NAFA 2021 to kick off tonight

Date published: 3 July 2021

The curtain will rise on Townsville’s premier arts and cultural event, the North Australian Festival of Arts or NAFA, tonight <July 3>.

Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill said organisers had worked around the clock to ensure performances and venues met the COVID-safe restrictions announced by the Chief Health Officer yesterday.

“NAFA was due to get under way on Thursday evening, however the three-day lockdown imposed this week to stop the spread of COVID and the ongoing restrictions announced yesterday threw a spanner in the works,” Cr Hill said.

“But as they say in the theatre, “the show must go on” and I am thrilled that the festival will kick-off tomorrow night and continue for the rest of the month.

“The safety of our performers and patrons is our top priority, so NAFA will be complying with all restrictions set by the Chief Health Officer.

“All patrons attending a NAFA performance at any venue must wear a mask and there will be increased hygiene stations at all venues. All event patrons will also be designated a seat in-line with Queensland Health guidelines.”

Cr Hill said a number of performances had been cancelled or postponed due to the ongoing impact of COVID.

“To complement our amazing local artists, a number of performers were due to fly into Townsville to take part in NAFA, however ongoing restrictions and the unavailability of some performers have meant some can no longer travel,” she said.

Cancelled shows include: Eden, Good Chat’s Comedy’s Best of Fringe, Steph Tisdell’s Black Out Comedy, Aboriginal Comedy Allstars, Yuck Circus, Blunderland, Music Under the Stars and Discover the Sounds of the Orchestra.

Postponed shows include: Neck of the Woods, Dungarri Nya Nya Ngarri Bi Nya, Paul McDermott-Plus One, Cape Pallarenda: The Last 200 Years, Salon La La, Brass Monkeys, Children are Stinky, Manoeuvre Stilt Walkers and Silent Disco Walking Tours.

NAFA organisers will continue to work with postponed shows to arrange new dates.

Ticketholders for cancelled or postponed shows will be notified by email and receive a refund for any cancelled shows or be able to re-book for a new date.

“I urge anyone eager to head out tomorrow night, support our arts industry and experience some of the best that Townsville has to offer, to jump online, check out the program and book your tickets now,” Cr Hill said.

“I also encourage those attending a show to bookend their night at one of our local restaurants or bars and support them following the difficulties of this week’s lockdown.”

To book tickets or for more information, check out Council’s What’s On website or Facebook page or