Culture, Arts and Tropical Vibes Combine for the Darwin Festival

Culture, Arts and Tropical Vibes Combine for the Darwin Festival

Darwin Festival, Australia’s hottest winter arts festival, returns from 4-21 August 2022, serving up 18 gorgeously tropical days and nights in venues across Darwin with a program brimming with music, theatre, comedy, dance, cabaret, visual arts and family fun.

Your first taste of 2022’s hot August nights has arrived with a sneaky reveal of some of the stellar shows on offer this year. There’s cutting-edge theatre, provocative cabaret, high fashion, Indigenous ballet, some of the hottest live music acts in the world and even a Grammy-nominated international artist in the mix.

Experience the ancient songlines that inspired Gurrumul’s album Djarimirri (Child of the Rainbow) at the Santos Opening Night Concert, Buŋgul on Thursday 4 August. This free, open-air event will see Darwin Amphitheatre at George Brown Darwin Botanic Gardens transformed into a meeting place of dance, song and ritual in a live performance by Yolŋu dancers, songmen and the Darwin Symphony Orchestra.

The 16th Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair is also welcoming people back in person to experience the rich diversity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art, design and culture at the Darwin Convention Centre from 5-7 August. One of the highlights of the Art Fair each year is Country to Couture – where First Nations textiles and fashion collide in a colourful showcase of wearable art. Country to Couture takes to the catwalk for two shows on Tuesday 2 August.

Wuŋa, on Friday 5 and Saturday 6 August, sees NT Dance Company fuse traditional lore with contemporary movement to share poignant experiences of grief and joy. Choreographer Gary Lang’s personal response to the sadness of young lives lost in remote Indigenous communities comes together in his own unique style of contemporary ‘Indigenous ballet’. Alongside MIKU Performing Arts (Yirrkala) and Philip Glass compositions performed by Darwin Symphony Orchestra, this moving dance production captures both the pain and relief of a spirit’s passing, and the welcome it receives from those that have gone ahead.

Internationally renowned for their arresting mix of provocation and entertainment, Finucane & Smith return to Darwin with their Travelling Dance Hall. Featuring local luminaries alongside global talent, irresistible music, torch songs and hot moves, festoons and fan-dancing, Dance Hall celebrates the beauty in us all, under a starry sky and the twinkling lights of Darwin Festival’s INPEX Sunset Stage on Friday 12 and Saturday 13 August.

The Australian Ballet’s Regional Tour Ballet Gala will bring the joy of classical dance to the Top End in a dazzling display of ballet on Thursday 18 and Friday 19 August. A highlight of the program will be Swan Lake Variations, a tribute to the beauty of the best-loved composer of ballet music, Tchaikovsky. This never-before-seen piece has been especially choreographed for the Regional Tour Ballet Gala by former Artistic Director David McAllister.

Darwin Festival Artistic Director Felix Preval says, “This is just the first taste of the hot August nights to come and it’s going to get hotter yet, with our full program launching in June.  We are thrilled to invite international acts back into the Festival this year, playing alongside some of the best Australian and Northern Territory talent. We’ve prepared a huge program with pressing themes as well as nights of pure abandon…”

Early Release Tickets for Darwin Festival are on sale now and can be purchased online at

The full program of cabaret, theatre, comedy, dance, visual arts, outdoor concerts under the stars and fun family events will be announced onThursday 16 June.  Audiences are invited to sign up as a Friend of the Festival member to access an exclusive pre-sale period from 17-19 June, with tickets available to the general public from Monday 20 June.