2022 program released for Alice Springs' annual Aboriginal light festival, Parrtjima

Alice Springs' annual celebration of First Nations art and culture, Parrtjima - A Festival in Light has released its program full of installations, music, film and conversations for audiences to enjoy.

Macdonnell Ranges Light Show Parrtjima 2020

The 2022 program for Alice Springs' annualParrtjima - A Festival in Lighthas been released, showcasing the country's First Nations stories, artwork and experiences throughinstallations, light projections, music, talks and film.

Parrtjima is the only Aboriginal light festival of its kind in the world and showcases the oldest continuous culture on the planet through new and different technologies. The word 'Parrtjima' itself means 'lighting up' and has two meanings: physically illuminating an object with light and 'lighting up' as in to shed light and understanding on the subject.

Hosted in Alice Springs (Mparntwe) across 10 nights from April 8-17, the theme of 2022's Parrtjima is 'Sky Country', with visitors able to take in the many programs, installations and light projections with the 300-million-year-old canvas of the MacDonnell Ranges as the backdrop to the event under the stars.

The festival is delivered by the Northern Territory Government through Northern Territory Major Events Company (NTMEC) and produced by Creative Directors AGB Events with NTMEC CEO Tim Watsford commenting on the theme and symbolism with the event.

“The Red Centre’s phenomenal star-filled night skies are the perfect backdrop for Sky Country, which focuses on our place in the universe and the relationship Aboriginal Australians have with the skies above”, Watsford said.

Signature installations will be scattered around Alice Springs Desert Park, a landscape of illuminated art pieces that aim to highlight the interactions between the environment's natural elements, and the role they play in Aboriginal culture.

The sensory experience allows audiences to be immersed in connecting art, story and light with the senses of sight, sound, smell and touch as attendees walk through the surrounding illuminated bushland with light shards and gobos, encountering animals, plants and ancestral totems.

The various signature installations include:


Headlining the festival's music program will be ARIA-award winning singer Dan Sultan, as well as triple j's 2021 Unearthed Artist of the Year, King Stingray. Rounding out the music program is Australian rapper BARKAA, West Arnhem Land's Black Rock Band, the Top End's Jimbaleh, vocalist Emma Donovan (with The Putbacks), RONA., Tilly Tjala Thomas and Ray Ray McKenzie.

As well as featuring on the musical lineup, King Stingray's 2021 songGet Me Outis the soundtrack to the festival's promotional video, with vocalist Yirrŋa Yunupiŋu saying the band is looking forward to playing Parrtjima.

“This will be the first time for us playing in the Red Centre. Our dreams have come true! We can’t wait to experience the good vibes of Parrtjima and rock the stage with all the other amazing artists”, Yunupiŋu said.

Some of the aforementioned musicians will also dedicate time to the talks program, with Parrtjima Curator Rhoda Roberts AO hosting intimate conversations with various speakers, including Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs winger Josh Ado-Carr.

Actor Steven Oliver, best known forBlack Comedy, Parrtjima artists Carmen Glynn-Braun and Raelene Ngala Williams and CEO of Common Ground, Rona Glynn-McDonald will also be part of the program.

This festival's film program for 2022 will exhibit the work of acclaimed filmmaker Warwick Thornton (Samson and Delilah,Sweet Country), with the workshops' program to be released at a later date, closer to the festival's opening.

Parrtjima - A Festival in Light takes place at Alice Springs Desert Park from April 8-17.