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“Well done for composing a broad programme of interest and making each foray into the Festival so worthwhile and friendly… A very happy face at this keyboard reflecting on the marvellous talents showcased for the Territorian and Tourist alike.”

// DARWIN FESTIVAL ANNUAL REVIEW 2017

DARWIN FESTIVAL PATRON 2017

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2017 AT A GLANCE

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WELCOME

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OUR AUDIENCE

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DARWIN FESTIVAL – OUR STORY

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OUR VIBRANT CBD

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FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS

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THEATRE

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DANCE

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CABARET & CIRCUS

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MUSIC

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COMEDY

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FREE, FAMILY & SPECIAL EVENTS

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VISUAL ARTS

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01.

FIRST NATIONS

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LOCAL FOCUS

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INTERNATIONAL OUTLOOK

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SCHOOLS ENGAGEMENT

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INDUSTRY DEVELOPMENT

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VOLUNTEERS

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FRIENDS OF THE FESTIVAL

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PARTNERS

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MARKETING & MEDIA

42

SUSTAINABILITY AND ACCESSIBILITY

48

THANK YOU

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FESTIVAL TEAM

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01. The Lighthouse Photo by Elise Derwin

// CONTENTS

CONTENTS

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2017 AT A GLANCE // DARWIN FESTIVAL ANNUAL REVIEW 2017

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01.

18

days & nights

599 performers

318

local NT artists

50% of performances sold-out 244 free and ticketed events

36,669 tickets sold

99,828

attendances

Five termite mounds, one Spiegeltent and a whole lot of fun!


Net Promoter Score

81.2

2017

81.2

2016

58.8

Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a performance metric. This is both a significant improvement and one of the highest scores for an event our market research company StollzNow has ever seen - 79.2% is the highest net promoter they have collected to date since they began in 1978.

19,936

$3.9M visitor expenditure

01. Festival Park Photo by Elise Derwin

// 2017 AT A GLANCE

visitor nights generated

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01.

WELCOME TO THE NEW DARWIN FESTIVAL 2017 signalled our rebirth. We welcomed a new board chaired by Darwin International Airport CEO Ian Kew, and a new Artistic Director with the appointment of Felix Preval.

Thank you to our corporate and media partners, headed by our Partner in Excellence, Darwin International Airport. It is through your vital support that we are able to deliver a Festival of scale and scope befitting our city.

We delivered a program of free and ticketed events that captured the spirit of our city: irreverent, provocative, diverse, engaging and inclusive. We enriched the vibrancy of our city and enhanced the natural beauty of Darwin’s parks and foreshore, creating a sense of wonder and pride for citizens and visitors alike.

// DARWIN FESTIVAL ANNUAL REVIEW 2017

To the 599 artists – including 318 local artists – who performed in this year’s Festival, there is not enough glitter or applause in the world to express our thanks. Thank you to our fantastic Festival team: our chair and board, and our full-time and seasonal staff. It is your hard work, talent, enthusiasm and dedication to service that engages others and drives our success.

We connected our communities and heightened our experience of Territory life.

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Thank you to our Power and Water volunteers, contractors and suppliers for your significant and enduring contribution to this year’s Festival.

This year, we celebrated unprecedented artistic and financial success. We recorded a 75% increase in ticket sales and saw 50% of ticketed performances sell out. 99,828 visitors attended the 2017 Darwin Festival, endorsing us with a net promoter score of 81.2.

Finally, to our audiences, old and new, thank you for your support. See you in August 2018.

Our successful re-emergence has only been possible due to the support of our valued stakeholders.

Emily Mann CEO

Felix Preval Artistic Director

We would like to thank our Principal Partners, the Northern Territory Government and Festivals NT, and our Local Government Partner, City of Darwin.

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Penny Arcade Longing Lasts Longer Photo by Elise Derwin

Uta Uber Kool Ja Photo by Elise Derwin

Bodies Over Bitumen Photo by Elise Derwin

Festival-goers Photo by Elise Derwin

Tami Neilson Photo by Elise Derwin


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04.

// WELCOME TO THE NEW DARWIN FESTIVAL

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05.

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68%

14%

Katherine and Region

From another Australian State or ACT

Elsewhere in the NT

DARWIN FESTIVAL ATTENDANCE BREAKDOWN BY AGE 15-24

4%

25-34

25%

35-44

21%

45-54

21%

55-64

19%

65-74

8%

75+

1%

2%

5%

1%

Darwin Rural Area

Darwin

Palmerston

From another Country

POSTCODE WITH HIGHEST TICKET SALES Alawa, Brinkin, Casuarina, Jingili, Coconut Grove, Millner, Moil, Nakara, Nightcliff, Tiwi, Wagaman, Rapid Creek, Wanguri NIG

HTC

LIF

F B EAC H

AC H

1%

9%

CA

OUR AUDIENCE

WHERE OUR AUDIENCE COMES FROM

ARI SU

BE NA

0810

FA N

A AY B E NIE B CH

OUR AUDIENCE BREAKDOWN BY GENDER

Women

DIL

22%

MIN

77%

BEA

CH

VEST

EYS B EACH

FANNIE BAY

CULLEN BAY

Men

NAVY PATROL BOAT BASE

DOCTORS GULLY

L

AM

DARWIN CITY

ER O

CH

OB EA

// DARWIN FESTIVAL ANNUAL REVIEW 2017

DARWIN WHARF PRECINCT

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TOP 3 REASONS FOR ATTENDING DARWIN FESTIVAL

THE AVERAGE VISITOR ATTENDED 4.8 EVENTS

64%

To see acts that don’t usually come to Darwin

55%

To spend quality time with family & friends

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.

42%

To relax and escape

01. The Lighthouse Photo by Elise Derwin


“Brilliant. Vibrant and exciting. There was an air of festival in the whole town… Loved it. Loved Darwin. Our entire visit was a wonderfully surprising experience.”

// OUR AUDIENCE

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DARWIN FESTIVAL PATRON 2017

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// DARWIN FESTIVAL ANNUAL REVIEW 2017

DARWIN FESTIVAL OUR STORY

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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 the 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 Northern Territory.

In the early years, the Bougainvillea 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 a mardi gras. 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 become more involved. In 1996, the annual celebration changed its name to the Festival of Darwin before evolving once again in 2003 to Darwin Festival, to better reflect its growing local and national status. Darwin Festival established itself as a multi-arts festival presenting a variety of works that reflected Darwin’s unique cultural mix.


“Great for Darwin, such a diverse range of experiences for everyone to enjoy, keeps us coming back year after year.” DARWIN FESTIVAL PATRON 2017

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2009 saw significant changes and new initiatives within the Festival, including the expansion of events into the city centre through the establishment of the now 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, an unusual initiative for a curated arts festival.

Increasing in size and scale, in 2017 the Festival attracted nearly 100,000 attendees and recorded a visitor expenditure of $3.9 million. 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. 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.

01. Festival Park Photo by Elise Derwin

// DARWIN FESTIVAL: OUR STORY

In 2004, Darwin 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.

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01.

OUR VIBRANT CBD In 2017, Darwin Festival transformed the CBD into a twinkling wonderland of lights, music and world-class entertainment. We extended the Festival’s festooned footprint from its traditional home at Festival Park through to the new site at Parliament Lawn, onwards to the Cenotaph on The Esplanade and further afield to the Little Mindil Lawn. We also threw in a sprinkling of pop-up performances in the most unlikely of places.

// DARWIN FESTIVAL ANNUAL REVIEW 2017

On the corner of Herbert and Bennett Streets, Parliament Lawn hosted the fabulous art deco Aurora Spiegeltent, where audiences enjoyed champagne under the stars at 22 sell-out performances of the titillating cabaret show Blanc de Blanc.

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The Teddy Bears’ Picnic found a new home at the Cenotaph on The Esplanade with thanks to the popular event’s new namingrights sponsor, City of Darwin. And the Santos Opening Night Concert delighted audiences at its new venue at Little Mindil Lawn, with thanks to the generous support of SKYCITY. Audiences reported to Uta Uber Kool Ja’s hotel room at H Hotel on Mitchell Street to celebrate and commiserate with everyone’s favourite comeback diva. Meanwhile, elsewhere on the streets of the CBD, audiences followed the mesmerising Bodies Over Bitumen circus acrobats as they cast new light on the hidden dimensions of our city, its streets and sounds. Local producer and architect Katy Moir took audiences on three distinctly different curated cycling and walking tours unearthing the secrets of Darwin

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CBD architecture and history in Talking Through Walls. And the Lunch Box Series served up a platter of midday delights across the Festival at Raintree Park, with thanks to the support of AustralianSuper. Festival Park remained at the heart of Darwin Festival. Visitors enjoyed a favourite bite from our food vendors, grabbed a drink from the Coopers Garden Bar and enjoyed a range of free and ticketed entertainment under the lights at Darwin’s favourite dry season CBD haunt. Festival Park was officially opened with a Welcome to Country ceremony at the Sunset Stage on Friday 11 August by members of the Lee family, who acknowledged Larrakia elders, ancestral spirits and traditional custodians of the land past, present and future. Our iconic venue, The Lighthouse, was the place for audiences to enjoy comedy, cabaret and the best contemporary music in town, while free music over a delicious al fresco dinner was the highlight at the Rimfire Energy Bamboo Bandstand. Audiences headed out nightly for a dash of the hottest contemporary theatre and comedy at Brown’s Mart Theatre and Happy Yess. Those keen to party through the night got their kicks at our festival club. Club Awi ran into the early hours every Friday and Saturday night featuring the hottest DJs programmed by local music legend James Mangohig. For a temporary hit of toe-tapping fun, the Sunset Stage hosted You Should Be Dancing Darwin across the opening weekend before the Bey Dance flash mobs took to the Park and CUBE by [ZØGMA] danced up a storm.


“LOVED Blanc de Blanc, and the festival grounds, beautiful atmosphere, and great food! Can’t wait for next year, I wish it was here more than once a year!!!” DARWIN FESTIVAL PATRON 2017

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Festival Park Photo by Elise Derwin

Smokehouse dining Photo by Elise Derwin

The Aurora Spiegeltent Photo by Elise Derwin

“The chap and I pencil out DFEST dates at beginning of the year and work around them for all other plans. We go just him and I together. It takes 3 days and an established plan to decide which events. The planning and negotiating is part of the fun! … We noted the expanded venues and big crowds in the city. Impressed. Raving fans since our first foray in 2014. Thank you.” DARWIN FESTIVAL PATRON 2017

Rimfire Energy Bamboo Bandstand

2017 Festival Park Dining Options

BEN EVOLENT

BAMBOO LOUNGE Asian street food

BRIDEY ROSE AND THE GOOD FELLOWS BROADWING DARWIN RONDALLA JIGSAW COLLECTIVE KATIE HARDER MANDY GARLING SASHA MARCH SERINA PECH SILK VILLAGE STEVIE JEAN THE DUKES THE KICKS THE MILLS SISTERS

CUCINA SOTTO LE STELLE Handmade authentic Italian pizza DAMASCUS KITCHEN Traditional Middle Eastern fare HANUMANS Tasty curries SMOKEHOUSE Contemporary BBQ TRAMPOLINE Refreshing gelato and ice-cream WHARF ONE Woodfire grilled local and Australian produce COOPERS GARDEN BAR For all your refreshment needs

// OUR VIBRANT CBD

Capping off the festivities were the bright-fluoro Termite Mounds specially created for Festival Park by local artist Fiona Currey, the vibrant and bold transformation of The Lighthouse by local artist Annie Mills, and the kids enjoying the interactive telephones and glitter parties at emBARK!, our mini-festival for mini-humans, held on weeknights during the Festival and proudly supported by Landbridge.

TOP UP SCHOOLS PROGRAM

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// DARWIN FESTIVAL ANNUAL REVIEW 2017

FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS THEATRE

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2017 was a huge year for theatre at Darwin Festival – audiences asked for more and we delivered. A diverse and engaging program of theatre from overseas, across the country and right here in Darwin transported enraptured audiences from the tropics to the outback to the ocean floor, to prison cells, old folks’ homes, teenage bedrooms and back again. Darwin Festival kicked off the 2017 theatre program with the award-winning production Hello, Goodbye & Happy Birthday by Roslyn Oades and collaborators. This unique work employs Oades’ trademark technique ‘headphone-verbatim’, putting the real words of interviewed people into the mouths of actors to startling and entertaining effect. The work

itself celebrated the bookends of adult life with a cast of youthful and elder actors playing in turns scenes from 18th and 80th birthday celebrations. The result was pure theatre magic. In Brown’s Mart Theatre, two multi-award winning Australian productions, HART and SHIT, captivated audiences and sold out entire seasons. Profound in its simplicity, HART told the real stories of three generations of Noongar men, each affected by the Stolen Generation, in their own words. This moving personal testament by actor-writer Ian Michaels struck a chord with Darwin audiences. As provocative as its title suggests, SHIT, by celebrated playwright Patricia Cornelius, unearthed the lives of three women on the outskirts of society. With moments of humour as well as heartbreak, this pacey and poetic play packed a punch as it explored themes of class, gender and institutional abuse.


“I took my drama students to see HART as part of the Darwin Festival education program and we absolutely loved the experience. Myself and my students were very moved by the piece and its message which sparked some very deep discussion and reflection.” DARWIN FESTIVAL PATRON 2017

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Canadian science journalist Alanna Mitchell’s Sea Sick took audiences below the ocean’s surface to uncover the devastating effects of rising global temperatures. An urgent and unsettling work, Darwin audiences stayed long after each event to ask questions and continue the dialogue about where we’ve got to and how we can turn it around.

A PRUDENT MAN LAB KELPIE (VIC)

Two intimate works took the stage at Happy Yess: A Prudent Man by Lab Kelpie and We May Have to Choose by Emma Hall. Both were masterclasses in solo performance and were well received by Festival audiences. Also at Happy Yess was the reading of two new oneact plays, See-Through and Strangers. The playwrights, both promising young Darwin artists, applied through our Local Expressions of Interest program and were supported to bring their works to the Darwin Festival audience.

SEA SICK ALANNA MITCHELL (CANADA)

HART SHE SAID THEATRE (WA) HELLO, GOODBYE & HAPPY BIRTHDAY ROSLYN OADES & COLLABORATORS (VIC) PLAYREADINGS: SEE-THROUGH / STRANGERS CIELLA WILLIAMS / CJ FRASER-BELL (NT)

WE MAY HAVE TO CHOOSE EMMA HALL (VIC)

01. Hello, Goodbye and Happy Birthday Photo by Elise Derwin

02. HART Photo by Elise Derwin

// FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS

SHIT PATRICIA CORNELIUS AND SUSIE DEE (VIC)

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// DARWIN FESTIVAL ANNUAL REVIEW 2017

FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS DANCE

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The 2017 Darwin Festival shone a spotlight on dance with a major program of public performances across the three weekends of the Festival under the banner Dance Darwin Dance. Opening with the three-night celebration of local community, cultural and social dance, You Should Be Dancing Darwin, hundreds of happy revellers gathered at Festival Park to watch over 200 local dancers take the stage. Audiences got up off their picnic rugs and joined the action, learning dance moves from Darwin’s many diverse community dance groups.

Over the middle weekend, Canadian dance sensation CUBE popped up in public spaces throughout the city, surprising and delighting crowds with their high-octane take on traditional Québecois stomp dance. Melbourne-based Bey Dance helped make pop stars of us all as Darwin locals learned iconic dance routines from Beyoncé’s back catalogue before performing, flash mob style, in Festival Park.

01. You Should Be Dancing Darwin Photo by Elise Derwin

02. Between Tiny Cities Photo by Elise Derwin


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“I really enjoyed Man Made - so surprising and very moving - particularly the dance sequence with the oldest dancers.”

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DARWIN FESTIVAL PATRON 2017

Sydney Dance Company brought their dazzling double-bill Frame of Mind to the Darwin Entertainment Centre, thrilling a sold-out crowd with the best in national contemporary dance.

BETWEEN TINY CITIES NICK POWER (NT / CAMBODIA) FRAME OF MIND SYDNEY DANCE COMPANY (NSW) MAN MADE TRACKS DANCE COMPANY (NT)

DANCE DARWIN DANCE

// FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS

Local dance company Tracks Dance returned to the Festival with a massive outdoor spectacular, Man Made, that explored and celebrated the work and lives of Territory men. Local b*boy dancer Aaron Lim collaborated with Cambodian Erak Mith in the joyous and virtuosic hip-hop dance work Between Tiny Cities រវាងទីក្រុងតូច , a crosscultural collaboration years in the making.

CUBE [ZØGMA] (CANADA) DANCE LIKE QUEEN B FLASHMOB WORKSHOP BEY DANCE (VIC) YOU SHOULD BE DANCING DARWIN EVERYBODY NOW! (VIC)

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// DARWIN FESTIVAL ANNUAL REVIEW 2017

FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS CABARET & CIRCUS

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Festival audiences turned out in droves for our diverse cabaret and circus program. From big end showstopper Blanc de Blanc to the intimate Bodies Over Bitumen, we defied expectations of circus and cabaret to the endless delight of our audiences young and old.

After five long years we brought back a Spiegeltent to Darwin, and the wait was worth it! Over 10,000 Darwin Festival audience members discovered the art-deco splendour of The Aurora Spiegeltent, with 14 of the 22 performances sold out. Finding a wonderful new home on Parliament Lawn, the Speigeltent site extended the reach of Festival Park, transforming Darwin’s CBD into a twinkling wonderland of lights, music and world-class entertainment. The Lighthouse at Festival Park rang with the heavenly voices of a range of incredible divas from near and far. The NT’s own Constantina Bush closed the opening weekend backed by a full band of local musical stars in a very


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A NIGHT AT THE MUSICALS LE GATEAU CHOCOLAT & JONNY WOO (UK)

“This was an absolutely outstanding show. Don't even think about going and JUST GO!!! You won't regret it!!” AUDIENCE MEMBER VIA FACEBOOK ON BLANC DE BLANC

AN EVENING WITH CONSTANTINA BUSH AND FRIENDS (NT) BODIES OVER BITUMEN (NSW/VIC) EASTEND CABARET (UK) PERHAPS HOPE COMPANY HERE AND NOW (VIC) RETRO FUTURISMUS (VIC) TROPPO CIRCA (QLD)

An expanded circus program saw not only the main-stage spectacular that audiences are familiar with, but a number of smaller and provocative contemporary circus works. Everpopular Queensland company Circa returned to Darwin with Troppo, an appropriately titled acrobatic tale of a circus troupe stranded on a

hot, humid tropical island. Melbourne-based Company Here and Now presented their contemporary circus work about climate science, Perhaps Hope, to enthralled local audiences, while Bodies Over Bitumen took circus to the streets with a promenade performance through the concrete corridors of our tropical city centre.

“Perhaps Hope was breathtaking. Really. I wasn’t breathing for half of it. Amazing work. Stunning. #dfest17” AUDIENCE MEMBER VIA TWITTER

01. Blanc de Blanc Photo by Pamela Raith Photography

02. Eastend Cabaret Photo by Elise Derwin

// FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS

Territory tribute to the music of Motown. UK cabaret legends Le Gateau Chocolat and Jonny Woo more than sated the locals’ hunger for the West End in A Night at the Musicals, belting out back-to-back classics in their own hilarious style. Also hailing from the UK, Eastend Cabaret closed the Festival with a wickedly risqué night of original musical comedy.

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FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS MUSIC

// DARWIN FESTIVAL ANNUAL REVIEW 2017

In 2017 Darwin Festival presented a vibrant program of free and ticketed live music to strong audience demand. With genres ranging from Indigenous choral to rock ‘n’ roll, contemporary classical to banging hip hop, the program had an evening for fans of every style.

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The 2017 contemporary music program encompassed an eclectic mix of performers both new and established. Hip hop duo A.B. Original sold out our opening night in The Lighthouse. The following night Confidence Man had us on our feet raising the metaphorical roof. Camp Cope and Felix Riebl performed to ecstatic sell-out crowds, and country music fans twostepped their way to bliss to the sounds of Leo Rondeau with NT icons David Garnham and the Reasons to Live. We fell in love with Tami Neilson right before Dappled Cities stole our hearts.

NT music heroes Shellie Morris & Friends, Yirrmal and the Miliyawutj, Skinnyfish Sound System and Ngarukuruwala headlined The Lighthouse and delivered some of the most uplifting and memorable moments of the Festival. Australian icons You Am I rocked the Santos Opening Night Concert, this year in a new home at Little Mindil Lawns, with support from Tiwi Island legends B2M and a surprise appearance from Briggs, performing a heartwarming and poignant tribute to Dr. G. Yunupingu. Chinese-Australian cross-cultural collaborations framed the Festival’s classical music program. The Australian Art Orchestra delighted with a collage of winds, piano and percussion evoking the bustling markets of Chengdu in Water Pushes Sand. Darwin Symphony Orchestra rounded out the program with an evening of Tan Dun compositions featuring one of Australia’s leading classical bassists, Stuart Thomson.


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A.B. ORIGINAL (VIC)

ROBBIE MILLER (QLD) + DAVID SPRY (NT)

ALI BARTER (VIC) + KATIE HARDER AND THE ARTFUL DODGERS (NT)

SANTOS OPENING NIGHT CONCERT WITH YOU AM I AND B2M (VIC/NT)

AN EVENING WITH THE MODERN MĀORI QUARTET (NEW ZEALAND)

SHELLIE MORRIS & FRIENDS (NT)

CAMBODIAN SPACE PROJECT (CAMBODIA / AUSTRALIA) + THE MYSTICS (NT) CAMP COPE (VIC) CLAIRY BROWNE (VIC) CLUB AWI (VARIOUS) CONFIDENCE MAN (VIC) CRIS DERKSEN TRIO (CANADA) DAPPLED CITIES (NSW)

TAMI NEILSON (NEW ZEALAND) THE MARRIAGE OF FIGARO OPERA AUSTRALIA (VIC) TIJUANA CARTEL (NSW) + GAIA (NT)

AUDIENCE MEMBER VIA TWITTER

TIWI + JAZZ NGARUKURUWALA (NT / AUSTRALIA) WATER PUSHES SAND AUSTRALIAN ART ORCHESTRA (VIC / CHINA) WOODLOCK (AUSTRALIA / NEW ZEALAND) + AT THE DAKOTA (NT)

FELIX RIEBL (VIC)

WOLF TOTEM DARWIN SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA (NT)

GOLD CLASS (VIC) + POLE TOP RESCUE (NT)

YIRRMAL AND THE MILIYAWUTJ (NT)

LEO RONDEAU WITH DAVE GARNHAM & THE REASONS TO LIVE (USA / NT) NATIONAL INDIGENOUS MUSIC AWARDS (AUSTRALIA)

“Skinnyfish Sound System on a balmy Darwin evening. Joy. #dfest17”

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// FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS

BAMBOO BANDSTAND (SEE LISTINGS ON OUR VIBRANT CBD PAGE )

SKINNYFISH SOUND SYSTEM (NT)

Santos Opening Night Concert Photos by Elise Derwin

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FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS

COMEDY Our popular comedy program was bigger than ever in 2017 with local, national and international comedians serving up serious LOLs and leaving audiences rolling in the aisles - and in hotel rooms! New York’s Queen of the Underground, Penny Arcade, got the giggles started with a personal show that was thought-provoking and laughinducing by turns. Malaysia's Kuah Jenhan had us smiling in delight at the cocktail of love 01.

FREE, FAMILY & SPECIAL EVENTS

// DARWIN FESTIVAL ANNUAL REVIEW 2017

Each year Darwin Festival delivers a huge program of free events to ensure the Festival remains accessible to all of Darwin’s diverse communities. The 2017 Festival kicked off with the Santos Opening Night Concert, this year headlined by Aussie rock legends You Am I and local heroes B2M. The concert found a new home in 2017 at Little Mindil Lawns.

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Festival family favourite the Teddy Bears’ Picnic also found a new home at Darwin Cenotaph on The Esplanade. Along with a new venue came a wonderful new community naming-rights partner for the event, the City of Darwin. The Council’s support ensured Big Ted was back, bringing with him an array of visiting and local artists to entertain the thousands of families that came to play.

Our free family programming continued with a reimagined emBARK! program at Festival Park, proudly supported by Landbridge. This mini-festival for mini-humans offered science experiments, interactive games, storytelling sessions and dance workshops. Ticketed family shows proved equally popular as young audiences learned to rock out with comedian Tessa Waters in the interactive How To Be A Rockstar, while older kids quivered with fear and delight at Barking Gecko Theatre Company’s spooky and hilarious Australian take on Hansel and Gretel, In A Dark Dark Wood. Free community workshops and our Words and Ideas program gave audience members opportunities to participate, to speak to and hear directly from a range of Festival artists and local personalities. Talking Through Walls saw local architecture and cultural specialists lead fascinated groups through the CBD over three weekends, each session exploring a different aspect of our city’s landscape and history. 01.

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Kuah Jenhan Like This Like Dad Photo by Elise Derwin

City of Darwin Teddy Bears’ Picnic Photo by Elise Derwin


and cringe that is having a dad, and TV regulars Tommy Little and Sammy J sold out shows in The Lighthouse that left audiences cheering for more. Bron Batten went on a number of very public first dates in her brilliant sold-out show Onstage Dating, while Tessa Waters had oestrogen bursting out the doors at Happy Yess with her wobbly, sexy, lovey, arty disco goddess Womanz.

“Thank you for this wonderful show! I was laughing and cringing and crying and gosh I need to call my parents soon.” AUDIENCE MEMBER ON KUAH JENHAN LIKE THIS LIKE DAD

BRON BATTEN (VIC) KUAH JENHAN (MALAYSIA) PENNY ARCADE (USA) SAMMY J (VIC)

And this year, the comedy wasn't just in Festival Park. We were invited into the lush surrounds of Uta Uber Kool Ja's H Hotel bedroom to be her champagne-sipping rent-a-crowd for the after-party to end all after-parties.

TESSA WATERS (VIC) TOMMY LITTLE (VIC) UTA UBER KOOL JA (NSW)

ABC RADIO DARWIN’S HAPPY HOUR (VARIOUS) ANNIE MOORS: TRANSFORMING THE LIGHTHOUSE (NT) ASIAN ROCK DOCUMENTARIES (CAMBODIA / INDONESIA) CITY OF DARWIN TEDDY BEARS’ PICNIC (VARIOUS) DARWIN LAPTOP ORCHESTRA (NT) emBARK! (NT) HOW TO BE A ROCKSTAR, TESSA WATERS (VIC) IN A DARK DARK WOOD, BARKING GECKO THEATRE COMPANY (WA) LUNCHBOX SERIES (VARIOUS) ROCKSITTING AT NT LIBRARY (NT) SANTOS OPENING NIGHT CONCERT WITH YOU AM I AND B2M (VIC/NT) HOME SPUN (NT) SUNDAY AT CDU - SCIENCE AND ART: FUTURE FORMS AND SCIENCE FACTS (NT)

// FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS

SUNDAY AT CDU - TELLING THE STORY: SCIENCE, JOURNALISM AND CLIMATE CHANGE (NT) SUNDAY AT CDU - THE WHEELER CENTRE'S QUESTIONS FOR THE NATION (NT) TALKING THROUGH WALLS (NT) TROPICAL KITCHEN (NT) WELCOME TO COUNTRY (NT) WHY IT’S IMPORTANT TO BUILD USELESS THINGS (QLD)

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// DARWIN FESTIVAL ANNUAL REVIEW 2017

FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS VISUAL ARTS

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The 2017 Darwin Festival 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.

about Indigenous arts practice. Exhibitions such as Salon 17 (the NATSIAA’s Salon de Refusés), Open Cut at the Northern Centre for Contemporary Art, Black and White at Outstation Gallery and Into the Water at Tactile Arts gave an insightful overview of contemporary Indigenous arts practice across the region.

Independent galleries and art spaces across Darwin presented an array of free exhibitions throughout the Festival, and two special installations were custom-made for Festival Park: Fiona Currey’s neon Termite Mounds and Studio Elevenlee’s Power and Watercommissioned Every Drop Counts, which made creative use of recycled shower parts.

“We happened to be in Darwin for our first visit in August 2016, when the Festival was in full swing. We loved the Aboriginal Art Fair, and the amazing atmosphere created by being able to reliably have so many outdoor activities at night. So we timed our 2017 visit to coincide with the Festival and thoroughly enjoyed being swept away by the festival spirit in Darwin! Thank you :-)”

2017 saw the presentation of the 34th Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards (NATSIAA) and the biggest Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair yet. Attracting audiences in their thousands, these two major visual arts events placed the Northern Territory at the centre of the national conversation

DARWIN FESTIVAL PATRON 2017

01.


02.

ARTS EDUCATORS OF THE NT DARWIN VISUAL ARTS ASSOCIATION BEFORE THE CLEARING (VOR DER SAUBERUNG) NORTHERN TERRITORY LIBRARY

INTO THE WATER, TACTILE ARTS KARRIDJOWKKE KUNRONJ – CROSSING STREAMS, NOMAD ART GALLERY OPEN CUT NORTHERN CENTRE FOR CONTEMPORARY ART

BEHIND THE WIRE, FANNIE BAY GAOL

PAPUNYA TULA ARTISTS: A SURVEY PAUL JOHNSTONE GALLERY

BLACK AND WHITE, OUTSTATION GALLERY

SALON17, CDU ART GALLERY

DARWIN ABORIGINAL ART FAIR DARWIN CONVENTION CENTRE

TERMITE MOUNDS, FIONA CURREY YIRRINGINKIRI PWOJA, DOUBLETREE BY HILTON

ETAN PAVAVALUNG, CDU WINDOWS GALLERY EVERY DROP COUNTS, STUDIO ELEVENLEE HEADSHOTS, MAYFAIR GALLERY

01.

02.

34th Telstra National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art Awards Photo by Elise Derwin

Every Drop Counts Photo by Elise Derwin

// FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS

34TH TELSTRA NATIONAL ABORIGINAL & TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER ART AWARDS, MAGNT

25


FIRST NATIONS

// DARWIN FESTIVAL ANNUAL REVIEW 2017

Darwin Festival is proud to be a national leader in the presentation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) artists. Our focus reflects the importance of Australia’s first people and cultures to Darwin and the Northern Territory.

26

In 2017 Darwin Festival presented its largest ever program of work by ATSI artists with performances across almost every genre. Festival audiences continued to match our commitment with their eagerness to engage, selling out most ticketed performances and driving attendance across major events to record highs. The majority of ATSI artists presented in the Festival call the Northern Territory home, reflecting the strength of local Indigenous culture and arts practice particularly across music and visual arts. In total, 48 Festival events had Indigenous artists in lead creative positions.

Contemporary and traditional cultures took turns at centre stage revealing the strength and continuity at the heart of the world’s oldest continual living culture. In 2017 we curated a program of works by international First Nations artists, including performers from Canada, New Zealand, America and Taiwan. By creating opportunities for sharing ideas between First Nations artists and audiences, we hope that our own artists and communities will benefit from what traditional owners have to teach us.

01.

02.

Leo Rondeau with David Garnham & The Reasons to Live Photo by Elise Derwin

An Evening with Constantina Bush and Friends Photo by Elise Derwin


“Loved Constantina. What a great performance!” DARWIN FESTIVAL PATRON 2017

02.

01.

A.B. ORIGINAL (MUSIC) AN EVENING WITH CONSTANTINA BUSH AND FRIENDS (CABARET) B2M (MUSIC) HART (THEATRE) SHELLIE MORRIS & FRIENDS (MUSIC) SKINNYFISH SOUND SYSTEM (MUSIC) THE MILLS SISTERS (MUSIC) TIWI + JAZZ (MUSIC) ONE MOB (DANCE) TORRES STRAIT DANCE TROUPE (DANCE) ROBBIE MILLER (MUSIC) DAVID SPRY (MUSIC) MANDY GARLING (MUSIC)

BEHIND THE WIRE, FANNIE BAY GAOL (VISUAL ARTS) BLACK AND WHITE, OUTSTATION GALLERY (VISUAL ARTS) DARWIN ABORIGINAL ART FAIR, DARWIN CONVENTION CENTRE (VISUAL ARTS) INTO THE WATER, TACTILE ARTS (VISUAL ARTS) KARRIDJOWKKE KUNRONJ – CROSSING STREAMS, NOMAD ART GALLERY (VISUAL ARTS) OPEN CUT, NORTHERN CENTRE FOR CONTEMPORARY ART (VISUAL ARTS) PAPUNYA TULA ARTISTS: A SURVEY, PAUL JOHNSTONE GALLERY (VISUAL ARTS) SALON17, CDU ART GALLERY (VISUAL ARTS) YIRRINGINKIRI PWOJA, DOUBLETREE BY HILTON (VISUAL ARTS)

NATIONAL INDIGENOUS MUSIC AWARDS (MUSIC)

INTERNATIONAL FIRST NATIONS

QUESTIONS FOR THE NATION (WORDS AND IDEAS)

CRIS DERKSEN TRIO (CANADA) (MUSIC)

WELCOME TO COUNTRY 34TH TELSTRA NATIONAL ABORIGINAL & TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER ART AWARDS, MAGNT (VISUAL ARTS)

LEO RONDEAU (USA) (MUSIC) MODERN MĀORI QUARTET (NEW ZEALAND) (MUSIC) ETAN PAVAVALUNG (TAIWAN) (VISUAL ARTS)

// FIRST NATIONS

YIRRMAL AND THE MILIYAWUTJ (MUSIC)

27


01.

// DARWIN FESTIVAL ANNUAL REVIEW 2017

LOCAL FOCUS

28

Darwin Festival is proud to provide a high-profile platform for Northern Territory artists, placing local arts practice alongside the best in current national and international touring work. We are constantly on the lookout for ways to support emerging Territory artists as well as established talents as part of our mission to support the presentation of local arts. The list of local contributors to the 2017 Darwin Festival is long and the arts practices represented are diverse. NT artists presented works across the main Festival genres including theatre, dance, cabaret, music, Words and Ideas, family and visual arts. Local musicians were put in the

spotlight as different acts performed 16 nights of free concerts on the Rimfire Energy Bamboo Bandstand at Festival Park. Local acts supported interstate acts at Darwin Railway Club and headlined multiple nights at The Lighthouse in Festival Park. Darwin Festival audiences love hearing a Territory tale and 2017 was no exception, with local storytelling show SPUN selling out weeks before the Festival began. Other highlights of the local program included B2M bringing down the house at the Santos Opening Night Concert, jubilant dance works Between Tiny Cities រវាងទីក្រុងតូច and Tracks Dance’s Man Made, laugh-out-loud moments with Constantina Bush and Friends, and a truly moving evening of song and story with Ngarukuruwala, the Tiwi Strong Women’s Group, in Tiwi + Jazz. 01.

02.

03.

Yirrmal and the Miliyawutj Photo by Elise Derwin

David Garnham & The Reasons to Live Photo by Elise Derwin

Tiwi + Jazz Photo by Elise Derwin


03.

MAN MADE TRACKS DANCE

AN EVENING WITH CONSTANTINA BUSH AND FRIENDS

MANDY GARLING

ANDI EGAN AT THE DAKOTA B2M BEN EVOLENT BETWEEN TINY CITIES រវាងទីក្រុងតូច BRIDEY ROSE AND THE GOOD FELLOWS BROADWING CORRUGATED IRON DARWIN RONDALLA DARWIN LAPTOP ORCHESTRA DARWIN SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA DAVID GARNHAM AND THE REASONS TO LIVE DAVID SPRY DJ JUNO FAIRY MEGAN FEMME FUNKALE GAIA HOME SPUN HYPER THE CLOWN JIGSAW COLLECTIVE KATIE HARDER KATIE HARDER AND THE ARTFUL DODGERS

PLAYREADINGS: SEE-THROUGH / STRANGERS POLE TOP RESCUE ROCKSITTING SARAH PIRRIE SASHA MARCH SERINA PECH SHELLIE MORRIS SIETTA SOUNDSYSTEM SKINNYFISH SOUND SYSTEM SILK VILLAGE SOLID STATE CIRCUS STEVIE JEAN AND STEVIE JEAN DUO SWING DANCE NT TALKING THROUGH WALLS THE DUKES THE KICKS THE MILLS SISTERS THE MYSTICS TIWI + JAZZ TOP UP SCHOOLS PROGRAM TRANSWINGS DANCE STUDIO TROPICAL KITCHEN UPAI PURRI YIRRMAL AND THE MILIYAWUTJ

// LOCAL FOCUS

02.

AMY HETHERINGTON AND DANIELLE ANDREWS

KERRY INKSTER

29


// DARWIN FESTIVAL ANNUAL REVIEW 2017

INTERNATIONAL OUTLOOK

30

Each August Darwin becomes a hub for international artists. The international offerings in 2017 added to almost every genre of the Festival, from theatre, comedy and cabaret to visual arts and contemporary music. In 2017 we were thrilled to present work by international artists hailing from Canada, the UK, the USA, New Zealand, Malaysia, Cambodia, China, Indonesia and Taiwan. Darwin Festival programmed another diverse and accessible program of works from across Asia – reflecting our cosmopolitan population and our unique place in the region. Cross-cultural collaborations between local and international artists in Between Tiny Cities រវាងទីក ្រុងតូច, Cambodian Space Project (both Cambodia) and Water Pushes Sand (China) explored our relationships with these nations through dance

and music, while Malaysian comedian Kuah Jenhan found universal points of connection in his funny and personal show Like This Like Dad. We were delighted to present a significant program of Canadian works, assisted by the generous support of the Canada High Commission. Canadian First Nations cellist Cris Derksen brought an eye-opening collision of contemporary form and traditional dance to The Lighthouse stage with her Trio, including an Anishinaabe hoop dancer. Montreal-based dance phenomena [ZØGMA] took their funky pop-up work CUBE to the streets of Darwin to the delight and surprise of young and old. Science journalist Alanna Mitchell’s Sea Sick rounded out our theatre program with its illuminating survey of the global ocean and the effects of climate change. Both Mitchell and Derksen spoke on panels as part of our Sunday at CDU Words and Ideas program, contributing further to the rich dialogues this year’s Festival provoked.


01.

02.

AN EVENING WITH THE MODERN MĀORI QUARTET (NEW ZEALAND) BETWEEN TINY CITIES NICK POWER (NT / CAMBODIA) BLANC DE BLANC (INTERNATIONAL) CAMBODIAN SPACE PROJECT (CAMBODIA) CRIS DERKSEN TRIO (CANADA)

KUAH JENHAN (MALAYSIA) LEO RONDEAU (USA) PENNY ARCADE (USA) SEA SICK ALANNA MITCHELL (CANADA) TAMI NEILSON (NEW ZEALAND) WATER PUSHES SAND AUSTRALIAN ART ORCHESTRA (VIC / CHINA) *as part of our Asian Rock Documentary series

CUBE, [ZØGMA] (CANADA) DON’T THINK I’VE FORGOTTEN (CAMBODIA)* EASTEND CABARET (UK)

01.

02.

JALANAN (INDONESIA)*

Cris Derksen Trio Photo by Elise Derwin

Eastend Cabaret Photo by Elise Derwin

// INTERNATIONAL OUTLOOK

A NIGHT AT THE MUSICALS LE GATEAU CHOCOLAT & JONNY WOO (UK)

31


// DARWIN FESTIVAL ANNUAL REVIEW 2017

SCHOOLS ENGAGEMENT

32

Engaging with our audiences of the future is an important aspect of our programming and this year we held a special Schools Program Launch prior to our official program launch, giving teachers from across Darwin and Palmerston an early glimpse into some of #dfest17’s treats.

This sneak peek at what was to come allowed more time for planning and resulted in more students than ever attending our special school performances. Students and teachers from across Darwin and Palmerston took advantage of our affordable schools ticket prices at exclusive matinee showings of Hello, Goodbye & Happy Birthday, HART, Between Tiny Cities រវាងទីក្រុងតូច and In a Dark Dark Wood. In addition, the Festival partnered with BusLink VIVO to provide free return transport between schools and venues to make the Festival accessible for children across Darwin.


“The Modern Māori Quartet pack a punch. With their massive stage presence, tasty four-part harmonies and winsome personalities, these men are making vocal music accessible to a new generation of young musicians. My students don’t know how lucky they were to have these guys perform at our school!!” CHRIS PHILLIPS, SANDERSON MIDDLE SCHOOL

02.

ARTISTS IN SCHOOLS

The schools enjoyed a diverse program that included performances and workshops in musicality, dancing, wellbeing programs, singing and circus by:

“My class loved the experience of going to “Hello, Goodbye”. Acts such as these, suitable for Senior School Students and performed at a matinee time are fantastic opportunities for students. More please.” DARWIN FESTIVAL PATRON 2017

SPANDEX AND SEQUIN LOVING COMEDIAN TESSA WATERS KIWI CROONERS MODERN MĀORI QUARTET VIRTUOSIC CIRCUS COMPANY CIRCA

01.

DISCO DIVA AND QUEEN B DEVOTEES BEY DANCE

Tessa Waters

CANADA’S PERCUSSIVE DANCING SUPERSTARS ZØGMA DANSE

02. Modern Māori Quartet Photo by Elise Derwin

// SCHOOLS ENGAGEMENT

01.

We collaborate with The Smith Family, Australia’s largest national education charity, on our Artists in Schools program. This year’s program took some of our favourite Festival artists into three primary, one middle and one high schools, providing workshops, tutorials and performances for students and teachers. Approximately 620 students participated in five artist-led workshops.

33


INDUSTRY DEVELOPMENT Darwin Festival places focus on the development of the local industry sector as an important strategic ambition and a significant benefit of our annual activities.

// DARWIN FESTIVAL ANNUAL REVIEW 2017

In terms of direct employment engagement, Darwin Festival employed 86 staff members across the year. Full-time and short-term positions were advertised locally and nationally attracting 294 applications, including 86 applicants from the Northern Territory. Of these applicants, 39 Territorian applicants and 44 interstate applicants were appointed to roles across the Festival’s operations including marketing, ticketing, bars, production, development, programming and volunteers. Our Festival crew and staff worked across Darwin in unique venues to deliver equally unique programming. The type of work Darwin Festival delivers challenges and extends the skills of local and interstate crew and staff and brings them into contact with national and international artists and crews. Opportunities for skills development are significant for our local team as they work in association with visiting crew, staff and artists.

01.

02.

03.

Festival Park Photo by Elise Derwin

Mat McHugh

Stevie Jean Photo by Elle Wickens

Darwin Festival once again opened its program to local artists in the annual call-out for expressions of interest. The call-out was made in November 2016, attracting 37 submissions that resulted in seven new pieces of work delivered in the 2017 Festival program: AT THE DAKOTA LEO RONDEAU WITH DAVID GARNHAM AND THE REASONS TO LIVE PLAYREADINGS: SEE THROUGH / STRANGERS TALKING THROUGH WALLS THE MYSTICS TERMITE MOUNDS YIRRMAL AND THE MILIYAWUTJ

Darwin Festival remains the only State or Territory major festival to actively call for submissions of new and undeveloped work from the local sector, and it is a tradition we are proud to continue. In 2017, we coordinated a series of successful post-show artist talks for public and industry audiences to engage with the creative minds behind some of our most sought-after shows. The post-show talks proved extremely popular, garnering positive feedback from the local industry sector, ticket-buying public and artists. We engaged local artists to facilitate the Q&As. HELLO, GOODBYE AND HAPPY BIRTHDAY Q&A BY JOHANNA BELL PERHAPS HOPE Q&A BY ADAM STEER HART Q&A BY BILAWARA LEE SEA SICK Q&A BY ALANNA MITCHELL SHIT Q&A BY MARY ANNE BUTLER

34


01.

MAT McHUGH, DARWIN FESTIVAL STAFF Mat McHugh started with Darwin Festival in 2009 as general production crew. Working with the Festival each year has introduced him to a wide range of people, both local and interstate. Through these networks he has had the opportunity to work on some of the country’s biggest music, arts and cultural festivals including Falls Festival, Sydney Festival, Adelaide Festival, Womadelaide and Laneway Festival. Each year, Darwin Festival gave Mat a new opportunity within the industry, moving from general crew to Audio Technician, Production Coordinator and Technical Manager, with Mat being appointed to the core staff role of Production Manager in 2017. Heading into his 10th Darwin Festival, Mat feels confident about what lies ahead through the continuous support and development he receives from Darwin Festival. 02.

STEVIE JEAN, DARWIN FESTIVAL ARTIST

We are committed to providing showcase opportunities for young up-and-coming Territory artists. Providing them a platform that is recognised on the national stage helps increase their profile, both locally and nationally, and supports them to advance their careers.

03.

// INDUSTRY DEVELOPMENT

Born and raised in the Northern Territory, Stevie is both the lead singer for Darwin band Gaia and a solo artist. Darwin Festival has programmed Stevie in the last three Festivals and in 2017 Stevie Jean performed in three slots.

35


VOLUNTEERS

102 18

youngest

2017 2016

Resplendent in turquoise this year, our volunteers, proudly sponsored by Power and Water, provided a friendly face at Festival venues, promoted the Festival at local markets, dropped programs at workplaces and talked about performances to family and friends. Collectively, 102 volunteers worked over 1,000 hours in 2017.

1,000+

volunteers

volunteer hours

spread of ages for volunteers

102 volunteers 80 volunteers

77 oldest

22% growth

“Being surprised by shows I otherwise would not have seen was a delight!” 2017 DARWIN FESTIVAL VOLUNTEER

// DARWIN FESTIVAL ANNUAL REVIEW 2017

Darwin Festival relies on the strength of its returning volunteers. This year 45 volunteers returned to give their time supporting the Festival. These volunteers are our greatest ambassadors and helped welcome the 57 new faces in our volunteer team this year.

36

As a Festival, we expanded our presence in the city, reaching ever wider across the CBD. We had a great vision for the Festival this year. It is an enormous credit to the Darwin volunteer community that we are never left wanting, with volunteer numbers growing by 22% to help us take the Festival to new places. 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 AO and his wife, Mrs Marie Hardy.

“It’s amazing to be part of everyone’s enjoyment of the Festival.” 2017 DARWIN FESTIVAL VOLUNTEER

01.


02.

FRIENDS OF THE FESTIVAL

Our Friends of the Festival annual membership increased by 14% increase in 2017, reaching a total of 213 Friends. Buying on average 13.8 tickets each, our wonderful Friends are our most engaged group of ticket buyers.

2017

213 892 2,955 friends

bookings

tickets purchased

13.75

average number tickets purchased

$93,407.10 value

01. 2017 Darwin Festival volunteer Photo by Elise Derwin

02. A.B. Original Photo by Elise Derwin

// FRIENDS OF THE FESTIVAL

We deeply value our Friends of the Festival who often become our greatest advocates. We reward them with discounted tickets, priority booking, exclusive behind the scenes events and an invite to our Program Launch event.

37


// DARWIN FESTIVAL ANNUAL REVIEW 2017

PARTNERS

38

Our corporate partners are Darwin Festival’s greatest assets. This year, we enjoyed a record level of corporate support with 23 new partners. In total, the Festival received the invaluable combined support of 58 corporate partners who provided us with cash and in-kind support that enabled us to deliver unprecedented results. 01.

02.

03.

Festival Park Photo by Elise Derwin

2017 Darwin Festival volunteer Photo by Elise Derwin

Market Research Showcard

The Festival offers tremendous opportunities for our partners to make meaningful connections and engage with audiences in order to promote their brand, products and services. Darwin Festival strives to create partnerships that go beyond traditional sponsorship models and aims to create memorable moments that ultimately enhance the audience’s experience of the Festival.


POWER AND WATER SUPPORTING THE SUPPORT ACT Darwin Festival would not be possible without our dedicated and loyal team of volunteers who work hard to make sure everything goes off without a hitch. In many ways they are just like Power and Water, working tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure that everyone else can get on with having a good time. This is why Power and Water are proud to partner with Darwin Festival to support the Festival’s highly successful volunteer program.

01.

Register your details with Darwin Festival for a chance to win this Paspaley pearl Lavalier valued at $3,520

PASPALEY

Your details will only be used for this draw

darwinfestival.org.au

03. *Actual Paspaley pearl Lavalier prize, shown left. Model image for illustration purposes only.

03.

Long-term supporters of Darwin Festival, Australia’s most successful luxury brand Paspaley provided one lucky Festival-goer the chance to win a stunning Paspaley Lavalier pearl necklace just by sharing their thoughts of the Festival. All respondents to the audience survey, both online and face-to-face, went into the draw to win a Paspaley pearl, famously known as the most beautiful pearls in the world.

// PARTNERS

ENTER THE DRAW

02.

39


DARWIN INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT Darwin International Airport is no stranger to supporting not only Darwin Festival but the wider Darwin arts community, and in 2017 our partnership soared to new heights. From on-site airport activations such as a lunchtime performance by Canadian performer Leo Rondeau and the lighting of the Airport water tower, to a dynamic marketing campaign across new digital advertising platforms throughout the Airport, our partnership made a bold impact in not only promoting the Festival to international and domestic travellers, but also contributing to the Airport as a dynamic and vibrant hub.

01.

02.

03.

Airport activation promotion

The Lunchbox Series Photo by Elise Derwin

Kerry Mazda brand activation Photo by Elise Derwin

01.

KERRY MAZDA PROUDLY DRIVING DARWIN FESTIVAL

// DARWIN FESTIVAL ANNUAL REVIEW 2017

Kerry Mazda was the Official Vehicle Partner of the Festival in 2017, and our partnership included the use of five co-branded Mazda vehicles from Festival launch to wrap-up. The vehicles were used by senior staff members and provided high-visibility brand association as vehicles were driven and parked across Darwin and all Festival venues.

02.

THE LUNCHBOX SERIES SUPPORTED BY AUSTRALIANSUPER

03. 40

New Festival partner AustralianSuper supported the much loved Lunchbox Series, with tantalising Festival tasters served up over lunch in the city every Thursday and Friday. In addition, Lunchbox audience members had a chance to win tickets through the AustralianSuper Ticket Giveaway.


2017 PARTNERS __________________________________________________________________________________________________ PRINCIPAL PARTNER

LOCAL GOVERNMENT PARTNER

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ PARTNER IN EXCELLENCE

MAJOR PARTNERS

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ DISTINGUISHED PARTNERS

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

AIRLINE PARTNER

DESIGN PARTNER

DIGITAL PARTNER

VEHICLE PARTNER

PRODUCTION PARTNER

KERRY

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ MEDIA PARTNERS

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ STAR PARTNERS

ntretail.com.au

Retail echnology Point of Sale Solutions & Support

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Solut

i

s

g,

&

rin

De

sign

C ate Ev

ent

Managem

t en

Deckchair Cinema

// PARTNERS

nt

on

Eve

SUPPORTERS

41


“It remains my favourite event of the year around which I schedule holidays and where possible, work commitments! The quality is always high, and the surprise events that you’ve never heard of are often the greatest delights! I recommend that my southern friends visit at this time and I’m sure it brings huge benefit to the NT. It is one of the reasons I live here!” DARWIN FESTIVAL PATRON 2017

MARKETING & MEDIA // DARWIN FESTIVAL ANNUAL REVIEW 2017

The city transforms for 18 dazzling days and nights

42

The 2017 Darwin Festival formed a new design partnership with creative agency KWP! that saw the development of a fresh, vibrant and irreverent season identity. The 2017 marketing campaign took the new brand to heart and left splashes of colour on every medium it touched, from print to digital to outdoor advertising. The official 2017 Festival campaign kicked off to reveal the year’s colourful new season brand design with early release announcements on Thursday 4 May – six hot shows went on sale along with a save-the-date for the City of Darwin Teddy Bears’ Picnic. The early release campaign was further strengthened by an

additional show announcement on Thursday 25 May of Blanc de Blanc, set within the grand opulence of The Aurora Spiegeltent. The full program campaign was launched on Thursday 21 June and ran through the Festival from Thursday 10 to Sunday 27 August.


01.

02.

OBJECTIVES • Show specific / program awareness

• Cultivate engagement with local First Nations communities and industry

• Achieve box office targets

• Maximise advertising budget through value-added partnerships

• Develop audiences through data and market research initiatives

• Attract diverse community audiences

• Engage Auslan audiences

01.

02.

Festival Park Photo by Elise Derwin

Darwin Festival Program Guide Photo by Tierney White

// MARKETING & MEDIA

• Brand – local, regional and national awareness

43


01.

PUBLICATIONS Program Guide

Posters, Postcards and Flyers

At the core of the Festival’s promotions sits the 78-page Program Guide. This year’s Guide underwent a makeover: a smaller size and lighter weight stock allowed us to distribute the guide in the NT News.

Complementing the Program Guide, a series of print collateral was created to boost promotion of specific genres and shows.

// DARWIN FESTIVAL ANNUAL REVIEW 2017

•  55,000 printed and professionally distributed throughout the Top End including the rural communities of greater Darwin, as well as directly mailed to Friends of the Festival ahead of the Program Launch.

44

• Key distribution outlets included 10,000 copies inserted in the NT News to coincide with the Program Guide Launch on-sale date, 4,000 distributed at the Darwin International Airport, 1,500 at Tourism Top End Visitor Centre and 9,000 from Festival Box Offices. • Digital version of the guide available to view and download via Issuu with links on the Darwin Festival website

• 1,200 A3 show posters were printed and distributed across key outlets in Darwin and surrounds through a targeted placement strategy • A1 full-colour Festival-branded posters displayed in Casuarina Square Shopping Centre • 3,800 double-sided flyers and postcards were printed and distributed with targeted placement at key show venues, exitflyering by volunteers at relevant shows and box office ticket collection points • 2,400 house programs were printed and distributed at 12 key theatre and dance shows featuring cross-promotional show advertising of up to three shows per program

‘Bubbles, bare flesh and breathtaking acrobatics.’ BROADWAY WORLD

01.

02.

Festival Park Photo by Elise Derwin

Festival Park Box Office Photo by Elise Derwin

THE AURORA SPIEGELTENT IS COMING TO DARWIN WITH

BLANC de BLANC ON SALE NOW AT

darwinfestival.org.au Full #dfest17 program on sale 22 June!


02.

ADVERTISING

OUTDOOR ADVERTISING

An extensive advertising campaign was executed across print, online, radio and outdoor as well as in-venue signage.

Darwin Festival activated various key locations across the city, in surrounding suburbs and at Darwin International Airport.

27% OUTDOOR 26.5% PRINT 21.5% DIGITAL 15% RADIO 10% TV *does not include sponsorship/contributions from value-added partnerships

• Branded pop-up box office outlets in Smith Street Mall, Parliament Lawn and Festival Park • 75 street flags erected along major streets within Darwin CBD and on arterial roads into the city • Large branded outdoor banners displayed on rotation at key City of Darwin sites in July and August • Slides on rotation on the big screen at Deckchair Cinema to promote Festival events • Tourism Top End Visitor Centre entrance door decals • Festival-branded stalls at seven local markets with volunteers spruiking the Festival and offering Program Guides. Markets included Malak, Palmerston, Nightcliff and Mindil • Promotion at Darwin Show with Festival-branded volunteers handing out Program Guides • Festival-branded A-frame signs distributed to visual art venues to promote their exhibitions and boost street presence of the Festival

// MARKETING & MEDIA

CHANNEL BREAKDOWN BY %*

• Extensive Airport terminal and grounds activation with both whole of event and show-specific promotion across various digital screens in departure and arrival halls, Program Guide displays, media wall / window and baggage carousel decals, taxi rank billboard artwork, boom-gate decals, water-tower light display and more

45


DIGITAL 330,000

Website We redeveloped our website this year to improve search and shopping cart performance and to offer multipack functionality

59%

UNIQUE VISITS

to the Darwin Festival website (from June 21-August 27)

4,564

of ticket sales through the website in 2017 compared with 51% in the previous year

Total page views

Average search duration

425,579

Cultivating the organic sharing of information is pivotal in building social media engagement. In 2017, we focused on Facebook events and dynamic content such as the use of video and animated GIFs.

// DARWIN FESTIVAL ANNUAL REVIEW 2017

An emphasis on informing audiences about artists and events, as well as the Festival location within the CBD, was actioned through dedicated content-driven strategies and targeted paid advertising campaigns.

46

5.02

5,349

19,438

Twitter followers

Facebook followers

2016

736

(^from 3.79 in 2016))

subscribers 9,500+ email

Social Media

#DFEST17 OFFICIAL HASHTAG USE

Average number of pages viewed per session

3.12 mins

(^44% on 2016)

tickets sold in multipacks, which equates to 15.4% of ticket sales

eDM Open Rate

eDM Click Rate

Darwin Festival

25.37%

8.94%

Entertainment and Events Industry average

21.21%

2.33%

Mailchimp average email campaign stats by Industry – updated Feb 1 2017

3,007 Instagram followers

2017

1,224

28% INCREASE in Instagram followers from 2016

674,000+ FACEBOOK REACH

during Festival campaign (June 21-August 27)


PUBLICITY $3,009,185 WORTH OF DIGITAL MEDIA COVERAGE 1,062 pieces of media coverage

34.9% increase on 2016

June-August media coverage reached a

NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL AUDIENCE OF 514,142,780 COVERAGE OUTLETS INCLUDED The Guardian, SBS, ABC Radio National Books & Arts Daily, Marie Claire Magazine, Mindfood Magazine, Aboriginal Art Directory, Art Collector

Online

Print

56%

44%

Coverage outlets included: The Guardian, SBS, ABC Radio National Books & Arts Daily, Marie Claire Magazine, Mindfood Magazine, Aboriginal Art Directory, Art Collector

COVERAGE SECURED 56% OFWASMEDIA ONLINE COVERAGE

3

NT News front covers

DAILY LIVE READS on all local commercial radio stations throughout the duration of the Festival

ABC RADIO NATIONAL’S BOOKS & ARTS DAILY Secured attendance of

EVENT LISTINGS IN KEY INFLIGHT AIRLINE MAGAZINES including Jetstar, Jetstar Asia, Qantas – The Australian Way and Virgin Voyeur

TV COVERAGE SECURED on ABC News 24, Channel 9 Darwin, Channel 10 The Project, Channel 9 The Today Show and NITV

77 13

Editorial features and event lisitings

Editorial features and event listings in

THE WEEKEND AUSTRALIA MAGAZINE

78

PRESS INTERVIEWS HELD

// MARKETING & MEDIA

who dedicated a whole show to interviews with Festival performers

47


SUSTAINABILITY Darwin Festival is famous for its beautiful outdoor venues. We remain committed to minimising our impact on the natural environment and we continue to introduce initiatives to help us become a more sustainable event. Reuse In 2017, we partnered with Living Water Smart to give away free refillable water pouches to all our artists. Thanks to Power and Water, water refill stations were readily available at Festival Park 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 nonrecyclable rubbish. Grey water and cooking oil from food stalls are collected for offsite recycling. We work closely with our food vendors to promote the use of compostable food service ware at Festival food stalls. In 2017, all food

vendors were required to provide compostable food service ware at our major venues as we move towards sustainability.

Renew In 2017, our onsite cleaners used eco-friendly products to clean the major Festival venues. Festival staff ensure that lights and airconditioners are turned off in our offices and venues whenever they are not in use to conserve power. 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. Where possible, we elect to carbon offset our artists’ flights.

ACCESSIBILITY We want everyone to be able to enjoy the Festival. That’s why Darwin Festival has a number of measures in place to ensure patrons can access our venues and enjoy quality free and ticketed programming.

// DARWIN FESTIVAL ANNUAL REVIEW 2017

All Darwin Festival venues are wheelchairaccessible and wheelchair friendly. We work closely with patrons to ensure easy venue access and their comfort inside all our venues.

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Darwin Festival is working towards greater accessibility for our diverse communities. In 2017, we were proud to present a sold-out Auslan-interpreted performance of HART for the Deaf and hearing-impaired community.

Thousands of families enjoyed the free City of Darwin Teddy Bears’ Picnic at The Esplanade, and our mini-festival for mini-humans, emBARK!, provided free children’s entertainment weeknights at Festival Park. From the Rimfire Energy Bamboo Bandstand and the Sundays At CDU Words and Ideas program, to our entertaining free dance shows and extensive free visual arts program, Darwin Festival ensured free community access and Festival fun for all ages.

Darwin Festival supports the Companion Card program. Should a patron require the assistance of a companion or a carer to attend events or venues, we will issue a second ticket at no cost to holders of a Companion Card.

Darwin Festival also presented 58 ticketed shows at an average ticket price of $35. Special flatrate $15 tickets were made available to Darwin school students as part of our annual Schools Program of dynamic and engaging theatre.

In 2017, Darwin Festival presented 27 free events, including the free major Santos Opening Night Concert attended by 3,500 Festival-goers.


Hon Michael Gunner MLA, Alf Leonardi and staff, Hon Kezia Purick MLA, Martine Smith, Kimberley Davey and staff at the Office of the Speaker, Hon Lauren Moss MLA, Mary Fall and staff, Airnorth, Alan James and the team at Darwin Entertainment Centre, Alastair Shields and the Dept of Tourism & Culture, Alice Body and the team at Deckchair Cinema, Amy Hetherington, Andrew Hopper at NT Major Events, Andrew Ross, Angela Hill and Arts NT, Anna Stewart and the team at the Darwin Railway Club, Arnhem Nursery, Bilawara Lee, Blackwoods Darwin Trade Store, Bunnings Darwin, Cardno, Carrillo Gantner, Christ Church Cathedral, Christian ‘Bong’ Ramillo and the team at DCA, Clive Garland and Sonia Gupta at KPMG, Danisam Ground Surveys, Dept of Chief Minister, Dept of Education, Dept of Trade, Business & Innovation, Don Milford at Darwin Sub Branch RSL, all the team at Enta Ticketing Solutions, Eve Pawlik, Gail Haydon and team at NT Fleet, Glen at Thrifty, Hendri Mentz and Heidi Girolamo at Deloitte, Hugo Leschen at Arts and Museums, James Gough, James Parker, Jennifer Dowling, Kaia Hammond, Carlie Chenoweth and the team at KWP!, former Lord Mayor Katrina Fong Lim, Brendan Dowd, Mark Blackburn, Anna Malgorzewicz, Michael Bates and staff at City of Darwin, Kitsa Daskalakis, Laura Magan, Jodi Linnett, Jill Morris and team at Darwin International Airport, Marco at General Rigging Co. Pty. Ltd., Mary Lou Hayman, Mitchell Sleigh at Arthur J. Gallagher, NT Police, Persephone Stuckey-Clarke at HWL Ebsworth, Peter Russell, Rachel Coggan and the team at Captovate, RMI Security, St. John’s Ambulance, our longterm patron His Honour the Hon John Hardy AO and Mrs Marie Hardy, Scott Samson, Milena Mathie and staff at Government House, Sean Pardy and the team at Brown’s Mart Theatre, Sharon Pinney, Territory Kids, Toni Cutler at FestivalsNT, Tourism NT, Tutt Bryant and a special thank you to our chair Ian Kew.

01.

// THANK YOU

THANK YOU 01.

SPECIAL THANKS TO OUR EXTENDED FESTIVAL FAMILY:

Festival Park Photo by Elise Derwin

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FESTIVAL TEAM The 2017 Festival was delivered by 86 Darwin Festival staff, 102 volunteers and many other support staff including contractors. A massive thank you to everyone who worked together to make the 2017 Festival possible. Patron His Honour the Honourable John Hardy AO Administrator of the Northern Territory

// DARWIN FESTIVAL ANNUAL REVIEW 2017

Ambassador

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Hon Michael Gunner MLA Chief Minister of the Northern Territory

Darwin Festival Board Ian Kew (Chair) Avril Baynes Mary Anne Butler (until July 2017) Karen Green Mark Grose Mark Hunt

Auditor KPMG

EXECUTIVE CEO Emily Mann

Artistic Director Felix Preval

ADMINISTRATION Finance & HR Manager Renee Allchurch

Festival Administrator Miriam Scapin

DEVELOPMENT & COMMUNICATIONS Development Manager Zoe Scrogings

Development Coordinator Jeff Landfield Maria Buchanan (from June 2017)

Marketing & Communications Manager Claire Wilcock Kate Napper (from May 2017)

Asst. Marketing & Communications Manager Tierney White


01.

Publications Editor

PRODUCTION

Andi Lawson-Moore

Production Manager

Marketing Assistant Kaye Hall

Ben Snodgrass Mat McHugh (from September 2017)

Publicist

Technical Manager

Cardinal Spin

Mat McHugh

Festival Photographer

Production Administrator

Elise Derwin

Rachal van Wyk

Production Coordinators

Music Programmer

Damon Jones – Festival Park Andrew Meadows – DEC Gavin Faull – Special Events Geoffrey Tonks – Parliament Lawn

Anita Nedeljkovic

Logistics Coordinator

Program Manager Harriet Robinson

Producer Club Awi James Mangohig

Producer Vanessa Wright

Program Coordinator

Jarrad Black

Volunteers Coordinator Natalie Grindey

Design Associate Techy Masero

Natasha Woodcock

Bars Manager

TICKETING

Julie Blyth Luke Florence (from July 2017)

Ticketing Manager Nic van Essen

Ticketing Coordinator Erin Garman

Bars Supervisor Tessa Footner

01. Darwin Festival Staff Photo by Mat McHugh

// FESTIVAL TEAM

PROGRAMMING

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SEE YOU NEXT FESTIVAL 9-26

AUGUST 2018

DARWIN FESTIVAL Frog Hollow Centre for The Arts 56 McMinn Street Darwin NT 0800 GPO Box 570 Darwin NT 0801 (+61) 08 8943 4200 contact@darwinfestival.org.au ABN 15 616 936 371

A Night at the Musicals Photo by Elise Derwin

Darwin Festival Annual Review 2017  

A look back at the 2017 Festival

Darwin Festival Annual Review 2017  

A look back at the 2017 Festival

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