Music festivals get over $27m in Northern Territory budget

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

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

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

Support for these musical events is part of the Government of the Northwest Territories’ $86.4 million strategy to generate tourism revenue and reduce spending by holiday visitors between 1.46 billion and $1.79 billion by 2030.

Each event offers tourism experiences and NTs.

BASSINTHEGRASS attracts 16,000 punters, half of them outside the Territory.

Held 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.

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Last year it generated $14.5 million for the Northern Territories economy, including $12 million in new money.

Its VIP package includes dining experiences, a harbor cruise and a visit to Litchfield National Park.

Major Events Minister Natasha Fyles said: “BASINTHEGRASS has long been a rite of passage for Territorians, and now so is interstaters, having firmly earned its place on the national music festival calendar.

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

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

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

Nearly $10 million was new to the region.

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

The Darwin Festival is held August 4-21 featuring local, national and international artists through music (including Arlo Parks and Confidence Man, and a live performance of Gurrumul’s latest album “Djarrimirri” by Yolŋu dancers and singers), comedy, dance, cabaret, theater and visual arts.

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

He returns after “two long, difficult years of false starts, virtual ceremonies, zoom calls and spotty service,” organizers said.

“The awards have always been a great place to connect with the crowd and for artists to come together to celebrate their art and culture,” according to NIMA Creative Director Ben Graetz.

“The last two years of virtual events have been difficult, but it has also has allowed us to reach people from all over Australia and beyond, but going back to the country and being together to celebrate music will be a real homecoming for our industry.

Music, sporting, horse racing and cultural events play an important role in the economy of the Northern Territories.

Figures from the Northern Territory Major Events Company showed that eight of its events in the 2020-21 financial year generated $109.8 million in economic stimulus for the Northern Territory, including $64.9 million new funds.

Together, the events generated 257,590 visitor nights and supported the equivalent of 433 full-time jobs. The events attracted 102,269 people, with almost half (49,492) saying the event they attended was the main reason they visited the host region.

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