If you’ve never been to Darwin before, you’re missing out. This is one beautiful, interesting, tropical city, and guess what? It also happens to have Australia’s most northern and only tropical arts festival. That’s right. It’s increasingly becoming a boom destination for art and culture. This year’s Darwin Festival, which runs between August 9-26, features innovative programming and presentation, with musical acts as diverse as Hermitude, Kenny Rogers, Tim Rogers, and Holly Throsby, amongst many others, alongside theatre, cabaret, dance, visual art, and comedy acts. It’s going to be massive.
A little while back, we ran a week long diary from Australian pop band, The Grates. It was kinda to get a window into the world. Hell, voyeurism is the new black. So we asked Melbourne-based rock band, The Basics, to do the same thing as they bring their music to the deepest reaches of Australia’s Northern Territory. These are the words of bassist and vocalist, Kris Schroeder: ‘Friday November 7. Darwin. It’s a weird old joint this one — I can probably compare it closest to Queensland’s Cairns, with the backpacker industry making up the life and character of the Central Business District. This makes it particularly good for bands, as you’ve got a ready audience staying only metres away from the music venues. Today was our first Darwin gig (at Monsoons), and it was a ripper. I’d organised with my mate Nathan to bring up the Sunshine Reggae Band from Ikuntji in the Western Desert, and they were going to be the first Indigenous band to play in the main street of Darwin, which is apparently quite a cultural breakthrough. The best bit was how well received they were, someone saying “This is great, because it’s what you should expect to see in Darwin, not just bloody cover bands all the time.” Quite chuffed. By the time we played it was packed out, and everyone was loving it. Job done’.