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Parrtjima Program Bringing Top Talent to Red Centre

Office of the Chief Minister

The full program for this year’s Parrtjima – A Festival in Light has been revealed, with a slew of world-class artists, musicians and speakers to showcase their talents at the iconic Alice Springs event.

2021 will see a new show for the MacDonnell Ranges, large-scale light installations, artworks, performances, interactive workshops, music, films and talks added to the program as part of this year’s theme ‘Future Kultcha’.

This year’s event will take place across three venues – Alice Springs Desert Park, Araluen Arts Centre and Todd Mall.

Joining previously announced acts Electric Fields and Casey Donovan on the music program this year is an all-star line-up of Australian artists including Miiesha, MusicNT’s Divas, Jimblah, Bow and Arrow, Dobby, OKA, Ziggy Ramo and Shellie Morris.

In addition, event attendees will be able to listen to a range of critically-acclaimed speakers as part of the talks program. They include award-winning writer Bruce Pascoe, artists Jungala Kriss and Raymond Walters Japanangka, and Professor Marcia Langton AM, to name a few.

Other 2021 program highlights include a fabric and textiles workshop hosted by National Indigenous Fashion Awards Director Nina Fitzgerald, bushfood tastings, a wooden carvings masterclass, painting workshops, metal sculpture workshops and more.

Children’s activities and live music provided by local DJs will also feature on the nightly program, and the Araluen Arts Centre will host a film program and Araluen Curator Tours. Films include 1950s classic Jedda, coming-of-age comedy Bran Nue Dae featuring Jessica Mauboy and Aboriginal Rules, a documentary on the role Aussie Rules plays in a remote Territory community.

Parrtjima is the only authentic Aboriginal light festival of its kind, showcasing the oldest continuous culture on earth through the newest technology. The packed program runs alongside nightly light shows on the 300-million-year-old natural canvas of the MacDonnell Ranges.

Parrtjima is delivered by the Territory Labor Government through Northern Territory Major Events Company (NTMEC) and produced by Creative Directors AGB Events.

Parrtjima returns to Alice Springs from 9-18 April 2021.

To find out more or register for the Desert Park festival site and the Araluen Arts Centre program elements, head to


Quotes from Minister for Major Events, Natasha Fyles: 

“The Northern Territory has remained the safest place in the country during the pandemic, and this is why we can hold such incredible events.

“There will be something for everyone at this year’s event, with an incredible program of world-renowned artists, speakers and musicians to take to the stage.

“The Territory Labor Government is proud to support Parrtjima, an incredible event which plays an important role in shining a light on our rich arts and culture.

“We also know the event helps boost visitation to the Territory, enabling local businesses and our economy to benefit from this major event being staged in Central Australia.”


Quotes from Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage, Chansey Paech:

“We continue to develop the Parrtjima program to ensure the event gets bigger and better every year.

“The quality of talent for 2021 is really exciting to see, and it will give people from right around the country even more reasons to visit the Red Centre.

“I encourage locals and visitors alike to make the most of this impressive program by heading out to Desert Park, Todd Mall and the Araluen Arts Centre to experience the magic of Parrtjima for themselves.”


Quotes from Parrtjima Curator Rhoda Roberts:

“When you combine the masters with the emerging, you see a sense of a holistic culture and knowledge that is relevant to everyone in the 21st century.

“This year’s theme ‘Future Kultcha’ is all about ensuring forward thinking of the philosophers, the artists and the dreamers.

“Enabling young guest curators such as Electric Fields and Rhyan Clapham AKA Dobby to play a part in this year’s program gives a distinct voice of the next generation and their connection to the ancient footprints of their ancestors.”

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