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News May 16, 2022

Music Festivals Get Over $27 Million In Northern Territory Budget

Music Festivals Get Over $27 Million In Northern Territory Budget

The Northern Territory budget has allocated $27.9 million to six festivals.

These include BASSINTHEGRASS, Darwin Festival, Parrtjima – A Festival in Light, Desert Festival and the Katherine and Darwin Pride festivals.

The National Indigenous Music Awards, which this week announced its return in a physical form, is part of the Darwin Festival.

The support for these music events comes as part of the NT Government’s $86.4 million strategy to ignite tourism dollars and grow holiday visitor expenditure to between $1.46 billion and $1.79 billion by 2030.

Each event offers tourism and NT experiences.

BASSINTHEGRASS draws 16,000 punters, half from outside the Territory.

Held on May 21 at Mindil Beach, performers include Hilltop Hoods, Jessica Mauboy, Teskey Bros, Peking Duk, Xavier Rudd, Dune Rats, G Flip, Boy & Bear, Montaigne and Dope Lemon.

Last year it generated $14.5 million for the NT economy, $12 million of which was new money.

Its VIP package has dining experiences, a harbour cruise and a visit to Litchfield National Park.

Minister for Major Events Natasha Fyles said, “BASSINTHEGRASS has long been a rite of passage for Territorians, and now it is becoming the same for interstaters, having firmly earned its spot on the national music festival calendar.

“This means more and more people visiting the Territory to attend BASSINTHEGRASS, with huge benefits for the local tourism and hospitality industries in particular. But of course, those benefits trickle right down through our economy, with associated industries also reaping the rewards.”

Parrtjima – A Festival in Light 2022, delivered by Northern Territory Major Events Company (NTMEC) and produced by Creative Directors AGB Events, took place from April 8-17 in Alice Springs.

It drew 23,000 with an economic impact of $11.5 million in its seventh year.

Almost $10 million was new to the region.

“Over the years Parrtjima has continued to develop and grow, offering more and more reasons for people to visit the Red Centre from all corners of Australia,” NTMEC CEO Tim Watsford said.

Darwin Festival is held August 4—21 with local, national and international artists across music (including Arlo Parks and Confidence Man, and a live performance of Gurrumul’s final album ”Djarrimirri” by Yolŋu dancers and songmen), comedy, dance, cabaret, theatre and visual arts.

The 14th National Indigenous Music Awards on Saturday, August 6 at Darwin Amphitheatre, has so far announced sets by Thelma Plum and King Stingray.

It returns after “two long hard years of false starts, virtual ceremonies, zoom calls and patchy service,” organisers said.

“The awards have always been a special place to connect with mob and for artists to get together to celebrate their artistry and culture,” according to NIMA creative director Ben Graetz.

“The last two years of virtual events have been challenging but it has also  allowed us to get to people far and wide, across Australia and beyond, but getting back to country and being together to celebrate music will be a true homecoming for our industry.”

Music, sporting, racing and cultural events play a large role in the NT economy.

Figures from the Northern Territory Major Events Company showed that eight of its events during the 2020-21 financial year raised an economic stimulus of $109.8 million for the NT, of which $64.9 million was new money. 

Combined, the events were responsible for generating 257,590 visitor nights and supported the equivalent of 433 full-time jobs. The events drew 102,269, with almost half (49,492) saying the event they attended was the main reason they visited the host region.

This article originally appeared on The Industry Observer, which is now part of The Music Network.


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