Desert Festival to celebrate local talent

The Desert Festival 2021 begins this week in Alice Springs (Mparntwe) with a jam-packed program to showcase the town’s unique arts and culture.

Now in its 21st year, the annual festival by Red Hot Arts Central Australia offers an epic 11 days of theatre, poetry, visual arts, live music, dance, workshops and more.

Red Hot Arts Central Australia Chairperson Penelope McDonald said she was excited to see Desert Festival return in 2021.

“The Festival provides audience exposure opportunities for both well-known and emerging local talent, as well as creates a space for community art and cultural engagement,” she said.

“With two festival hub locations and new initiatives such as SPRING.LOADED.DANCE and the Artisan Trail, we can’t wait to share this year’s events with our community and visitors.”

This year’s theme, ‘Lovin’ Local’, celebrates Alice Springs talent with a feast of musicians, dancers and artists ready to excite your senses and take you on an incredible cultural journey from 23 September to 3 October 2021.

Head along to the official opening, the Lovin’ Local Parade, on 23 September. Held in collaboration with the Alice Springs Town Council night markets, the event promises an evening of music, food and festivities.

Cabaret will draw in the crowds at Razzle Dazzle, a showcase of talent brought to you by dance company Desert Diamonds. Get into the groove with SPRING.LOADED.DANCE, a new initiative of GUTS Dance Central Australia. Look to the future with We’ll Dance on the Ash of the Apocalypse. Written by Alice Springs-born Melissa-Kelly Franklin, this outstanding piece of theatre debuted in London. There will be free pop-up music events, exhibitions, an artisan trail, short film screenings and workshops. The Australian Poetry Slam Alice Springs Round will be searching for their next wizard of words.

Desert Festival is supported by the Northern Territory Government through Northern Territory Major Events Company. Grab your ticket and check out the program at