Festival Name: Garma Festival Foundation Year: 1999

Dates: Generally August each year. 2 August – 5 August 2024 Location: Northeast Arnhem Land, Northern Territory, Australia

“Hosted by the Yothu Yindi Foundation, Garma showcases traditional miny’tji (art), manikay (song), bunggul (dance) and story-telling, and is an important meeting point for the clans and families of the region. The Festival’s over-riding cultural mission is to provide a contemporary environment for the expression and presentation of traditional Yolngu knowledge systems and customs, and to share these practices in an authentic Yolngu setting.” (Source: Yothu Yindi foundation)

The Garma Festival is a celebration of Yolngu culture, reflecting the rich tapestry of traditional and contemporary Indigenous life. Through art, music, dance, and discussions, it fosters a deep understanding and appreciation of Yolngu culture among attendees. The festival’s essence lies in promoting cultural exchange and mutual respect, creating a unique and immersive experience that resonates with both Indigenous and non-Indigenous participants.

Please visit the official festival site to gain an understanding of the protocols involved for visitors. Please also note that this event generally sells out, so get in early.

Unique Features:

  • Largest Indigenous gathering in Australia
  • Hosted on Yolngu land
  • Key Forum political conference
  • Emphasis on Yolngu cultural traditions

Activities:

  • Traditional ceremonial dances (bunggul)
  • Yidaki (didgeridoo) masterclasses
  • Gapan Gallery of Indigenous art
  • Cultural workshops
  • Youth Forum
  • Indigenous music performances

Past Artists: Missy Higgins, Alice Skye, The Cat Empire

Website Address: yyf.com.au/garma-festival

Garma Facebook

Local Area Tourism Information: Northeast Arnhem Land is a mosaic of pristine natural landscapes, rich Indigenous history, and unique wildlife. Visitors can explore the untouched beaches, observe traditional fishing methods, and discover ancient rock art. The region offers an unparalleled opportunity to connect with the oldest living culture on earth.