General information

Who is Darwin Festival for?
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    Everyone! For 18 wonderful days every August, audiences of all ages and demographics can binge on a fabulous array of artistic offerings including comedy, circus, theatre, visual arts, music, film, dance and cabaret. Our Festival is safe, inclusive and welcoming. We offer something for absolutely everyone and encourage you to try out cultural offerings that you might not normally see – we promise you’ll be surprised and delighted!

When is the Festival on?
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    The 2019 Darwin Festival runs from 8-25 August. Dates for the following year are typically announced at the culmination of each Festival.

Where is Darwin Festival held?
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    The beating heart of Darwin Festival is Festival Park, located on the corner of Smith St and Harry Chan Ave in the Darwin CBD. Our other key venues, including The Victoria Speigeltent on The Esplanade and The Amphitheatre at George Brown Darwin Botanic Gardens, are in and around the CBD with visual arts and performance works also held in venues across greater Darwin.

When is the 2019 Festival program released?
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    The full 2019 program of events will be released at our official launch event on Thursday 20 June. The entire program will be available to book on our website from Friday 21 June.

Where can I get a Program Guide?
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    Hard copies of the program guide are distributed around the Northern Territory from Friday 21 June, including in the NT News, Darwin Festival Box Offices, Darwin International Airport and at local cafés and restaurants, retail stores, museums and art galleries.

    If you’re looking for a program and are located interstate or internationally, a full digital version of the program guide will be available online for download from Friday 21 June.

Our venues

I've heard Festival Park and The Lighthouse is the place to be?
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    You heard right! Festival Park is the hottest destination in town, with free gigs at the Rimfire Energy Bamboo Bandstand, delicious food and drinks from on-site vendors and the Coopers Garden Bar as well as free performances around the Park. Catch theatre, music, cabaret and comedy at The Lighthouse, Brown’s Mart Theatre and Happy Yess, all located within the Park precinct.

    Located on the corner of Smith St and Harry Chan Ave in the Darwin CBD, Festival Park is open from 5pm until late 9-25 August (excluding Mondays).

    The Lighthouse
    Our very own, open-air big top, located at the heart of Festival Park! It’s the iconic venue where musicians, comedians, circus performers and more have performed to spellbound Festival audiences since 2009.

    The Lighthouse has an on-site bar within the venue for your convenience. Drinks purchased at the Festival Park bar are permitted inside.

What’s on at The Victoria Spiegeltent on The Esplanade and when is it open?
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    Look for the twinkling lights to entice you from Festival Park to The Esplanade just a short stroll away, where you’ll find The Victoria Speigeltent, home to dazzling cabaret and an alfresco bar and food stand.

    The Esplanade is open from 5pm, with doors opening at The Victoria Speigeltent shortly before event start times. It is also the location of the ever popular family event The City of Darwin Teddy Bears’ Picnic.

Can I smoke at Darwin Festival?
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    Due to liquor licencing laws in the Northern Territory, all licensed venues are smoke-free. There are designated areas within our Festival precincts for smokers. These areas do not permit the consumption of alcohol and food, but in some locations, small tables at entry points provide a space for patrons to put down their drinks safely and within view.

Can I bring my own food and drink?
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    BYO is strictly prohibited at all Festival venues. Alcohol is available for purchase from our Festival bars. We have terrific, local on-site food vendors at our Festival precincts with offerings that will make your mouth water, however, if these options are not suitable for you, you are welcome to bring along your own food. But, please note that food is not permitted inside Festival venues.

Can the kids come?
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    Children love the magic of our precincts Festival Park and the Victoria Spiegeltent on The Esplanade. You can search our full range of Family events from Friday 21 June by selecting the genre ‘Family’ on the search function.

    Some ticketed events have age restrictions, or explicitly prohibit children from attending. These are outlined in the Program Guide and on individual events listed on our website.

    For some events, children under the age of two will not require a ticket, however, seating cannot be guaranteed for children without a ticket. For non-Family events, please consider that production elements such as loud music, bright lights, pyrotechnic stage effects and show content can cause distress to infants/minors, and lack of light during a performance can be particularly hazardous when bringing a child with you. If your child is upset or restless, please consider exiting the venue for the benefit of other audience members and the performers. All children must be accompanied by an adult at all times.

Are seats general admission or reserved?
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    Most Darwin Festival events do not have allocated seating and therefore are General Admission.

    Several venues have allocated seating:
    Darwin Entertainment Centre – The Playhouse and Studio Theatre
    Darwin Convention Centre Auditorium

    If your event is at an allocated seating venue, you can choose your preferred seat or the system will auto generate the next best available seat for you.

    The Victoria Speigeltent has a reserved premium seating section. Individual seats will not be allocated.

Can I fundraise, advertise or sell goods at Darwin Festival venues?
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    Fundraising is not permitted by anyone on site. Advertising is limited to the Program Guide, Darwin Festival website, and for Festival partners who may advertise via our digital advertising packages and at Darwin International Airport. Other businesses are not permitted at any time to advertise at the Festival.

    Food vendors may sell food and non-alcoholic drinks at The Amphitheatre, Festival Park and at The Victoria Spiegeltent on The Esplanade. Vendor applications for the 2019 Darwin Festival closed in April, 2019.

    Community stalls are welcomed at the Darwin Festival Teddy Bears’ Picnic. Stallholder applications closed in April, 2019.

Getting to Darwin Festival

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    Parking is limited in Darwin’s CBD. There is minimal parking available in adjacent streets to our two Festival precincts Festival Park and The Victoria Speigeltent on The Esplanade, so we recommend you park and walk from the city, ride a bike, take the bus or share a cab or ride sharing service with friends.

    Parking at George Brown Darwin Botanic Gardens for Amphitheatre events can be found at Mindil Beach just a short stroll away.

Public transport
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    You can ride FREE on Darwin Public Transport with a Darwin Festival event ticket for that same day. Each person travelling must be holding a valid Festival ticket or normal fares apply. Present your paper ticket or e-ticket to the driver to ride free.

Can I take my bike?
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    The dry season is the perfect time to whip out your bike for a balmy evening ride – plus, it’s good for the environment! We offer bike parks in Festival Park, and other Festival venues have bike parking provisions.

Other venues
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    You can find further details of our other Festival venues by visiting our Venues page from Friday 21 June.

Tickets and Box Office

How do I buy tickets?
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    You can buy tickets online at our website, in person at our Box Offices and over the phone from June, and through selected participating venues. You no longer have to go to a Box Office to collect your ticket. We have a brand new ticketing system so upon booking you will receive an email confirmation with a QR code – this is your e-ticket. For more details and for Box Office opening times and locations, see our Bookings page.

Do I need to create an account?
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    We ask for your personal information in order to deliver your ticket, process your payment arrangements, and contact you in the case of cancellation or major disruption of an event. We take all reasonable steps to protect the personal information we hold from misuse, loss and unauthorised access, modification or disclosure. Please see our Privacy Policy for more information.

What do I need to know about the new e-ticketing?
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    An e-ticket (electronic ticket) is the digital equivalent of a paper ticket and a more efficient method of ticket entry. A QR code will be displayed in your email order confirmation which will be emailed to you after you purchase your tickets. Some venues will be scanning your QR code and other venues will require you to present your email confirmation and QR code at the venue Box Office. Basically, your email will suffice as your ticket and you won’t need to queue for collection!

Do I have to use an e-ticket?
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    Using an e-ticket is easy and fun, but you can continue to collect your tickets at a Box Office or have them posted directly to you.

How do I get my e-ticket?
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    Your e-ticket will be sent to your email after your purchase is finalised. If you aren’t able to display your ticket on your mobile device, or print it in advance, then you will need to collect a paper ticket before the performance by showing photo ID at our Box Offices.

Will e-ticketing be run differently at different venues?
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    For events performing at Darwin Entertainment Centre, you will be required to present your email confirmation at the venue Box Office in exchange for a hard ticket.
    For all other venues, please present your QR code to the Front of House staff for admittance.

What if I can’t access my email confirmation?
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    You can access your QR code by logging into your Darwin Festival account and finding your QR code in the My Orders section of your account. You can also call us on 08 8943 4200 and we can resend your email, or you can collect a paper ticket before the performance by showing photo ID at our Box Offices.

Am I able to transfer my e-ticket to a friend if I choose not to attend?
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    The easiest way to pass on your ticket to a friend is to visit a Box Office to collect a paper ticket.

Will I need any form of identification with the e-ticket?
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    It is handy to carry your ID on you at all times. Venues will ask to sight your applicable form of ID if you have purchased a concession ticket and some venues will need to sight ID for their Liquor Licence requirements.

When is the latest I can book online for an event?
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    Transactions are instantaneous with our new ticketing system. You can book up until the show starts at most venues. This means that you can be standing at Festival Park or The Victoria Speigeltent on The Esplanade and buy a ticket without having to visit a Box Office! Tickets to events at The Darwin Railway Club can be purchased online after the event start time.

Do I need to have a smartphone to show the QR code?
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    You can use any device that has access to your email or you can screenshot your order confirmation so that we can sight the booking information or QR code. If you do not have a smartphone, we suggest you collect your tickets in advance from the Box Office or print your confirmation email.

What if I accidentally delete the confirmation email or it doesn’t arrive?
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    Always check your junk folder if you don’t think you have received an email from us. If the email doesn’t arrive or you accidentally delete your email, you can access your QR code by logging into your Darwin Festival account and finding your QR code in the My Orders section of your account. You can also call us on 08 8943 4200 and we can resend your email.

Can I use Apple Wallet to store my tickets?
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    Not yet! But we are working on it!
    A quick way to access your QR code is to take a screenshot and save it to your photos or notes.

Ticket types explained
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    Concession tickets are available for the following:

    • Full-time students
    • Children 12 years and under
    • Pensioner and Carer Concession Card holders
    • Health Care Card holders
    • Seniors Card holders
    • BasicsCard holders
    • Companion Card holders

    Proof of concession must be produced to obtain the concession price. Concessions are only available where advertised. Entry is free for children two years and under (subject to advertised age restrictions).

    Group 8+

    Groups of eight or more for selected events indicated in the Ticket Type section on event pages, may book at a discounted group price. Group bookings made over the phone will incur a transaction fee of $3.50. See individual event pages for details.


    The more you see, the more you save! Buy tickets to four different Festival events in the same transaction and save 10% off the full ticket price. Festival Multipacks can be purchased online, over the phone or in person at any of our Box Offices. Festival Multipacks are not applicable to all shows, and the discount does not apply to Premium seats and already discounted ticket types such as Concessions, Preview or Group bookings. Check back here for the full list of exclusions on Friday 21 June.

    Friends of the Festival

    Friends of the Festival are entitled to 15% off two full price tickets per event. The discount does not apply to Premium seats and already discounted ticket types such as Concessions, Preview or Group bookings, and some exceptions may apply. Check back here on Friday 21 June for the full list of applicable events.


    Discounted tickets for sessions prior to the official opening of the event’s season. Please note Multipack and Friends of the Festival pricing does not apply to Preview performances.


    Premium tickets allow priority entry to events at The Victoria Speigeltent and access to premium seating (Friends of the Festival discounts excluded).

What are the Box Office opening times and locations?
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    Please visit our Bookings page for opening times and locations.

Festival news

How can I stay in the loop?
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    Subscribe to our e-news so you don’t miss a thing. You’ll be the first to hear of exciting program reveals, competitions and news. Subscribe here.

    Like us for event news and exclusive competitions on Facebook.

    Follow us on Instagram to see behind the scenes pics, meet our artists and be inspired by all things Darwin Festival.

    Subscribe to the Darwin Festival YouTube channel to see sizzle reels and highlight videos.

    Use the #darwinfestival hashtag to tag your Instagram and Facebook posts, and tweets.

I'd like to be a Friend of the Festival

Where can I sign up and what are the benefits?
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    Check out our Friends of the Festival page for the full list of benefits, terms and condition and to sign up to be our Friend!

Is my current Friends membership valid?
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    Any memberships purchased after the conclusion of the 2018 Darwin Festival are valid for the 2019 Darwin Festival. 2019 Friends of the Festival memberships expire on Saturday 20 April, 2020.

When will I receive my membership pack?
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    All 2019 membership packs will be mailed along with the Program Guide in June, the week prior to our Program Launch.

How do I get an invite to the Program Launch?
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    All Friends who have signed up before our Program Launch on Thursday 20 June this year will be invited to our Program Launch event. Invites are sent via email, so keep a look out!

How do I get my discounted tickets?
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    Easy! Log into our website with your registered Friends email address or call our ticketing line for support on (08) 8943 4222 from Friday 21 June.

When and how will I be able to book my free show?
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    Friends plus one guest receive free entry to one of a select number of shows. Please check back to our Friends page for a list of shows and how to book from Friday 21 June.

I heard Friends get free entry to Club Awi?
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    Yes! Friends get free entry to the Festival’s hottest club. Show your membership card or keyring for entry.

How do I get priority entry at venues?
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    Look for the dedicated Friends line at general admission venues such as The Lighthouse. Ask a friendly volunteer or staff member for help if you are unsure!

Tell me more about Snappy Hour!
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    Friends receive drink discounts at the Festival Park and The Victoria Spiegeltent bars between 5-6pm daily (excluding Mondays).

I'm not a Friend yet. Can I purchase Friends membership and event tickets in one transaction?
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    Yes! Our clever new ticketing system will recognise that you have placed a membership in your cart along with your tickets and apply the applicable Friend’s discount for you immediately.

Supporting the Festival

Can I become a partner?
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    We love to tailor partnerships that meet our partner’s business objectives! From a direct affiliation with a high profile event to our exceptional corporate hospitality packages, we offer an unparalleled opportunity to connect with your customers or business networks and engage with the local community. Every partnership with Darwin Festival is unique! For more information check out our Partners page.

I’m interested in booking a Festival hospitality function
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    We have packages to match all budgets or can tailor an experience to suit your individual or business needs. If you are considering a Festival Hospitality package for the 2019 Festival, please email development@darwinfestival.org.au to register your interest.

Getting involved

I’m an artist/performer – can I apply to be in the Festival?
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    Darwin Festival is a fully curated event, with the artistic program being the result of the Artistic Director’s vision. However, Darwin Festival is the only Australian capital city international arts festival that invites expressions of interest from local artists. To find out more, visit our Artists page.

I’m interested in working at Darwin Festival
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    Festival employment opportunities are featured on our Join the team page.

I'd like to volunteer my services
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    Volunteer applications will open in June 2019. For more information, please visit our Volunteers page.

Filming and photography

I want to film/photograph an event
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    The Festival is uber-Instagrammable, it’s true, and we encourage you to share your good times with us on social media (don’t forget to tag #darwinfestival). However, due to our artists’ performance contracts, the use of video and audio recording devices are strictly prohibited at Festival events, with the exception of official Festival photographers and videographers, any approved media representatives, and those with written permission from Festival management.

    If you would like to apply for media accreditation, please contact Matt Fraser matt@cardinalspin.com.au. For written permission, please email marketing@darwinfestival.org.au to obtain an application form (fees apply).

Will I be filmed or photographed at Festival events and venues?
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    You may be filmed or photographed by Festival staff and contractors while taking part in Festival events. Any footage or photos may be used to promote the Festival in the future.

Lost property

Help – I’ve lost something at Darwin Festival!
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    If you are at a Festival venue, please report your lost item to our friendly Box Office team. If you are at the Teddy Bears’ Picnic, please report your lost item to Darwin Festival staff at the information tent. If you are no longer at the venue, please call the Darwin Festival office on 08 8943 4200 during business hours (Mon-Fri, 9am-5.30pm) or email contact@darwinfestival.org.au.


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