2017 Numburundi Festival 

14, 15 and 16 September, Joshua Park, Numbulwar

Artistic Report

For 2017, Numburindi Festival expanded its activities to three nights. The inclusion of Thursday night’s Youth Night presented a fantastic way to open the program. The festival space became an active teaching site for the exchange of cultural knowledge between young people and Elders of each Clan. Each clan brought together their young people to be the dancers for the evening. Numbulwar School Band performed three songs.

The Friday night Wungubul was a powerful performance with the adults and young people joining together from each of the four clans. The night closed with two award ceremonies. Nunggarrgalu performed first, followed by Murrugun, Red Flag Dancers, and then Ngalmi, and the Wungubul concluded with a final collaborative dance.

Saturday’s programming included day time youth activities, market stalls, a free community and bush-tucker feed. The visiting dance group Wurramara from
Bickerton Island opened the evening. This was the first visiting dance group Numburindi Festival has hosted and it was a great exchange in language and culture with a closely related neighbouring community. The festival also  hosted five bands from Numbulwar and Groote Eylandt – Yilila, Mambali Band, NT Express, Poison Whisky and Salt Lake Band. The bands showcased a unique contemporary sound that draws together reggae, funk, and rock and roll, with lyrics in English, Anindiliyakwa, Wubuy and Creole. The dance site had close to 800 people up dancing, kicking up sand to these great bands. It was a fantastic high energy way to close the Numburindi Festival 2017.

2016 Numburindi Festival

7 and 8 October, Joshua Park, Numbulwar

Artistic Report

The inaugural Numburindi Festival began with the official opening of the festival site, now known as Joshua Park in memory of a community Elder. To celebrate this event, the festival was opened with a parade of traditional dancers who danced from the old man’s house, through the streets of the community, to the festival site. A plaque was then unveiled with speeches from appropriate family members.

Traditional dancing took place as a continuation of the opening ceremony for the site with Numbulwar local bands Yilila, NT Express and Mumbali Band performing on the following night. Children’s activities and workshops also took place alongside a marketplace.

An annual festival had been a long term goal for the Numbulwar community – one that would showcase the unique culture and traditional dances, as well as local bush bands. The focus of this inaugural festival was on supporting local groups, providing them with a safe space to perform publicly in front of their community.


Eve Pawlik

Project Coordinator

PO Box 535
Darwin, NT 0801

08 8941 1444