Special Event, Family


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Darwin Festival gets underway with a dazzling opening night celebration.

Join us from 5pm on Thursday 10 August as we open Festival Park and Festival Lawn. Everyone’s invited to explore the precinct and discover the wonders that await you in 2023.

It all kicks off with a special Welcome to Country ceremony at 5.15pm, acknowledging that our Festival takes place on what has always been Larrakia land.

See the first performance of Life/Time, our World Premiere collaboration between Gravity & Other Myths, Jimblah and Corrugated Iron Youth Arts. World class acrobats join forces with talented young Darwin performers in a living, breathing lighting design that moves through the space driven by a new electronic score.

Festival Park comes to life with free performances, the best of Darwin on a plate and a new play space, Kolsen Twilight Playground, where you can experiment with light and sound in two interactive installations – Mirror Mirror and HEXADECA.

Bring the family to Gravity & Other Myth’s A Simple Space and dance into the night with international superstars Soweto Gospel Choir and DJ Groove Terminator in History of House.

This year there’ll be double the fun as we open a new space, Festival Lawn, with the return of Darwin favourite Blanc de Blanc Encore in The Spiegeltent, and a new venue – Maho Magic Bar – where you’ll be wowed by Japanese magic and wonder.

Take the time to view INPEX Sunset Stage, transformed by a beautiful mural by Jason Lee and Trent Lee. The work is called Gwadbarrwanigi – Milky Way and depicts the rich and ancient Milky Way story, passed down through generations:

The Milky Way is not just a celestial phenomenon but a pathway of ancestral spirits. Our ancestors travel along the luminous trails, guiding and protecting their communities. The stars within the Milky Way represent significant figures, each constellation telling a unique story of creation, wisdom, and connection to the land. This profound narrative serves as a reminder of the peoples’ deep spiritual connection to the cosmos and their reverence for the natural world. It encapsulates their profound respect for their ancestors and the wisdom they impart, fostering a sense of belonging and continuity within their communities.


Schedule of Events

5.15pm: Welcome to Country (FREE)

5-9pm: Kolsen Twilight Playground (FREE)

5.30-6pm: The Neo Marching Band (FREE)

6-7pm: A Simple Space (TICKETED)

6-7pm: Maho Magic Bar (TICKETED)

7-8pm: The Neo (FREE)

7pm-9pm: Blanc de Blanc Encore (TICKETED)

7.15-8.15pm: Maho Magic Bar (TICKETED)

8-8.30pm: Life/Time (FREE)

8.30pm: History of House (TICKETED)

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