The NT is a robust crucible of living languages and vibrant cultures. This is the ‘cradle’ of the Desert Song Festival (DSF), which celebrates Aboriginal languages and culture through performances that foster pride, resilience and social cohesion amongst the Centralian community and audiences. The depth of wisdom and culture of 60,000 years of human occupation of Central Australia informs and shapes the Festival program.

During the Festival, singers and musicians, choirs and audiences from Alice Springs and Central Australia, and visitors to the region, experience something special, as artists from this vibrant multi-cultural community come together with visiting interstate and international artists and musicians to present a series of events celebrating the singer, the song, the instrument, the land and its people.

Through major concerts, chamber concerts, workshops and masterclasses, the choirs, small vocal ensembles, musicians and solo performers present a festival that is a celebration of the best of ourselves. Our setting is the ‘country’ of the traditional custodians of Central Australia: Arrernte country of Mparntwe – Alice Springs. Our program reflects cultural diversity and showcases artistic brilliance. Our stages are unique locations of outstanding beauty and cultural significance in Central Australia, and iconic heritage venues within the built environment of Alice Springs.

DSF attracts significant interstate attendances due to its unique ability to connect Festival patrons to the traditional custodians of Central Australia, their land, lore, culture and languages. In addition, it has broken through social barriers.

Desert Song Festival 2021 is an innovative event that will be live-streamed across Australia and internationally from the 10-19 September. Eight annual festivals have presented 191 events digitally and in heritage locations and places of outstanding natural beauty and cultural significance in Central Australia, conferring life-changing benefits to total audiences of 50,500, of whom 45% are from interstate.

Desert Song Festival