Sugarbag Festival to celebrate Top End queer community

Sugarbag, the festival that celebrates queer arts and culture in the Top End, will return next month with a lively program for all to enjoy.

Darwin’s vibrant queer community will be showcased through storytelling, visual arts and live performances from June 2 to 4 at venues across the city.

A unique, inclusive event that recognises the importance of arts and culture to our community, as well as the benefits the sector delivers for our economy, this year’s Sugarbag will include workshops, exhibitions, music, comedy, and drag shows.

Sugarbag Festival co-curator Ben Graetz said there was plenty for everyone to get involved in.

“As a local First Nations queer man, I am so thrilled to be working with all the Sugarbag team again to bring you the very best arts and culture Darwin and the surrounds has to offer,” Ben said.

“This festival is about celebrating our beautifully diverse rainbow community in the Top End, but also allowing our allies and all our community to take part and show support as well.”

Sugarbag is supported by Northern Territory Government through Northern Territory Major Events Company, and the festival will kick off with Queerly Beloved: A Night of Storytelling hosted by Lisa Pellegrino. Community members will be invited to share their stories of love, courage, and resilience with each other.

NTMEC CEO Suzana Bishop said Darwin had a vibrant arts and culture scene, and a thriving LGBTQIA+SB community.

“Supporting this festival promotes inclusivity, acceptance and an opportunity for the wider community to learn more about queer culture,” she said.

“Sugarbag Festival is just one of many unique festivals that shines across the Territory’s social calendar and, with plenty of activities on during Sugarbag, there will be something for everyone in our community to enjoy.”

Aspiring artists can also be involved by getting creative at an interactive street art workshop in Austin Lane, while lovers of all things cabaret will enjoy the Sweet Honey Collective show hosted by Marzi Panne.

The festival will also feature large inflatable ‘hives’ across town, decorated by some of Darwin’s most established LGBTQIA+SB artists.

The full program and tickets to paid events are now on sale and can be purchased at