tickets sales since the Festival’s inception in 1979 and a further 7,522 more tickets sold than the 2017 event, recording 44,191 seats sold. During a period when NT visitation was shown to contract by 11%, Darwin Festival increased its interstate visitation result to 17% (^ from 14% in 2017) and international visitation result to 3% (^from 1% in 2017). One in every five people at the 2018 Darwin Festival originated from outside of Darwin.

“Thrilled is an understatement,” says Emily Mann, Darwin Festival Chief Executive Officer.

“This award is a testament to the hard work and focus of our fantastic staff, board, volunteers and partners. Together, we set the bar higher each year, with our sights firmly set on strategically positioning Australia’s leading tropical winter arts Festival at the forefront of national and international audiences to drive visitation to the Northern Territory.

“We are very much looking forward to representing the Northern Territory in the Major Festivals and Events Category at the 2018 Qantas Australian Tourism Awards.”

Darwin Festival, together with other 2018 Brolga Awards winners, will represent the Northern Territory at the 2018 Qantas Australian Tourism Awards to be held in Launceston in March 2019.

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