The acclaimed Tjungu Festival is returning to Ayers Rock Resort on 26-29 April 2018. In its fifth consecutive year, this vibrant celebration of Australian Indigenous culture features music, dance, film, fashion, food, sport and more. This year’s festival will include a special focus on Indigenous art and a performance by Australian country music favourite Troy Cassar-Daley.
“Tjungu (pronounced tjoo-ngoo) means coming together in local Anangu language, and the festival brings together the best of traditional and contemporary Indigenous culture, providing a platform for exciting new performers, designers and producers. This year we are pleased to introduce a new art initiative which will shine a spotlight on prominent and emerging Central Australian artists,” said Andrew Williams, Chief Executive Officer of Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia.
Highlights of the four day festival include an Indigenous Fashion Parade featuring top Indigenous model Samantha Harris, and celebrity chef Mark Olive will return to present the “Tastes of Tjungu Desert Dining Experience” under the stars, featuring a contemporary bush foods-inspired menu. Troy Cassar-Daley and rising young star Alice Skye will give a special, not-to-be missed performance. New for 2018 is the Tjungu Collective – an exhibition featuring art works from Central Australian Art Centres, and Tjungu Curates – an opportunity for festival-goers to meet artists and curators from the Art Centres.
The action-packed event also includes a local Anangu Welcome to Country with Inma dance; lively Indigenous art markets; a screening of the hit movie The Sapphires accompanied by the “Our Stories” documentary on Central Australian band on the rise, Apakatjah, who are also the festival’s final night concert headliners, and musical performances from pop and soul singer Johanna Campbell and youth drumming group Drum Atweme.
The annual Tjungu Cup, including softball and AFL matches featuring local football teams, will play, supported by AFL hero and Indigenous rights ambassador Nicky Winmar. Guests will also enjoy regular free Indigenous activities including Bush Yarns, Anangu Way Language and Cultural classes, a Bush Food Experience, and an Ecology and Museum Tour of the region’s history, geology, flora and fauna.
“Ayers Rock Resort is renowned for offering exceptional Indigenous Tourism experiences for guests and the Tjungu Festival takes this to an even higher level,” said Andrew.
The majority of the Tjungu Festival activities are free to guests staying at Ayers Rock Resort, with the exception of the Tastes of Tjungu Desert Dining Experience, priced at $250 per adult and $125 per child (over 9 years), and the Tjungu Curates event, priced at $10 per adult.