Northern Territory Government Newsroom

BUDGET 2019: TURBO2 - Supporting Festivals and Events

Major events and festivals will get a $20 million boost under the Territory Labor Government’s TURBO2 investment aimed at attracting more visitors and injecting more money into the economy.

The additional events and festivals investment is part of a $62.8 million TURBO2 package that will build on the momentum of the successful Turbocharging Tourism stimulus over the next two years.

It includes additional funding to continue the Todd Mall component of Parrtjima – A Festival in Light as well as continuing support for spectacular light installations and performances at the Desert Park.

This year’s Parrtjima was a huge success, attracting 25,623 attendees over 10 nights – an amazing 25 per cent increase on last year’s event, reinforcing the uniqueness of the event, and its ability to capture the imagination and interest of a national and international audience.

Extending the event into the Mall delivers significant flow-on benefits to local restaurants, bars, cafes and retail shops throughout the CBD.

The bigger and better Parrtjima will be held in April again next year, a traditionally quieter period for tourism, and will feature an even larger program that continues to cement its reputation as a truly unique global event.

The additional TURBO2 investment will also support the continuation of a bigger, better People’s Choice BASSINTHEGRASS at its new Mindil Beach home base.  BASSINTHEGRASS will run for the first time at Mindil in May this year, with tickets sales already at record levels compared to previous years and VIP areas being sold out.

This year’s BASSINTHEGRASS is forecast to have a record crowd of 10,000 music fans, with around 3,000 expected to travel to Darwin from across the Territory and Australia.

As well as allowing for two stages, an expanded artist line-up, more hospitality and facilities for attendees, additional investment in BASS allows for a strong interstate marketing push, cementing it as a must-do on the national music festival calendar, increasing visitation and injecting more money into the local economy.

A record $2 million per year investment will boost the Darwin Festival over the next two years, supporting the event to grow, particularly in terms of attendance from interstate.

The TURBO2 investment into major events and community festivals will position the Territory as a premier tourist destination, driving more visitors to the Red Centre and the Top End through events like BetEasy Darwin Triple Crown, Red CentreNATS, People’s Choice BASSINTHEGRASS, Parrtjima and the Darwin Festival, recognising their importance to liveability, tourism and local jobs.

Quotes from Minister for Tourism, Sport and Culture, Lauren Moss:

“The Government’s additional $62.8 million TURBO2 tourism investment includes $20 million to support our festivals, major events and experiences recognising the role they play in cementing the Territory’s reputation as a vibrant place to live, work and visit.

 “Events and festivals give people even more reasons to visit, injecting more money into the economy, including during traditionally quieter periods, supporting thousands of local businesses and jobs.”

Quotes from Plaza Wellbeing Centre owner, Prue Skipsey Williams:

“This year’s Parrtjima was an amazing event and it was lovely to see so many tourists walking around town enjoying the festival.

“It’s great that local businesses can capitalise on this fantastic event, with hundreds of national and international visitors making their way to Alice Springs.

“I was particularly impressed with the light installations in Todd Mall this year and how it activated the city centre for locals and tourists to enjoy.”


Media Contact: Ellie Clancy 0436 646 689