Locals are in for such a treat at the Opening and Closing celebrations for the Arafura Games 2019.
The star-studded opening celebrations feature some of the Northern Territory’s greatest Aboriginal musicians on stage as they bring together many different local artists, community and cultural groups.
Held at Darwin Waterfront on Friday, 26 April, this family-friendly event starts at 6.30pm and includes a special Larrakia Welcome and headlines Arnhem Land’s award-winning Baker Boy.
Minister for Arafura Games 2019 Natasha Fyles said at a media launch down at Darwin Waterfront that the celebration events will be a showcase of Territory talent, particularly Aboriginal talent, and will draw people from around the world to the CBD and Darwin Waterfront.
“The Arafura Games are a chance for the Territory to show what we have to offer when it comes to sport, entertainment, and trade and business opportunities,” she said.
“We are revitalising the Arafura Games and, just as the mascot has evolved to reflect the new Games, the Opening Celebration will be different this year, with more of a focus on fun than formalities.”
There will be performances by the NT Dance Company led by Creative Director and local Larrakia man Gary Lang, plus entertainment by local groups who have been working creatively with musicians Shellie Morris and Leah Flanagan for the opening celebration.
Ben Graetz, an Iwaidja/Malak Malak man from Darwin, is overall Creative Producer with both the opening and closing ceremonies expertly pulled together by Britt Guy from Darwin company Creative Accomplice.
“I’m so thrilled as a Darwin-born Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander man, to be the Creative Director for the Arafura Games Opening and Closing celebrations,” said Ben.
“We have a strong NT representation in the celebrations made up of many different local artists, community and cultural groups, including a close working relationship with the local Larrakia community.”
The Closing Celebration will feature a line-up of musicians including Shellie Morris, Leah Flanagan, Stevie Jean, before the uniquely Territorian Skinnyfish Sound System unleashes a dance party to remember to close out Arafura Games 2019.
The Opening Celebration will begin at 6.30pm on Friday, April 26, and the Closing Celebration at 6:30 pm on Saturday, May 4 at Darwin Waterfront. Both are free events.