While most Australians will have never had the opportunity (or perhaps a big enough reason) to head to Darwin, that seems to be changing pretty damn quickly, especially for anyone who might care for a bit of live music as they escape the cold of the south.
The annual Darwin Festival has just drawn back the curtain on a great lineup for this year’s event, and is the latest in a run of NT-based events like Queens of the Stone Age’s recent Splendour sideshow with Lonely Boys, an NT Song of the Year Awards that delivered some serious new talent, the Darwin Fringe Festival wrapping up last week, and a National Indigenous Music Awards boasting a killer lineup for 2017.
This year’s festival will run over 18 days, from August 10-27, with names like A.B. Original, You Am I, Felix Riebl of The Cat Empire, Ali Barter, Dappled Cities, Clairy Browne, Tijuana Cartel and more making an appearance.
Also playing throughout the two-and-a-bit weeks will be B2M, Yirrmal & The Miliyawutj, Cambodian Space Project, Happy Yess, Femme FUNKALE and DJ Total Eclipse, all making for a solid run of music for the remote capital.
Our southernmost city Hobart has shown how it can draw more than its own population down each winter for the Dark Mofo winter festival and summer Mona Foma equivalent, and Darwin may just be building itself up as a relaxing destination for music lovers, especially during the colder months.
We recently chatted with Darwin outfit Live at the Dakota to get an idea of what the Darwin music scene was actually like for emerging bands, and while it is still a small, isolated scene (and crocs are genuinely an ever-present danger), Perth has shown us how remote capitals can form some of the strongest scenes in recent years.
Darwin may not be most people’s number one festival destination just yet, but with the NT scene gradually building momentum, watch this space we reckon.
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