About Parrtjima

Parrtjima is a free 10-night festival In Light


Nightly from 6:30PM - 10:30PM, 5-14th April, 2019

Please note the Lighting of the MacDonnell Ranges show is best viewed from 7pm at the earliest due to the levels of daylight.


Alice Springs Desert Park and Todd Mall - Alice Springs, Northern Territory, Australia


Parrtjima is the only authentic First Nations festival of its kind, showcasing the oldest continuous cultures on earth through the newest technology – all on a 300-million-year-old natural canvas in the Red Centre. Parrtjima celebrates the ways in which artists can evolve and experiment with different styles and materials, while staying true to the ancient philosophy of connection and Country.

Set against the backdrop of the MacDonnell Ranges, Parrtjima is held on Mparntwe (Alice Springs), which always was and always will be part of the Arrernte people. Mparntwe is connected to the estates of Antulye and Irlpme, as well as a network of custodians who hold rights and responsibilities for these areas. A group of which guide and help create Parrtjima. Together they invite visitors to come and experience Parrtjima, and gain a deeper understanding of, and connection to, country and Arrernte culture.

Held across two event precincts over 10 nights, the free event includes incredible artwork and light installations alongside a 10-night public program of interactive workshops, music, films and talks.

Alongside Arrernte art and artists, the festival also features work from across the Central Desert region and associated other parts of the Northern Territory.

2019 THEME

The theme for Parrtjima 2019 is Language Expressions, which aligns with the United Nations Year of Indigenous Languages.


Each year at Parrtjima the desert comes alive with new artworks, light shows and a range of performances, workshops and talks carefully developed by Parrtjima’s curator Rhoda Roberts AO in collaboration with the Reference group, AGB Events and First Nation artists and art centres


This year’s theme, Language Expressions, will be explored through seven new, immersive installations across Desert Park, including the spectacular backdrop that is the lighting of the MacDonnell Ranges. Visitors will immerse themselves in the art, sounds and stories of country and the Arrernte people of Alice Springs, Mparntwe.

The entire length of Todd Mall will come to life through lighting effects and soundscape designed to educate and inspire visitors. Interwoven through the lighting effects this year will be representations of the Moth and Stink Bug as we honour other ancestral beings for Mparntwe, and further build on the Caterpillar creation time stories of the Arrernte people presented last year.


The free 10-day program will include interactive workshops, talks, nightly films and performances across both event precincts (Alice Springs Desert Park and Todd Mall) so you can share in the stories of country and its people. See the art of  spear making or try your hand at sand painting with local custodians. You can also experience an array or local and internationally acclaimed music acts at the Festival Hub, including Yolngu hip-hop artist and rapper Baker Boy – recently awarded 2019 Young Australian of The Year – and singer/songwriter Mojo Juju

Click here to stay updated as we announce new additions to the Knowledge program in the coming weeks.