FAQs

What date does Parrtjima occur?

Parrtjima will take place from Friday 22 September to Sunday 1 October, between 6:30pm and 10:30pm. We encourage you to attend as much as you like over the 10 days of the event.

Where is Parrtjima being held?

Parrtjima takes place in Alice Springs – home of the Arrernte of Mparntwe – where it will illuminate the MacDonnell Ranges and create a breathtaking outdoor gallery at Alice Springs Desert Park, Larapinta Drive, Alice Springs, NT.

How much does Parrtjima cost?

Parrtjima is a free event. Please register your interest attending and select a session time. You can register up to 10 people to attend.

Do I need to register to attend Parrtjima?

To ensure the safety and comfort of everyone attending Parrtjima, we do ask that you register your attendance by completing our online registration form and selecting the day and session you wish to visit the festival.

Can I register for other people?

Yes, you are able to register up to 10 guests through our online registration form.

What if I am unable to register online? Does that mean I can't come to the event?

If you are unable to register for the event, please contact us on (08) 8951 5782 for assistance.

Do I need to bring confirmation of my registration to the event?

No, it is not required that you bring confirmation of your registration as we will have it recorded. Just come along and enjoy the event!

The time that I'd like to go to Parrtjima is missing on the registration form. Why is that?

Unfortunately, this means that the particular time slot you’ve chosen has reached capacity. Please select the next best time slot for you.

Is Parrtjima wheelchair accessible?

Yes. There are buses that accommodate wheelchairs and there will be a designated wheelchair accessible viewing area and accessible flooring provided for movement around the festival site.

What do I need to bring?

We suggest wearing comfortable, closed toe shoes for your safety and comfort and to bring along water and your camera. You might also want to bring a small amount of money if you wish to purchase any food, beverages or merchandise at the event.

How can I get to Parrtjima?

A free Park ‘n Ride shuttle bus is available to and from the festival at Alice Springs Desert Park, stopping regularly at several locations around Alice Springs. The shuttle bus will arrive and depart approximately every 15 minutes from the park n ride locations. The last bus will depart Alice Springs Desert Park at 10:50pm stopping at all park n ride locations. Location and timetable information coming soon.

Where is the best meeting point at Parrtjima?

The Festival Hub is the perfect place to meet, soak up the atmosphere, try the delicious food, browse the merchandise, find out more information about the event and rest your legs in the rustic seating area.

What can visitors see and do at Parrtjima?

Alice Springs Desert Park will transform into a mesmerising outdoor gallery of light and sound with a breathtaking illumination of a 300-million-year-old natural canvas, the majestic MacDonnell Ranges, and a series of new installations involving Aboriginal artists from the central desert region.

Visitors to the free family-friendly event can explore the installations at their leisure and relax at the Festival Hub in the beautiful surrounds of Alice Springs Desert Park while sampling local food and drink. An expanded program of events, including live music and artist talks will soon be announced.

Will there be food available at Parrtjima?

Yes, there will be a delicious range of options available. More details coming soon...

Can I bring alcohol to Parrtjima?

No. Parrtjima – A Festival in Light is an alcohol-free event.

Can I bring my dog to Parrtjima?

No. Parrtjima – A Festival in Light is a pet-free event.

Can I smoke at Parrtjima?

No. Parrtjima – A Festival in Light is a smoke-free event. Smoking (including the use of electronic cigarettes or similar devices) is prohibited in accordance with the NTMEC’s smoking management plan.

Can I take photos at the event?

Yes, please do! If you’re sharing your images, be sure to tag us using #Parrtjima or #ParrtjimaAustralia

Can I bring a drone?

No. Drones are not permitted at Parrtjima – A Festival in Light.

Will the festival be cancelled if it rains?

Parrtjima is an outdoor event and may be susceptible to wet weather. In the event of extreme wet weather conditions and the site becomes unsafe then the event shall be cancelled. Cancellation of the event will be communicated to registered attendees via email, and to the general public via social media and website.

What should I bring to the festival?

We suggest to bring comfortable shoes, water, a jacket in case it gets cold at night and a torch. Parrtjima is in the open and if you move away for the festival area it will be dark.

Will the festival be cancelled if it rains?

Parrtjima is an outdoor event and may be susceptible to wet weather. In the event of extreme wet weather conditions and the site becomes unsafe then the event shall be cancelled. Cancellation of the event will be communicated to registered attendees via email, and to the general public via social media and website.

What should I bring to the festival?

We suggest to bring comfortable shoes, water, a jacket in case it gets cold at night and a torch. Parrtjima is in the open and if you move away for the festival area it will be dark.

Is this a family friendly event?

Yes, Parrtjima is suitable for families. Parrtjima is in the open so we encourage families to ensure that kids are kept under constant supervision. Wristbands for minor will be provided at the Information Booth, parents will be able to write their details down.

What is the event #?

Tag us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag #parrtjimaaustralia or #Parrtjima

How do I get to Alice Springs?

Alice Springs is accessible by air, coach, rail and road, with daily flights landing at the Alice Springs airport from every major city. The airport is located a short 10-minute drive from the CBD with taxis, shuttle buses and rental cars through our good friends at Thrifty available to travellers.

To find the best route from your departing destination to Alice Springs, visit Tourism Central Australia.

Where should I stay in Alice Springs?

Alice Springs offers a wide variety of accommodation options from hotels and motels, caravan parks, bed and breakfasts, and apartments and studios.

Festival Partner Alice In The Territory Hotel offers great value Alice Springs accommodation with a variety of rooms and suites to choose from. Located just 2 kilometres from the hustle and bustle of Alice Springs Town Centre. The hotel is adjacent to the Casino, Alice Springs Convention Centre and one of the world’s best desert golf courses; Alice Springs Golf Club. The hotel provides intrepid outback travellers with all they could wish for in creature comforts.

To find the most suitable accommodation, visit Tourism Central Australia.

What other activities should I do during my stay in Alice Springs?

Within the Town Centre, there are plenty of art galleries, local produce and stores to visit. The famous Todd Street Mall markets will take place on Sunday, 24 September from 9am until 1pm, featuring arts, crafts and local food.

Alice Springs and its surrounds offers plenty of attractions for every interest including adventure and hiking options, mountain biking, history and museums, arts and galleries and plenty more.

To plan your trip, visit Tourism Central Australia.How far away is Uluru?

Uluru is approximately 450kms away from Alice Springs and a six hour drive. Tour operators offer regular transfers and packages to Uluru depending on your needs. View the details at Tourism Central Australia.

What is the weather like in September / October?

As Alice Springs comes out of winter, days are hot and sunny and nights can get quite cool. Average temperatures range from 9 to 27 degrees (Celsius). Warm clothing is essential for night time.

I’d like to use the Parrtjima logo.

If you’d like to help us promote Parrtjima or request the use of a logo, please complete the Brand Guidelines Application Form. Once approved, you will receive a link to our logo suite and brand guidelines.

What kind of lights and technology will be used to create Parrtjima 2017?

The main lighting show sequence for Parrtjima 2017 uses spotlights housed in four purpose-built lighting towers and several hundred lighting ‘cues’ played rapidly, in perfect synchronisation with the soundtrack.

Grounded features a powerful digital projection created by two 10,000 lumen projectors, driven by cutting edge media servers and software, paired with a high fidelity networked sound system to create an immersive experience.

Light sources will be approximately 600 metres from the range and do not include concentrated laser beams. Similar lighting specifications have been used for events staged at Taronga Zoo and within the Blue Mountains National Park in NSW, without any evident detrimental effects on wildlife.

Will the light show impact the Black-Footed Rock-Wallabies on the MacDonnell Ranges?

Following consultation with wildlife scientists from the Northern Territory Government’s Department of Environment and Natural Resources, festival organisers have been advised there is a very low risk that the light show will have a significant impact on the population of Black-footed Rock-wallabies and other wildlife on the MacDonnell Ranges.

Parks and Wildlife staff monitored the numbers and behaviour of any wallabies found on the range leading up to, during and after Parrtjima 2016 and there was absolutely no evidence seen that the lights projected onto the range were affecting the behaviour of the wallabies during the period of observation.

Who designed the creative program?

The festival program is curated by Parrtjima 2017 curator and renowned First Nations creative director Rhoda Roberts AO who is a member of the Bundjalung nation, Widjabul clan of Northern New South Wales and South-East Queensland.

Rhoda Roberts worked closely with AGB Events and Aboriginal artists and art centres from across the desert region to develop the festival program, with endorsement from the Parrtjima Festival Reference Group and ongoing consultation with a wider network of respected Arrernte persons.

What is the aim of Parrtjima?

The event aims to respectfully celebrate the vibrant Aboriginal arts and culture by inspiring audiences and bringing together communities through world-class artistic light experiences.

We aim to showcase the culture and outstanding work of Aboriginal artists from Central Australia, while providing meaningful artistic opportunities to local artists.

Who created the artworks featuring in Parrtjima?

Event organisers respectfully invited Central Australian Aboriginal artists – individually and through arts centres – to participate in the second annual Parrtjima – A Festival in Light 2017.

Artworks featured in the installations at Parrtjima 2017 were sourced through collaboration with local Eastern and Centre Arrernte artists. Some of the artworks for the Grounded installation were submitted to Parrtjima in response to a call for expressions of interest, which went out to 40 Aboriginal arts centres across the central desert region.

Once an artwork is submitted, Parrtjima organisers ask the Parrtjima Festival Reference Group (PFRG) about the cultural appropriateness of the work for the country on which it would be displayed. The PFRG provide advice and guidance to Parrtjima organisers on Aboriginal matters that relate to the artistic program and its cultural appropriateness. Extensive consultation also occurs outside of the PFRG to connect with significant Arrernte people for the area – seeking, guidance and advice and listening to other feedback with ongoing consideration.

Through the artistic vision of curator, Rhoda Roberts AO, in collaboration with Northern Territory Major Events Company and AGB Events, under the guidance of the PFRG and the approvals of appropriate organisations, these paintings then become large-scale illuminated installations, designed to facilitate wonder and cultural respect. Set in the ancient landscape of Mparntwe (Alice Springs), the installations are a spectacular experience of culture, country, language and art.

Each artist has been fully briefed on the event and briefings continue throughout the development of the program.

What is the process for involving local Aboriginal artists in Parrtjima?

In 2016, event organisers respectfully invited Aboriginal artists, through their arts centres, to participate in the inaugural Parrtjima – A Festival in Light to share their art and culture with Australia and the world.

Each artist was fully briefed on the event and briefings continued throughout the development of the program.The artistic program was the result of collaboration between event organisers, Aboriginal artists and arts centres. Through consultation, the Parrtjima Festival Reference Group (PFRG) formed. This group includes significant, respected Arrernte people. The PFRG provides advice and guidance to Parrtjima organisers on Aboriginal matters that relate to the artistic program and its cultural appropriateness. Over time, with increasing consultation, the PFRG continues to grow.

Will the MacDonnell Ranges be illuminated in 2017?

Up to two kilometres of the MacDonnell Ranges will be illuminated with a stunning light treatment celebrating the heartbeat of country, pulsating through expression of the elements wind, fire and water. The theatrical light display respects the life of the land and its elements, reflecting their drama and inherent beauty.

As advised by the Parrtjima Festival Reference Group, lighting will avoid the western end of Mt Gillen, which has been identified as a culturally sensitive area. The event does not interfere with any sacred sites and these have all been investigated with the relevant authority.

Have the traditional owners been consulted?

Festival organisers have been consulting extensively with local Indigenous groups since November 2015 and consultation with all parties is ongoing. Parrtjima has been directed to people they have been told have the traditional rights to speak for these regions, connecting with these people and seeking to follow the advice we are given.

Parrtjima organisers are open, listening and learning. Parrtjima continues to extend the invitation to participate in these ongoing discussions, where organisers continue to learn and adapt.

What is the Parrtjima Festival Reference Group (PFRG)?

The Parrtjima Festival Reference Group (PFRG) met for the first time on 10 April 2017 and was established to provide an opportunity for respected Arrernte people to provide advice and guidance to Parrtjima organisers on Aboriginal matters that relate to the artistic program and its cultural appropriateness. Parrtjima organisers have been told that the people coming to this reference group have traditional rights and responsibilities for this area.

Festival organisers guarantee community consultation will be an ongoing process.

Who is Parrtjima presented by?

Parrtjima is supported by the Northern Territory Government and event partners Northern Territory Major Events Company, AGB Events, Alice Springs Desert Park, Alice in the Territory and Diggamen Civil Contracting.

The festival is created in partnership with AGB Events and Aboriginal artists and art centres from across the desert region, with endorsement by the Parrtjima Festival Reference Group and ongoing consultation with a wider network of cultural custodians and respected persons.

Does Parrtjima use suppliers from the Northern Territory?

Event organisers comply with buy-local funding requirements and work with a range of competitive Territory businesses and suppliers.

Some local businesses and suppliers involved in Parrtjima 2017 include: