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CONTENTS Snapshot 3 Our Audience 4 General Manager’s Message 6 Darwin Festival 8 Festival Park 10 Festival Highlights Theatre & Dance 12 Cabaret & Circus 14 Music 16 Comedy & Storytelling 18 Free, Family & Special Events 19 Visual Arts 20

Local Focus International Outlook

Schools Engagement 26 Industry Development 27 Volunteers & Interns 28 Friends of the Festival 29 Our Supporters 32 Marketing 33 Media & Publicity 34 Sustainability 36 Thank You 37 Festival Team 38

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Darwin Festival 2016 Annual Review



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Darwin Festival 2016 Annual Review



OUR AUDIENCE The following data was collected from our ticket buyers and audience survey respondents:

28 86 56 14 51 37 %




Live in the NT




NT locals or Interstate Purchased Purchased lived here or overseas tickets tickets in 10+ years visitors person online

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3 , 436

“ My first Darwin Festival great work!” DARWIN FESTIVAL PATRON 2016














91 %

8.8 4

Makes Darwin a better place to live (scale 1-10)

8.4 42

Darwin Festival 2016 Annual Review



Most important event in Darwin (scale 1-10)

Darwin Festival is main reason for trip to NT




5 8 . 8%

Stollznow Research conducted market research and audience analysis to measure the impact of Darwin Festival on the local community and visitors to the Northern Territory. Information gathered from these surveys assists us in understanding our audience and helps shape the Festival. Combined with box office data, results show:

Attended the Festival more than twice


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“ Darwin truly comes alive with the festive atmosphere, and Festival Park with the twinkling lights is just the best.” DARWIN FESTIVAL PATRON 2016


No. of events the audience attended on average


Extended their trip to NT because of the Festival


This year’s research was conducted by Stollznow Research, a specialist in research for cultural organisations, travel and tourism. Stollznow is accredited with the industry ISO Standard 20252. They are a company member of the Association of Market and Social Research Organisations and their key staff are also members of the professional body, the Australian Market & Social Research Society.

Darwin Festival 2016 Annual Review


GENERAL MANAGER’S MESSAGE 2016 has been a year of opportunity, transformation and growth for Darwin Festival. We met with significant obstacles yet, with one eye squarely on the future, we worked to overcome the challenges to successfully deliver a program of events celebrating the heart and spirit of Darwin. Darwin Festival entered the year in a financial deficit. A strategic review of the Festival’s position revealed the strong probability that this deficit would carry forward with the delivery of the 2016 event. The board immediately undertook consultation with the Northern Territory Government. In early June the Director-General of Licensing conducted an investigation into the Festival’s continuing financial viability. On 8 June, Hendri Mentz of Deloitte was appointed statutory manager to administer the affairs of Darwin Festival Association Incorporated. Following the appointment of the statutory manager, Festival staff engaged in an organisation-wide review to strengthen financial controls and develop robust finance systems. Staff worked simultaneously to develop new financial systems while coordinating and delivering the full Festival program in August. KPMG was then appointed as independent auditor to conduct an interim audit to the end of September. The audited financial statements revealed a return to a strong net positive position, with the forecast to year end that the deficit had been successfully eliminated. 6

Darwin Festival 2016 Annual Review

The statutory appointment was a significant expense to Darwin Festival. Yet it is with thanks to the statutory manager and staff at Deloitte that Darwin Festival is now equipped with the systems and policies that will ensure the organisation remains sustainable and profitable into the future. This year yielded many departures and arrivals within the Festival family. We farewelled our board at the commencement of statutory management and we now welcome a new board of directors to the organisation to be chaired by Ian Kew, CEO of Northern Territory Airports. We also bid fond farewell to our artistic director, Andrew Ross, who departed in November. Andrew presented significant south-east Asian and Indigenous works during his tenure, including the evocative Cry Jailolo and Prison Songs in 2015, and the world premiere of Rianto’s Medium in 2016. Andrew’s artistic contribution reinforced Darwin Festival’s position as a leading national presenter of first nation programming. An illustrious theatre director whose progressive influence on Asian and Indigenous programming will be felt for years to come, Darwin Festival was fortunate to enjoy Andrew’s knowledge and insight for two seasons. We wish Andrew every success in his future endeavours. Darwin Festival has embraced the opportunities for growth and development presented to us this year. This year’s successful outcome is a clear and honest reflection of the

determination, hard work, innovation and integrity of the people behind the scenes. Special acknowledgement and sincere thanks go to the core Festival staff, to the short-term contractor staff, Deloitte staff, volunteers and former board members for their extraordinary efforts during this particular season. On behalf of the staff and boards past and present of Darwin Festival, I would like to thank our funders, sponsors, grantors, Friends, donors and stakeholders for their unwavering support. You have stood shoulder to shoulder with us in 2016 and we have drawn on your strength. Darwin Festival wishes to acknowledge the core funding support of our Principal Partners the Northern Territory Government and Festivals NT, and our Local Government Partner City of Darwin. Without the support of our many valued partners we simply would not be able to transform Darwin, create memories and bring joy the way we do. Thank you. Like the city we serve, Darwin Festival is resilient and continually evolving. We invite you to join us again next year as we enter a fresh new era and continue to celebrate the warm August days and nights in our special city. Emily Mann General Manager / CEO

The Lighthouse, Festival Park


DARWIN FESTIVAL Australia’s most northern and only tropical arts festival was born out of the devastation of Cyclone Tracy, which tore through Darwin on Christmas Eve 1974, destroying more than 70% of Darwin’s buildings. As rebuilding progressed, in 1977 Northern Territory Director of Health Dr Charles Gurd suggested celebrating the town’s revival with a festival that would draw the community together and reflect the optimism of those determined to rebuild. The Bougainvillea Festival was held in July 1979, on the first anniversary of the granting of self-government for the NT. In the early years, the Festival featured events such as the Bougainvillea Queen of Quests competition, Home Garden contests, a Grand Parade with floats and decorated bikes, sporting events, a birdman rally and mardi gras.


Darwin Festival 2016 Annual Review

In the 1990s the Festival changed focus with a greater emphasis on community arts and cultural performances. In recognition of Darwin’s distinctive multicultural population, Indigenous communities and Asia Pacific cultural groups were encouraged to get more involved. In 1996, this annual celebration became known as the Festival of Darwin. The Festival was renamed Darwin Festival in 2003 to reflect its growing local and national status. It established itself as a multi-arts festival presenting a variety of works that reflected Darwin’s unique cultural mix. In 2004 the Festival was invited to join the Confederation of Australian International Arts Festivals, engaging in closer dialogue with the other major Australian multi-arts festivals and beginning to present international works.

Central Australian Aboriginal Women’s Choir

2009 saw significant changes and new initiatives within the Festival, including the expansion of events into the city centre through the establishment of the much-loved Festival Park precinct, the creation of The Lighthouse – the Festival’s own unique purpose-built venue – and the introduction of an annual call-out for NT artists to submit proposals to be considered for the Festival program. By 2013 the Festival had demonstrated an annual contribution of $8.9m to the Northern Territory economy.

The Festival reflects Darwin’s position at the Top End of Australia, its unique Indigenous and multicultural population, and its close proximity to Asia, while at the same time showcasing some of Australia’s finest performers.

Now a vibrant arts and cultural event with a broad, dynamic and innovative program, the Festival is presented in spectacular outdoor venues that take advantage of Darwin’s blissful dry season weather.

Darwin Festival 2016 Annual Review




Darwin Festival 2016 Annual Review

“Festival Park remains at the heart of our program.” EMILY MANN, GENERAL MANAGER

Festival Park, Darwin’s favourite dry season haunt, is at the heart of Darwin Festival. It’s here you’ll find: kk kk kk kk kk

our iconic venue The Lighthouse where audiences enjoy bands, cabaret and comedy intimate theatre and dance presentations in Brown’s Mart Theatre comedy, storytelling and our new late-night party place, Club Awi, at Happy Yess the Bamboo Bandstand, our free Festival music stage our legendary alfresco dining and drinking wonderland that draws crowds to eat, drink and enjoy the beautiful Darwin dry season evenings

This year we stretched our wings into the surrounds of Festival Park using the restored Town Hall Ruins for our popular degustation dinners and stepping into the beautiful Christ Church Cathedral for a number of events.

2016 FESTIVAL PARK DINING OPTIONS kk kk kk kk kk kk kk

Cucina Sotto le Stelle Dapur Eti Hanumans Lucky Bat Smokehouse The Cav Catering Trampoline

Hooray Festival Time and that means yay... Festival Park is open!!! AUDIENCE MEMBER VIA INSTAGRAM

Darwin Festival 2016 Annual Review


FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS THEATRE & DANCE In 2016 we presented a diverse selection of contemporary dance and theatre works from Australia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Ireland. Darwin audiences again proved their willingness to engage with traditional forms as well as more experimental work, with shows selling out and near-capacity audiences for all theatre and dance performances. The international highlight of our theatre program, Lippy, by Irish company Dead Centre, saw the true story of the mysterious deaths of four women excavated in a brilliant piece of stagecraft that was both thrilling and perplexing by turns. This complex and compelling work found an audience in Darwin willing to wrestle with the work’s layered meanings and post-dramatic form.


Darwin Festival 2016 Annual Review

We were delighted to present an encore season of Broken, local playwright Mary Anne Butler’s multiaward-winning play. This deeply moving and uniquely Territory tale sold out its entire run before opening night, with additional performances opened to the public to meet demand. A testament to the quality of artistic practice in the Northern Territory, Darwin Festival is proud to have presented this local work alongside some of the best in the world. Manila’s leading contemporary theatre company, Sipat Lawin Ensemble, brought their latest interactive performance work, Gobyerno, to Darwin. Working in collaboration with local performer and presenter Lisa Pellegrino, the company invited audiences to devise new systems of government and then – to their surprise and delight – enact them for the camera in a wild, one-take film.

Fitter. Faster. Better. by St Martins also asked audiences to get involved, this time in an exercise routine led by a class of eight year olds. This joyous, quirky and often sweaty work created a unique space in which young people and older generations could connect. Our ticketed family program centrepiece was You and Me and the Space Between by Terrapin Puppet Theatre, a Major Festivals Initiative co-commission*. Told in a traditional storytelling format with the help of live animation by Chinese artist Badiucao, the show was a visual feast that captivated audiences young and old. The 2016 dance program saw two very different pieces explore the personal relationship between body and place. A contemporary solo dance work by Indonesian dancer and choreographer Rianto,


“Beguiling, disorientating and jarring… Lippy challenges perception on every level.” REALTIME


Medium, drew on the traditional Indonesian cross-gender dance form lengger. This intensely physical and meditative work was accompanied by a live music score from virtuoso kendang player and vocalist Cahwati. Darwin Festival is delighted to have been part of this international co-commission with de Singel, Belgium, and Germany’s Heissisches Staatsballett. Tracks Dance once again brought their unique fusion of energy, colour and community to the Festival’s dance program with the major new work Landed, involving three generations of local dancers. Performed at sunset in the bushlands near Darwin Airport, the promenade work took audiences on a journey of return, rediscovering the beauty and mystery of the NT.

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Broken, Knock-em-Down Theatre (NT) Fitter. Faster. Better., St Martins (VIC) Gobyerno, Sipat Lawin Ensemble (Philippines) Landed, Tracks Dance (NT) Lippy, Dead Centre (Ireland) Medium, Rianto (Indonesia) You and Me and the Space Between, Terrapin Puppet Theatre (TAS)

“The world premiere of, You and Me and the Space Between was a magic carpet ride of puppetry.” REALTIME

@Darwinfestival just saw #broken at #brownsmart EXCELLENT! My fav of the festival so far. AUDIENCE MEMBER VIA TWITTER

Congrats @tracksdance on another stellar performance in a unique setting #dfest16 @Darwinairport #ILoveDarwin AUDIENCE MEMBER VIA TWITTER

* With Ten Days on the Island, Brisbane Festival, Melbourne Festival and Sydney Festival.

Darwin Festival 2016 Annual Review


FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS CABARET & CIRCUS Darwin audiences flocked once more to the cabaret and circus program looking for razzle dazzle and the sequined intersection of politics and pure entertainment – all of which they found in fabulous abundance! This year shone the spotlight on some incredibly talented women: Miss Behave, the company of Finucane and Smith, and Yana Alana and Tha Paranas. Miss Behave’s Gameshow saw audiences divided into opposing teams depending on the brand of smartphone in their pocket. They quickly rose to the challenge, raucously competing in a series of increasingly hilarious challenges expertly conducted by the mistress of the evening, Miss Behave. Interactive, engaging and often totally bonkers, this show was a sure favourite of many who saw it. Finucane and Smith’s The Birds transported 14

Darwin Festival 2016 Annual Review

Darwin Festival audiences to a parallel universe – late-night Paris by way of Edgar Allen Poe. Exquisite, provocative and captivating, The Birds was a sell-out hit of the Festival. Darwin favourite Yana Alana returned with her band, Tha Paranas, in their new show, Covered. Armed with a wicked sense of humour and an inimitable voice, Yana brought down the house and closed the Festival on a high. Circus Oz was welcomed back to Darwin with open arms, selling out both performances of TWENTYSIXTEEN to huge and eager crowds. This family favourite proved once again that Australia’s premier circus company continues to deliver exceptional shows.


Miss Behave’s Gameshow

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TWENTYSIXTEEN, Circus Oz (VIC) Miss Behave’s Gameshow (UK) The Birds, Finucane and Smith (VIC) Covered, Yana Alana & Tha Paranas (VIC)

“Mama Alto has a crystalline voice that totally bewitches. Transcending gender, she is sublime as a powerful, ethereal being who sits front-stage dressed in sparkling silver, singing about love.” REALTIME REVIEW OF THE BIRDS

Absolutely loved The Birds tonight. They were absolutely fabulous. Congratulations to all performers. Great innovative work. AUDIENCE MEMBER VIA FACEBOOK

#dfest16 #circusoz sorry to the guy in seat g19 for the on going commentary of WOW. #amazing Loved it. AUDIENCE MEMBER VIA TWITTER

Miss Behaves Game Show is a must see, last night was hilarious. AUDIENCE MEMBER VIA INSTAGRAM

Darwin Festival 2016 Annual Review


FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS MUSIC Darwin audiences love live music and we presented a large and vibrant program of music to meet demand. From world music to pumping hip hop, classical piano to jazz guitar, Indigenous choral to out-and-out rock‘n’roll, this year had a diverse range of musical offerings. 2016 saw a trio of classical piano recitals from ARIA award-winning pianist Tamara-Anna Cislowska. Over three evenings, Tamara-Anna celebrated the works of classical pioneers Field, Sculthorpe and Satie, attracting fervent fans and new listeners alike. Our classical music program was rounded out by local collective Ad Hoc Ensemble, which took audiences on a musical journey – accompanied by storytelling and projection – from Darwin, around the world, and back again.


Darwin Festival 2016 Annual Review

The contemporary music program saw rising stars on the national scene perform in Darwin for the first time alongside some of Australia’s rock‘n’roll big guns. Highlights of the program included sold-out shows at the Lighthouse by hip hop artists L-FRESH the LION and Sampa the Great, hard-rocking sisters Stonefield, party starters City Calm Down and the phenomenal beat box talents of Tom Thum with Jamie Macdowell. Former Midnight Oil frontman Peter Garrett wowed audiences at the Amphitheatre, and Stephen Pigram serenaded a sold-out crowd at the Lighthouse. Local favourites owned equal footing across the music program with exceptional performances by Caiti Baker, Serina Pech, Nabarlek, B2M and Gawurra.



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B2M with Ego Lemos (NT/Timor-Leste) Black Jesus Experience (VIC) Caiti Baker (NT) Central Australian Aboriginal Women’s Choir (NT) City Calm Down (VIC) Club Awi (Various) Festival Lounge (Various) Jamie Macdowell and Tom Thum (VIC/QLD) Kid Congo & The Pink Monkey Birds (USA) L-FRESH the LION & Sampa the Great (NSW) Methyl Ethel (WA) Moses Gunn Collective (QLD)

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National Indigenous Music Awards (Various) Northeast Party House (VIC) Peter Garrett & Gawurra (NSW/NT) Stephen Pigram (WA) Stonefield (VIC) Tamara-Anna Cislowska (NSW) Teeth & Tongue (VIC) The Ad Hoc Ensemble (NT) The WRAP (Various)

“I was so moved by the Central Australian Aboriginal Women’s Choir. We were coincidentally visiting Darwin, and attended this performance (along with one other). What a great performance that will stay with me for a long, long time. Thank you for bringing it to Darwin, the festival and to me.” AUDIENCE EMAIL

Darwin Festival 2016 Annual Review



Juan Vesuvius

COMEDY & STORYTELLING kk kk kk kk kk kk kk kk

Aamer Rahman (VIC) Amy Hetherington (NT) Anne Edmonds (VIC) Juan Vesuvius (New Zealand) Peter Helliar (VIC) Second City Stories by Polarbear (UK) SPUN: WILD (NT) Steve Hughes (NSW)

Telling stories brings us together and Darwin audiences proved eager to bond at our storytelling and spoken word events. SPUN: Wild was presented by local company Storyprojects and saw six local characters from the Territory tell their true-life stories on stage. This enormously popular event drew its largest crowd to date, selling out the Lighthouse long before opening. In a special Festival edition of SPUN, the stories focused on tales where science meets the wilder side of life. People connected across international distances with two shows by Birmingham spoken word artist Polarbear. Open Mouth, Story Jump Out and Second City Stories were hits with local audiences.


Darwin Festival 2016 Annual Review

Touching on personal and universal themes, Polarbear’s works took us from childhood discovery to adult confusion with gentle humour and a wicked turn of phrase. Our popular comedy program was bigger than ever in 2016, with local, national and international comedians serving up serious LOLs and leaving audiences rolling in the aisles. Audiences rushed to see television regulars Peter Helliar and Steve Hughes, as well as rising comedy star Anne Edmonds. Local comedian Amy Hetherington sold out her entire run, a major achievement for an aspiring Territory talent. Aamer Rahman, one half of Fear of a Brown Planet, turned up the heat with his political wit, while Juan Vesuvius got audiences up and dancing in the wildly funny Calypso Nights.


Santos Opening Night Concert

FREE, FAMILY AND SPECIAL EVENTS Each year we deliver an eclectic program of free events to ensure the Festival remains accessible to Darwin’s unique and diverse communities. The 2016 Festival kicked off in style with the Santos Opening Night Concert, this year starring Sarah Blasko and Aussie rock legends Nabarlek. We delivered the 31st People’s Choice Teddy Bears’ Picnic in association with long-term supporters People’s Choice Credit Union. Families enjoyed playing with Big Ted and an array of visiting and local artists at the George Brown Darwin Botanic Gardens. And expanding our free family programming, this year we introduced emBARK!, a mini festival for mini humans, that offered early evening fun for families at Festival Park.

We engaged the chefs of Scraps Kitchen to curate Past. Present. Feast., our 2016 dinners event. A Festival favourite, the dinners showcased Territory produce and provided an unrivalled pop-up fine-dining experience in the newly restored Town Hall Ruins. A stand-out new special event for 2016 was The WRAP. Headliners Slum Sociable and Client Liaison along with over 100 local and visiting artists performed for the price of a single ticket, allowing audiences to build their own adventure in this festival within the Festival.

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105.7 ABC Darwin’s Happy Hour (Various) Anna Boustead & After the Rain (NT) Ants, Polyglot Theatre (VIC) Eating Dinosaurs (SA) emBARK! (Various) Lunchbox Series (Various) Miss Colombia (VIC) Mouth Open, Story Jump Out, by Polarbear (UK) Past. Present. Feast. (NT/VIC) People’s Choice Teddy Bears’ Picnic (Various) Santos Opening Night Concert with Sarah Blasko and Nabarlek (VIC/NT) Silent Disco Walking Tour (VIC) STREETcurrents: Transforming the Lighthouse (NT/Indonesia) Sunday at CDU (Various) The Smiling Face of Islam (WA/Indonesia) The WRAP (Various) Darwin Festival 2016 Annual Review



10th Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair

VISUAL ARTS The vibrant and stimulating visual arts program showcased the distinct cultural diversity of the Northern Territory, highlighting in particular the incredible output of local and national Indigenous arts practitioners. Independent galleries and art spaces across Darwin presented an array of free exhibitions throughout the Festival. 2016 saw the presentation of the 33rd Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards and the 10th annual Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair. Attracting audiences by their thousands, these two major visual arts events placed the Northern Territory at the centre of the national conversation about Indigenous arts practice.


Darwin Festival 2016 Annual Review

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10th Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair, Darwin Convention Centre 33rd Telstra National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art Award, MAGNT Behind the Wire, Fanny Bay Gaol Echoes, Reflections Art Gallery Kidin – Time of Plenty, Nomad Art Gallery Life and the after Life, DVAA Midawarr – Harvest Series, Tactile Arts Ngawila Jilamara, Double Tree Hilton Rust and Bone, DVAA Salon16, CDU Art Gallery Waiting for Water, Nan Giese Gallery The Most Stolen Race on Earth, NCCA


33rd Telstra National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art Award

Darwin Festival 2016 Annual Review




LOCAL FOCUS Darwin Festival is proud to provide a high-profile platform for Northern Territory artists that places local practice alongside the best in current national and international touring work. We are constantly on the lookout for ways to support upcoming and emerging Territory artists as well as established talents as part of our mission to support the presentation of local artists. The list of local contributors to the 2016 Darwin Festival is long and the arts practices represented are diverse. NT artists presented works across the main Festival genres including theatre, comedy, music, words and ideas, dance, family, special events and visual arts. Highlights of the local program included Mary Anne Butler’s Broken, musical talents Caiti Baker, Serina Pech and Tiwi band B2M, aspiring comic Amy Hetherington and local classical group Ad Hoc Ensemble. kk kk kk kk kk kk kk kk kk kk kk kk kk kk kk kk kk kk kk kk kk kk

Ali Mills Alimango Allen Murphy Amy Hetherington Angus Rigby Anna Boustead & After the Rain At The Dakota B2M with Ego Lemos Ben Evolent Bilawara Lee Brian Cullen Bridey Rose and The Good Fellows Broad Wing (Ben Allen) Broken, Knock-em-Down Theatre Caiti Baker Central Australian Aboriginal Women’s Choir Club Awi Corrugated Iron Youth Arts D*City Rockers D-Town Funk Daniel J Townsend Darwin Brass Band

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Darwin Community Arts Darwin Rondalla Dave Crowe Dave Garnham Drag Territory Dr Sketchy DUKES (Darwin Ukulele Collective) Flugendorf GAIA Gawurra Hairy Fairy Hyper the Clown James Mangohig Landed, Tracks Dance Lisa Pellegrino Mandy Garling Nabarlek Natalie Pellegrino Rachel Small Serina Pech SPUN: WILD Swing Dance NT The Ad Hoc Ensemble Darwin Festival 2016 Annual Review




Darwin Festival 2016 Annual Review

INTERNATIONAL OUTLOOK Each August Darwin becomes a hub for international artists. The international offerings add to almost every genre of the Festival, from theatre, dance, comedy and cabaret to spoken word and contemporary music. In 2016 we were proud to present international works from the UK, USA, New Zealand, Ireland, the Philippines, Indonesia and Timor-Leste.

We presented another successful program of Indonesian work, including dancer and choreographer Rianto, as well as the team of Indonesian and Australian street artists that collaborated with spray paint to transform the façade of our iconic venue, the Lighthouse.

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2016 saw the 70th anniversary of Philippine-Australian diplomatic relations. As a significant number of people of Filipino heritage live in Darwin, we were eager to celebrate this historic connection and shine a spotlight on the Philippines, presenting collaborative works between exceptional Filipino artists Sipat Lawin Ensemble and Joey Ayala, and local Northern Territory artists.

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B2M with Ego Lemos (NT/Timor-Leste) Frau (Indonesia) Gobyerno, Sipat Lawin Ensemble (Philippines) Joey Ayala (Philippines) Juan Vesuvius (New Zealand) Kid Congo & The Pink Monkey Birds (USA) Lippy, Dead Centre (Ireland) Medium, Rianto (Indonesia) Miss Behave’s Gameshow (UK) Mouth Open, Story Jump Out by Polarbear (UK) Second City Stories by Polarbear (UK) STREETcurrents (NT/Indonesia)

Darwin Festival 2016 Annual Review


Fitter. Faster. Better.

SCHOOLS ENGAGEMENT School-aged arts lovers were in for a treat as we took Festival artists into schools and welcomed school students to Festival venues. For the first time, in 2016 we held a special Schools Program Launch prior to our official program launch. Teachers from across Darwin and Palmerston were able to sample the programming on offer for children and young adults at affordable schools ticket prices. We also partnered with BusLink VIVO to provide free return transport between schools and venues to make the Festival accessible for children across Darwin. In 2016 we presented special weekday schools matinee performances of Medium, Broken, You and Me and the Space Between and Gobyerno.

ARTISTS IN SCHOOLS We worked with The Smith Family, Australia’s largest national education charity, on our Artists in Schools program. This year’s program reached five primary, one middle and two high schools, and featured a selection of high-calibre Festival artists providing a combination of workshops, tutorials and performances for students and teachers. The schools benefitted from a diverse program that included performances and workshops in musicality, instrumentation, singing, circus, storytelling and dance from: -- UK storyteller and master ‘maker-upper’ Polarbear -- jazz singer Hetty Kate and guitarist James Sherlock -- the spectacularly masked band Prophets -- Australia’s legendary circus troupe Circus Oz -- electropical Latin hip-pop band Miss Colombia

Our major Artists in Schools project featured a two-week residency with students from Bakewell Primary School and Corrugated Iron Youth Arts working with St Martins to become the stars of Fitter. Faster. Better. An energetic experiential performance, the young people became ‘personal trainers’ for adults in this part live art, part game, part boot camp which was performed twice in Palmerston and twice in Darwin.

“He was AMAZING, energetic, funny, poignant, connected to the students and ticked every box I could think of in terms of good messages for developing young people without them realising they were “being told”! I think each […] student left his workshop knowing they had stories to tell and how to tell them.” THE SMITH FAMILY ON POLARBEAR


Darwin Festival 2016 Annual Review

INDUSTRY DEVELOPMENT The development of the local industry is both an important strategic focus and a significant spin-off benefit of the Festival. In delivering the Festival, we work with venues across Darwin. The unique types of programming we bring in help to challenge and extend the skills of local crew and staff as well as to bring them into contact with national and international artists and crews. We run a series of industry forums, workshops and masterclasses where visiting artists are paired with local practitioners to provide professional development and networking opportunities. Three such events we organised in 2016 were: kk



Q&A with the Artistic Directors of Dead Centre, Bush Moukarzel and Ben Kidd -- Local theatre industry professionals were invited to meet in a casual setting with the two artistic directors and pose questions about their experiences and careers Clowning workshop with Barnie Duncan (aka Juan Vesuvius) -- Barnie led a workshop with young adults from Project21, a local performance troupe for young people with disabilities Writing for Cabaret masterclass with Sarah Ward (aka Yana Alana) -- Sarah conducted a masterclass for local cabaret and comedy performers to coach them in developing their approach to character writing

In addition to this we provide complimentary tickets to specially selected performances for industry professionals with a view towards starting a conversation and inspiring new ideas.

Yana Alana

“Brown’s Mart has partnered with the Festival in areas such as industry forums, workshops and masterclasses, networking of local, national and international artists, the up-skilling of local production staff through on-the-job training and mentoring during the Festival, as well as presenting local works. This is invaluable to the development, nourishment and sustainability of the local industry. The exposure of local artists to national and international productions, combined with the networking available during their visits means that the Festival’s contribution to the local scene is felt more broadly than just the work they present.” SEAN PARDY, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR BROWN’S MART THEATRE

Darwin Festival 2016 Annual Review




Darwin Festival could not happen without our outstanding troupe of volunteers. Our volunteers work in a variety of areas including front of house, market research and administration and are available at venues throughout the Festival to answer questions and assist audiences.

Darwin Festival offers unique professional development opportunities through internships. Festival work is fast-paced, challenging, high-energy and lots of fun, and this year we welcomed two interns, one in the Finance department and one in the Marketing department, thanks to our partnership with Charles Darwin University.

We’re lucky to have volunteers of all ages and from all walks of life, many of whom have volunteered with us for a number of years. This year, 80 volunteers were proudly sponsored by Power and Water. In recognition of the invaluable work they do, our volunteers were thanked with a celebration at Government House hosted by The Administrator of the Northern Territory, His Honour the Honourable John Hardy OAM and his wife, Mrs Marie Hardy.

“The team and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. It's a truly engaging and fun way to volunteer at the festival.” MARKET RESEARCH VOLUNTEER TEAM LEADER


Darwin Festival 2016 Annual Review

FRIENDS OF THE FESTIVAL Our Friends of the Festival are our greatest advocates and supporters within the community. They receive discounted tickets, priority booking, exclusive behind-the-scenes events, special offers at Festival bars and an invite to our annual Program Launch. Revamped in 2015, the membership grew by 119% in 2016. This year 186 Friends bought 2,000 tickets.

Darwin Festival 2016 Annual Review


OUR SUPPORTERS Each August the Festival activates our incredible city and invites the community to come together to share creativity, explore new horizons and celebrate. Over the years the Festival has grown enormously in terms of the size of our audience and the richness of our artistic offerings. The significant support we receive through cash sponsorship and in-kind contributions is central to the Festival’s existence



Our Private Giving Program is a growing and vital area of support. Darwin Festival is extremely grateful for the generous donations of the following individuals and companies:

We are very grateful to all our partners, those that have supported us – some for decades – and those who have come to play with us for the first time this year. Every partnership with Darwin Festival is unique and we carefully tailor packages to meet our partners’ key objectives. The Northern Territory Government remains our Principal Partner and the City of Darwin our Local Government Partner. Their continued investment in the Festival is instrumental to our ongoing success. In 2016, Santos, Darwin International Airport and Coopers continued as our Major Corporate Partners and we’re thankful for their steadfast and constant support. This year we welcomed many new partners to the Festival family. We can’t thank or acknowledge all our Partners enough.


Darwin Festival 2016 Annual Review

Our philanthropic Presenting Partners this year were Janet Holmes à Court and Playking Foundation. The Playking Foundation’s support helped us bring Medium, Gobyerno and Frau to the Festival, while Janet Holmes à Court’s patronage brought Mary Anne Butler’s awardwinning play Broken back to the stage.

DIAMOND Clare Martin, Anonymous GOLD Cathy Barry, Bill Moss AM and Lata Moss SILVER Jalouise Pty Ltd, JGA Concreting, Michael and Paula Milatos, Parap Fine Foods BRONZE Anonymous Put simply, we would not be able to exist without all of our supporters, big and small. Thank you.

Principal Partner

Local Government Partner

Major Partners

Media Partners

Distinguished Partners

Airline Partner

Brand Design Partner

Digital Partner

Production Partner

Vehicle Partner

Star Partners


Presenting Partners

Darwin Festival 2016 Annual Review



Darwin Festival 2016 Annual Review

MARKETING Our partnership with local design agency Boab Design entered its second year and the logo and branding created in 2015 was further developed in 2016. We commissioned local artist Chayni Henry to design the hero artwork for the 2016 campaign and her beautiful rendition of our iconic Lighthouse venue was the ‘face’ of this year’s Festival. Our first events were revealed in midMarch as part of a Pozible fundraising campaign, with an early release on 28 April and the full Festival program launched at the Filipino Community Centre on 22 June. The foundation of the Festival’s promotion is the Program Guide and it remains the number one source of information for audiences. 60,000 copies of the Program Guide were printed and distributed in Greater Darwin and beyond, 16,000 were inserted into the Sunday Territorian newspaper, and the guide was available to view and download from the website.

The 2016 marketing campaign focused on a dedicated awareness campaign for the Festival as a whole, along with event-specific campaigns. Advertising ran across print, radio, TV and online. Regular e-newsletters were sent in the run up to and during the Festival with our subscriber base growing to over 9,000. We saw growth across all of the Festival’s social media channels: Facebook likes increased by 27% to over 18,000, Twitter by 9% to 5,150 followers and Instagram grew by 65% to 2,182. An outdoor and signage campaign dressed Darwin like a Festival city, with street flags and banners decorating the city. Darwin International Airport provided advertising throughout the terminal building and grounds, plus Tracy the Ticket Caravan took up residence in the Smith Street Mall. Local agency Captovate came on board as our Digital Partner for the 2016 Festival, developing a new website and further increasing our mobile capability.

Darwin Festival 2016 Annual Review


MEDIA & PUBLICITY Darwin Festival receives broad publicity exposure locally, nationally and internationally across print, radio, television and online. The value of this coverage for 2016 is estimated at $2,483,956. total of 1,073 media reports mentioned Darwin Festival. This coverage reached a cumulative potential audience of 10,343,449. \\ Television produced the most content with 504 reports, followed by Radio with 289 reports, Internet with 166 reports and Press with 114 reports. \\ 55 editorial features were published with the NT News and Sunday Territorian (including reviews, stories and various photo opportunities). \\ 105.7 ABC Darwin was the leading radio station for editorial with 153 reports. \\ A

(figures from Isentia Media Coverage Report)


NT News front covers plus picture features for every day of the Festival. \\ ABC Radio National’s Books & Arts Daily attended the Festival and broadcast a dedicated show featuring interviews with Festival performers. \\ On the first day of the Festival, Channel 7’s Sunrise program broadcast live from Festival Park with Festival talent featuring in six live national weather crosses. \\ Daily live reads on all local commercial radio stations throughout the duration of the Festival.


Darwin Festival 2016 Annual Review

Darwin Festival 2016 Annual Review


SUSTAINABILITY Darwin Festival celebrates the great outdoors. We are committed to minimising our impact on the natural environment and we have introduced several initiatives to help us become a more sustainable event.



Festival staff ensure that lights and air-conditioners are turned off in our offices and venues whenever they are not in use to conserve power.

In 2016, we partnered with Living Water Smart to give away free refillable water bottles at Festival Park and The Amphitheatre. Thanks to Living Water Smart and Power and Water, water refill stations were readily available at Festival Park, George Brown Botanic Gardens and The Amphitheatre throughout the Festival.

RECYCLE The Festival is committed to reducing the percentage of onsite waste that goes to landfill. All aluminium, glass, cardboard and plastic products are separated and recycled, with bins around venues clearly identified for recyclable or non-recyclable rubbish. Grey water and cooking oil from food stalls are also collected for offsite recycling. We work closely with our food vendors to promote the use of compostable food service ware at Festival food stalls. From 2017, all food vendors will be required to provide compostable food service ware at our major venues as we move towards sustainability.


Darwin Festival 2016 Annual Review

In 2016, our onsite cleaners used eco-friendly products to clean the major Festival venues.

We also encourage bike travel and ensure bike racks are set up for patrons at major venues. Our staff ride whenever possible and we provide access to onsite Festival bikes. We also encourage and schedule car pooling for our artists and staff to reduce our carbon footprint and fuel costs.

Past. Present. Feast

THANK YOU Special thanks to our extended Darwin Festival family: Airnorth, Alan James and the team at Darwin Entertainment Centre, Ali Donnellan at FestivalsNT, Alice Body and the team at Deckchair Cinema, Alley Cats Patisserie, Allora Gardens Nursery, Angela Hill and Arts NT, Anisha Stitfold, Anna Stewart and the team at Darwin Railway Club, Arafura Tackle, Austop Fisheries, Australian Temporary Fencing, Bahen & Co, Bees Creek Honey, Billy Kougios and team at One IT, Blackwoods Darwin Trade Store, Britt Guy, the team at Brown's Mart Theatre, Bunnings, Buslink Vivo, the team at Captovate, Cardno, Carolyn McHugh at Westpac Darwin branch, Dave and Leah from The Cav, Christ Church Cathedral, all the staff at City of Darwin, Clare Martin, Coles, Danisam Ground Surveyors, Darwin Fishmarket, Enchanted Tastes, Hendri Mentz, Heidi Girolamo and staff at Deloitte, Dept. of Business, Dept. of Chief Minister, Dept. of Education, Dept. of Transport, Derek Lee at Dept. Lands, Planning & the Environment, Event Solutions, Express Signs, Floodlight Creative, Gail Haydon and team at NT Fleet, George Brown Darwin Botanic Gardens, Grand Touring Coaches, Greenies, Gunbalanya Meats, Hugo Leschen and the Dept. of Arts and Museums, Jane Tonkin at Corrugated Youth Arts, Jordan and team at Green Clean Group, Judith Ventic, Kakadu Plum, Kris Bird, Louise Partos and the team at Artback NT, Love Thy Juice, Marco at General Rigging Co Pty Ltd, Mike Frier and team at Boab, Notly Farms, NT Farmers Association,

NT Seafood Council, Oscar Parian, RMI Security, Royal Australian Air Force, Simon Says TV, St John Ambulance NT, Glen at Thrifty, Tourism NT, Tourism Top End, Tutt Bryant, Woolworths, Wormald, YMCA of the Top End and Zip Print. Front cover artwork: Chayni Henry All photography from: Elise Derwin, with the exception of images on pages 20, 21 and 38 - these photos are thanks to Paz Tassone.

Darwin Festival 2016 Annual Review


FESTIVAL TEAM The 2016 Festival was delivered by 120 Darwin Festival staff, 80 volunteers and many other support staff including contractors. A massive thank you to everyone who worked together to make the 2016 Festival possible.

PATRON His Honour the Honourable John Hardy OAM, Administrator of the Northern Territory

AMBASSADORS Hon Adam Giles MLA Hon Michael Gunner MLA Chief Ministers of the Northern Territory

DARWIN FESTIVAL BOARD (TO JUNE 2016) Clare Martin (Chair) Zoe Malone (Vice Chair) Markus Spazzapan (Treasurer) Carla Venturin (Secretary) Maryann Fryer (Public Officer) Chris Langworthy Ursula Raymond Chris Young



DARWIN FESTIVAL EXECUTIVE Artistic Director Andrew Ross General Manager Emily Mann

ADMINISTRATION Administrator Pushpinder Singh (to June 2016) Miriam Scapin Finance Manager Teresa Rynski (to May 2016) Renee Allchurch Finance Associate Heidi Girolamo (Deloitte)





Development Manager Vanessa Kredler Marketing & Communications Manager Melissa White (to May 2016) Claire Wilcock Marketing Coordinator Kate Napper Publications Editor Andi Lawson-Moore Marketing Assistant Tierney White Marketing Intern Kaye Hall Publicist Cardinal Spin Festival Photography Elise Derwin Paz Tassone

Ticketing Manager Cheryl Haynes Ticketing Coordinator Erin Garman

PROGRAMMING Senior Producer Georgie Sedgwick (to April 2016) Head of Programming Felix Preval Program Manager Harriet Robinson Program Coordinator Holly Norman Music Program Manager James Gough Producer, Club Awi James Mangohig Special Events Producer Bek Berger Producer, Festival Lounge Jam Sessions Allen Murphy

PRODUCTION Production Manager Ben Snodgrass Production Administrator Katya Shevtsov Production Coordinators Mat McHugh Tom Webster, Special Events Dave Membery, DEC / Darwin Railway Club Emma Hawkes, Amphitheatre Logistics Coordinator Matt Wildy Front of House & Volunteers Coordinator Rachal Van Wyk Design Associate Techy Masero Bars Manager Julie Blyth Bars Supervisor Leon Johnston

Darwin Festival 2016 Annual Review



Darwin Festival 2016 Annual Review

Darwin Festival Frog Hollow Centre for the Arts 56 McMinn Street Darwin NT 0801 08 8943 4200 contact@darwinfestival.org.au

Profile for Darwin Festival

Darwin Festival Annual Review 2016  

A look back on the 2016 Festival

Darwin Festival Annual Review 2016  

A look back on the 2016 Festival