General information

Who is Darwin Festival for?
  • A:

    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?
  • A:

    The 2020 Darwin Festival will run from 6-23 August. Dates for the following year are typically announced at the culmination of each Festival.

Where is Darwin Festival held?
  • A:

    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 Spiegeltent 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 2020 Festival program released?
  • A:

    The full 2020 program of events will be released at our official launch event in June 2020, with a collection of early release events available for sale from May. We will announce the date of our full program release here soon.

Where can I get a Program Guide?
  • A:

    Hard copies of the program guide are distributed around the Northern Territory following the full program launch in 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 June.

Our venues

I've heard Festival Park and The Lighthouse is the place to be?
  • A:

    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 6-23 August 2020 (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?
  • A:

    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 Spiegeltent, home to dazzling cabaret, and an al fresco bar and food stand.

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

Can I smoke at Darwin Festival?
  • A:

    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?
  • A:

    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. Please note that food is not permitted inside Festival venues.

Can the kids come?
  • A:

    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 following the full program launch in 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.

    For children attending City of Darwin Teddy Bears’ Picnic or our events at The Amphitheatre, we recommend you place your contact number on the body of your child in a visible location so our staff can ensure you are swiftly reunited in case of separation.

Can I bring my dog?
  • A:

    Regrettably, your adorable plus one, fur baby, man’s best friend or other domestic pet cannot be brought to our Festival sites. In the interest of your furry family members’ health, it’s best to leave them safely at home away from the loud noises and crowds of a jubilant festival environment.

Can I reserve a table at Festival Park?
  • A:

    Festival Park is the place to be every night of the Festival with your friends! We suggest you arrive as early as possible when the Park opens at 5pm to find a table for your group, as regrettably we are unable to reserve tables. If you’re celebrating an occasion or want to impress clients, consider booking a hospitality experience. Enquire about packages by emailing hello@darwinfestival.org.au.

Are seats general admission or reserved?
  • A:

    Most Darwin Festival events do not have allocated seating and therefore are General Admission.  Some venues do have allocated seating. 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.

Can I fundraise, advertise or sell goods at Darwin Festival venues?
  • A:

    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 at The Amphitheatre, Festival Park and at The Victoria Spiegeltent on The Esplanade. Vendor applications for the 2020 Darwin Festival close in April 2020.

    Community stalls are welcomed at the Darwin Festival Teddy Bears’ Picnic. Check back at our Vendors page or sign up to our e-news and follow us on Facebook for regular updates.

Getting to Darwin Festival

  • A:

    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 Spiegeltent on The Esplanade. We recommend you park and walk from the city, ride a bike, take the bus or split a cab or ride-share 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
  • A:

    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?
  • A:

    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
  • A:

    You can find further details of our other Festival venues by visiting our Venues page when the full program is launched in June 2020.

Tickets and Box Office

How do I buy tickets?
  • A:

    When our early release events are launched in May 2020, our homepage will feature a collection of shows on sale. From June 2020 when the full program is launched, you can buy tickets online at our website, in person at our Box Offices and over the phone, and through selected participating venues.

    You no longer have to go to a Box Office to collect your tickets. We have a brand-new ticketing system so upon booking you will receive an email confirmation with a barcode.

    You can then use your smart phone to show the email confirmation to venue staff for door scanning at performances on arrival. Alternatively, you can print out your receipt and carry it with you for scanning, or arrange to pick up hard tickets at Darwin Festival Box Offices ahead of time.

    For more details and for Box Office opening times and locations, see our Bookings page.

Do I need to create an account?
  • A:

    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 e-ticketing?
  • A:

    An e-ticket (electronic ticket) is the digital equivalent of a paper ticket and a more efficient method of ticket entry. A barcode will be displayed in the email order confirmation that will be emailed to you after you purchase your tickets. Some venues will be scanning your barcode and other venues will require you to present your email confirmation and barcode 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?
  • A:

    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?
  • A:

    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.

What if I can’t access my email confirmation?
  • A:

    You can access your tickets by logging into your Darwin Festival account and finding your order in the Order History section of your account. Select an order and click on the Re-send confirmation email link at the top right of the pop up order screen. 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?
  • A:

    The easiest way to pass on your ticket to a friend is to visit a Box Office to collect a paper ticket.

    You can forward your e-ticket on but keep in mind if you have purchased multiple tickets in one transaction, the barcode will allow entry to all the shows in the ticket booking transaction.

    In the event that you present your barcode for scanning at a venue and someone else has already entered on the same barcode, entry will not be permitted to subsequent ticket holders with the same barcode.

    We advise against sharing barcodes. To avoid complications with group bookings, collect your paper tickets from the Box Office to distribute amongst your group.

Will I need any form of identification with the e-ticket?
  • A:

    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?
  • A:

    Transactions are instantaneous with our 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 Spiegeltent 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 if the performance is not already sold out.

Do I need to have a smartphone to show the barcode?
  • A:

    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 barcode. 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?
  • A:

    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 tickets by logging into your Darwin Festival account and finding your order in the Order History 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?
  • A:

    Not yet! But we are working on it!

    A quick way to access your barcode is to take a screenshot and save it to your photos or notes.

Ticket types explained
  • A:

    Concession tickets are available for the following:

    • Full-time students
    • Children 12 years and under
    • Pensioner and carer concession card holders including Concession Scheme Card
    • Health Care Card holders
    • Seniors Card holders
    • BasicsCard holders
    • Companion Card holders
    • Australian Defence Force personnel
    • International defence force personnel

    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 or more different Festival events in the same transaction and save 10% on full price tickets, some exclusions apply.

    Festival Multipacks can be purchased online, over the phone or in person at any of our Box Offices.

    Friends of the Festival

    Friends of the Festival are entitled to 15% off two tickets per eligible event (some exclusions apply).

    You can purchase a Friends of the Festival membership online, over the phone or in person at any of our Box Offices.


    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 Spiegeltent and access to premium seating (Friends of the Festival discounts excluded).

What are the Box Office opening times and locations?
  • A:

    Please visit our Bookings page for opening times and locations following our full program launch in June 2020.

What does the no latecomers notice on my e-ticket mean?
  • A:

    For the safety of the performers and audience, some performances have a strict lockout policy. This means no-one will be admitted to the venue once the show has started. Some performances may admit latecomers at a suitable point in the performance.

    Lockouts and other content warnings are advertised in the event listings in the Program Guide, on event pages, on your e-ticket and in performance reminder emails. No refunds will be provided for latecomers under strict lockout conditions.

    Please see our Ticketing Terms & Conditions of Sale for further information.

The event I want to see is sold out - how can I get my hands on a ticket?
  • A:

    Where possible, we may release a limited number of standing tickets at The Lighthouse for seated events. Head to the Festival Park Box Office when it opens on the day of the event to try your luck! Box Office opening times are located on our Bookings page following the full program launch in June 2020. Otherwise, you can add your name to waiting lists to see shows in the event tickets become available. Simply call our Box Office line to make your inquiry.

How do I go about requesting a refund?

Festival news

How can I stay in the loop?
  • A:

    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?
  • A:

    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?
  • A:

    Any memberships purchased after the conclusion of the 2019 Darwin Festival are valid for the 2020 Darwin Festival. 2019 Friends memberships expire on 30 April 2020.

When will I receive my membership pack?
  • A:

    All membership packs will be distributed from one week prior to the program launch each June. For memberships bought after the program launch, your pack will be sent to you immediately.

How do I get an invite to the Program Launch?
  • A:

    All Friends who have signed up before our Program Launch in June 2020 will be invited to the Program Launch. Invites are sent via email, so keep a look out!

How do I get my discounted tickets?
  • A:

    Easy! Log into our website with your registered Friends email address or call our ticketing line for support on (08) 8943 4222 following the full program launch in June 2020.

When and how will I be able to book my free show?
  • A:

    You and a guest receive free entry to a selection of Festival events, subject to availability.

    To book your free show following program launch in June 2020, log in to your Darwin Festival account and look out for the pink crocodile which will appear against the Ticket Type on applicable event pages while free tickets are still available. Simply add two tickets for that performance to your basket and click through to checkout, where the tickets will change to $0.00 value (booking fee not applicable). Your tickets will be sent directly to your inbox upon checkout.

    If an event has exhausted its Friends Free ticket allocation, the pink crocodile will disappear and you will not receive free tickets to this event. So, look out for the pink croc and book early to avoid disappointment!

I heard Friends get free entry to Club Awi?
  • A:

    Yes! Friends plus one guest receive free entry to the Festival’s hottest club, simply show your membership card or keyring. Entry is subject to capacity.

How do I get priority entry at venues?
  • A:

    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!
  • A:

    Friends can access $5 beer, bubbles and house wines 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?
  • A:

    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?
  • A:

    We love to tailor partnerships that meet our partners’ 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 Partnerships page.

I’m interested in booking a Festival hospitality function
  • A:

    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 2020 Festival, please email hello@darwinfestival.org.au to register your interest.

Getting involved

I’m an artist/performer – can I apply to be in the Festival?
  • A:

    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
  • A:

    Festival employment opportunities are featured on our Join the team page. Please check back for future openings.


I'd like to volunteer my services
  • A:

    Great! For more information visit our Volunteers page and read on below.

Am I qualified to be a Darwin Festival volunteer?
  • A:

    We are committed to an inclusive and diverse volunteer team and welcome applications from everyone.

    We would like our volunteers to have a positive attitude, be punctual and be fluent in English. We appreciate those who have a commitment to making the Festival a fantastic experience for the public, guests and staff. Most of all we seek volunteers that have energy and enthusiasm for the Festival and our events.

What are the basic requirements?
  • A:

    As a volunteer you must be over 16 years of age. We ask that volunteers help for a minimum of eight hours or three shifts across the 18-day Festival. Shifts range from three to five hours.

    You will also be required to attend the compulsory Volunteer Orientation on Monday 27 July 2020.

What type of jobs will I be doing?
  • A:

    Darwin Festival volunteers are generally engaged as front of house, market research and information assistants. However there are also roles specific to performances as well as administrative positions prior to the Festival. Each year more than 80 Darwin Festival volunteers help across Festival venues including Festival Park, Brown’s Mart Theatre, Darwin Entertainment Centre and various other locations across Darwin City.

    We expect our volunteers to be able to:

    • Work closely with the general public
    • Be adaptable to a busy, constantly changing environment
    • Interact with everyone from children to late-night revellers
    • Be able to work as part of a large team
What are the benefits of being a Darwin Festival volunteer?
  • A:

    Each volunteer will receive four complimentary tickets that can be redeemed for certain performances. These tickets are not linked to individual volunteers, so you can use these tickets yourself or share with friends or family.

    Your Volunteer Pass provides multiple benefits, including free bus travel during the Festival. More benefits will be revealed!

    Volunteers can enjoy a creative environment, new challenges and the opportunity to meet new people.

I have more questions, where can I direct these?

Filming and photography

I want to film/photograph an event
  • A:

    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 hello@darwinfestival.org.au to obtain an application form (fees apply).

Will I be filmed or photographed at Festival events and venues?
  • A:

    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!
  • A:

    If you are at a Festival venue, please report your lost item to our friendly Box Office team.

    If you are at the City of Darwin Teddy Bears’ Picnic, please report your lost item to Darwin Festival staff at the information tent. To ensure lost children are swiftly returned to their guardian we recommend a contact number be placed on the child in an easily visible location.

    If you are no longer at the venue where you lost an item, please call the Darwin Festival office on 08 8943 4200 during business hours (Mon-Fri, 9am-5.30pm) or email hello@darwinfestival.org.au.


I have some feedback I’d like to pass on

Our Partners

Sign up to Darwin Festival e-news