Taking place between September 28 and October 7 at the Alice Springs Desert Park, Parrtjima – A Festival in Light returns with its another big feat: its biggest program yet. The focal point is the fest's ten nights of light installations, all crafted by Aboriginal artists and set against the MacDonnell Ranges. Attendees can feast their eyes on a light show that spans along more than two kilometres of the land mass, with this year's theme "from sunset to sunrise" — or walk across projections on the desert sands, wander among large-scale sculptures and mosey through a tunnel of light. An interactive experience also allows visitors to select a series of colours, then see their choices brighten up the bush using more than 500 LEDs.
In addition, this year's event will also feature a second showcase of light in the Todd Mall, complete with a new installation about the area's caterpillar dreaming stories. It forms part of the festival's second hub, with curator Rhoda Roberts' program of music, film, dance performances and talks spread across the festival's two sites.
Music-wise, that includes headliners Electric Fields, who'll play against the stunning scenic backdrop of the MacDonnell Ranges. The Tinkerbee Dancers lead the dance component, while a nightly cinema program will showcase local and national filmmakers. And for those so entranced by the lights — understandably — that they want to know more, Parrtjima's Behind the Lights session will feature Roberts, the festival's lighting designer Richard Neville and AGB Events project director Rodney Cambridge chatting about their glowing creations.
The 2018 event marks Parrtjima's third instalment — and while it'll be back for a fourth in 2019, it's heading to a new timeslot. If you're planning a trip next year rather than this year, mark April 5–14 in your calendars.
Parrtjima – A Festival in Light runs from September 28 to October 7 in the Alice Springs Desert Park, Alice Springs, Northern Territory. For more information, visit the festival website.