Information, News and Media Releases

The latest news and information on the Darwin Festival is posted here regularly. For more information, please contact the Darwin Festival Office on 08 8981 0083.

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Media Releases

Darwin Festival Program Preview

Darwin Festival Official Program Launch

31 local music acts announced for the Music NT Festival Club

Santos Concert on the Esplanade

An 8000 strong crowd spent Saturday night dancing on the Esplanade by Darwin Harbour to three of the Territory’s top Indigenous bands, Wildwater, Yilila and The Saltwater Band. The Santos Concert attracted people from all walks of life; backpackers mingled with local families and members of Aboriginal communities from across the Territory. The free event is a great way for Darwin’s large
Indigenous population and music lovers of all colours to access a slice of Arnhem Land’s contemporary music scene.

Led by award winning singer song writer Djolpa McKenzie, Wildwater from Maningrida set the tone of the night with their distinctively ‘tropical’ Indigenous sound- a mix of Latin grooves and African with more traditional folk music.

Next were Yilila from the tiny community of Numbulwar in remote eastern Arnhem Land who combine elements of their clan’s ancient performance culture with modern folk and rock. Lead singer, Grant Nundhirribala beseeched parents in the crowd to teach their kids to ‘be strong’, using his own children - members of the brilliant Red Flag Dancers who perform with the band – as positive examples. “I teach my kids my kids their culture. Go home and teach your kids everything
you know!” he urged the enthusiastic crowd.

The Saltwater Band then took to the stage in an hour long performance that proved again why many consider them Australia’s hottest indigenous act. The eight musicians from Elcho Island perform a bluesy blend of contemporary Indigenous sounds with influences ranging from reggae to flamenco. The stunning vocals of lead singer Manuel Nulupani Dhurrkay are nothing short of spine tingling and song after song received a wildly appreciative response on the dance floor.