Parrtjima – A Festival in Light, the first Indigenous light festival of its kind, has been hailed an outstanding success with more than 15,846 people attending the inaugural 10-day event in Alice Springs.
The free public event was a breathtaking showcase of the region's contemporary and traditional Indigenous art, culture and stories using light and sound, created by the Northern Territory Government in collaboration with local Aboriginal artists, students and community, and AGB Events (known for their award-winning work for Vivid Sydney).
Visitors to the festival had the opportunity to experience the rich history and culture of the region in an authentic and interactive way on a scale never seen before with 2.5km of the 300-million-year-old MacDonnell Ranges illuminated as part of the event.
Northern Territory Major Events Company General Manager Andrew Hopper said the success of the festival was a testimony to the support and contribution of key partners, the local community and volunteers.
"To respectfully bring Parrtjima to life, extensive collaboration with a number of local Indigenous Elders and Leaders, Custodians and Traditional Owners took place and we'd like to acknowledge and sincerely thank them for the event's success. The event would also not have been possible without the incredible support and contribution of the local Indigenous community as artistic and cultural collaborators, the volunteers, key partners and local tourism operators.
"With much of the success due to the partnership formed between various community organisations a solid foundation has been laid for the event's future," said Hopper.
The festival was officially opened by Australian television personality and Tourism NT ambassador Lisa Wilkinson who said: "The MacDonnell Ranges are absolutely majestic, and seeing them lit up in bursts of colour and movement under the Red Centre's starry night sky is something no one could forget.
"This is the very first year of the festival and it's already left a lasting impression on so many visitors – including myself. It's well worth a special trip to experience."
Parrtjima has been successful in attracting visitors not only from Alice Springs and the Territory, but also from across Australia and internationally.
Hopper said: "To be able to establish an event which attracted visitors, not only locally but from Australia and internationally in its first year is very special, and makes an important contribution to boosting tourism in the region.
"The response to Parrtjima has been extraordinary and bringing visitors into Alice Springs has also delivered immensely positive feedback from local businesses and accommodation providers who have all embraced the festival. We hope it will become a hallmark event for Alice Springs and Australia."
Parrtjima – A Festival in Light took place at Alice Springs Desert Park from Friday, 23 September to Sunday, 2 October. For more information, please visit www.ParrtjimaAustralia.com.au.
Official event hashtags: #parrtjimaaustralia #NTAustralia