Theme for 2021 confirmed as lights out on Parrtjima 2020

Parrtjima – A Festival in Light wrapped up yesterday in Alice Springs after delighting thousands of people over the course of 10 nights.

Final figures show the celebration of Aboriginal art and culture attracted more than 17,000 attendances in total. This means extra people filling local accommodation options, and spending time and money in the region.

Northern Territory Major Events Company CEO Tim Watsford said it was great to see thousands of people in the Red Centre for this year’s Parrtjima.

This is great news for local businesses who have benefited from the accompanying spend that happens when people attend an event.

We’ve also seen widespread national news coverage, ranging from television and radio to print publications and online outlets. This has provided incredible exposure not just for Parrtjima, but the entire Red Centre region.

Combined with coverage of the Red CentreNATS and AFL game the weekend before, Desert Festival commencing on 24 September and the Desert Mob festival, which runs until 25 October, Alice has been the talk of the country with so many events taking place at a time when events are few and far between.

Parrtjima Curator and AGB First Nations Adviser Rhoda Roberts AO said Parrtjima 2020 has highlighted the importance of listening and learning the oral way – encouraged by elders, custodians and guardians of language.

What a wonderful 10 days Parrtjima 2020 has been, gathering in this unique environment for our Deep Listening conversations, and to witness the beauty of the large-scale light installations and spectacular Ranges show, The Ebb and Flow of Sky and Country.

Parrtjima is definitely a pilgrimage all Australians should make. Under the desert skies, surrounded by ancient landscapes that shift and shape each generation, the oldest living culture on earth continues to share its lessons, as they have since time immemorial.

A favourite has been seeing the joy of children playing on a carpet of art works projected onto the desert sands as part of our ‘Grounded’ installation. The laughter and smiles guarantee they will have incredible memories of fun and sharing when remembering Parrtjima – what a future.

Parrtjima will return from 9-18 April 2021, and last night the theme for next year’s festival was confirmed as FUTURE KULTCHA.

PARRTJIMA 2021 – FUTURE KULTCHA will focus on intergenerational wisdom told through light, installations, art, music, dance, performance, digital mediums, deep-listening conversations and the spoken word.

An inclusive two-way exchange between young and old, the theme will give young and emerging artists a new sense of agency, working side-by-side with cultural guides, while senior artists and performers will pass on their wisdom to the next generation in new ways and forms, yet still under the desert skies, in an ancient landscape, from the heart of Australia.

To explore Parrtjima and find out more about the event, visit