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Action-packed NAFA program now live

Action-packed NAFA program now live

Date Published: 4 June 2021

The full program for the month-long North Australian Festival of Arts 2021 is now live with anyone wanting to get in on the action being urged to book tickets now to avoid disappointment.

The program gives revellers a comprehensive look at exactly which performances, exhibitions and experiences will converge on Townsville during the festival. A teaser program highlighting some of NAFA’s best performances was released earlier this month.

Mayor Jenny Hill said the program was a testament to NAFA’s status as a leading cultural event in Australia.

“There is something for everyone in this program, whether you’re young or just young at heart. Children can experience the best in circus and comedy or try their hands at our writing workshops; adults can make the most of theatre and visual arts, and young people will get a real kick out of the new Tropic Sounds concert being headlined by Tones and I,” Cr Hill said.

“Council is extremely proud of NAFA and the Northern Fringe Festival, which are bringing some of the best productions in the country to Townsville for four weeks of outrageous fun.

“I would strongly recommend getting in early to secure tickets for NAFA performances and workshops, as they’re sure to sell out fast.”

Community and Cultural Development Committee chairperson Ann-Maree Greaney said the program showed why NAFA was an award-winning event.

“Last year NAFA was named an Australian Event Award-winner, and it’s not hard to see why with some of Australia’s leading cabaret, comedy, theatre and circus performers all heading to Townsville to celebrate a month of art and culture with us,” Cr Greaney said.

“This year’s event is bigger and better than ever before, with more than 400 performances across Townsville.

“Not only is this a coup for the arts community, but it will also be a boon to the tourism and hospitality sectors which need a cash injection following the height of the pandemic last year.”

NAFA is supported by the Queensland Government through Tourism and Events Queensland and features on the It’s Live! In Queensland events calendar.

Download your copy of the Full NAFA Program or search for events online.

Tones and I to take to stage in Townsville as part of NAFA 2021

Tones and I to take to stage in Townsville as part of NAFA 2021

Date Published: 17 May 2021

Tones and I will headline the new Tropic Sounds concert in Queensland Country Bank Stadium as part of this year’s North Australian Festival of Arts this July.

Her performance is just one of the headline NAFA acts announced today, alongside Popcorn Underground, Tim Ferguson and Dungarri Nya Nya Ngarri Bi Nya.

NAFA is supported by the Queensland Government through Tourism and Events Queensland and features on the It’s Live! In Queensland events calendar.

Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill said Townsville City Council was proud to partner with CQUniversity and The Ville Resort-Casino to help present NAFA 2021.

“NAFA is an award-winning festival that brings the best of Australia’s arts and culture scene to the heart of North Queensland,” Cr Hill said.

“Council is thrilled to be able to bring NAFA to the Townsville community. There’s no doubt that artists and performers across the country have felt the impact of COVID-19 which is just one standout reason we’re so pleased to be able to present another iteration of NAFA.

“In its inaugural year NAFA sold more than 23,000 tickets across Townsville, with hundreds of thousands more experiencing free events and activations across NAFA.

“These numbers were extremely heartening not only for performers and artists, but also for the local tourism and hospitality industry that experiences the follow-on effect from the festival.”

Council Community and Cultural Development Committee chairperson Ann-Maree Greaney said there were some stellar acts announced for NAFA 2021.

“I can’t wait to head along to as many shows as possible during NAFA. Tropic Sounds is going to be an incredible show, with local talent taking the same stage as ARIA Award-winner Tones and I,” Cr Greaney said.

“But there’s so much more to experience across the four weeks of NAFA. I’ll definitely be getting in early to grab tickets for POSE, High Tea with BOOFF and Comedy Hypnotist Matt Hale’s show Bonkers!.

“Because there are so many incredible acts and shows across the four weeks of NAFA, I would recommend taking a look at the NAFA website and booking tickets early to avoid disappointment.”

Member for Townsville Scott Stewart welcomed the announcement of the big acts performing at Tropic Sounds.

“Townsville is the events capital of Northern Australia and the Palaszczuk Government continues to back events which helps stimulate the economy,” he said.

“Tones and I is a huge artist with her hit Dance Monkey having more than 2 billion streams on Spotify so this will be massive for Townsville.”

Member for Mundingburra Les Walker said it was great to have another major event in Townsville.

“We’ve already had the All Stars and the Horn v Tszyu fight in Townsville, plus we’ve got the Queensland Reds and Kiss playing later this year,” he said.

“We know events like Tropic Sounds bring people into the city which is important for businesses and tourism operators as we deal with the global COVID-19 pandemic.”

Member for Thuringowa Aaron Harper said events like NAFA helped highlight a different side of Townsville to more people.

“Townsville has a strong arts community and events like NAFA help bring many people into the city,” he said.

“NAFA has become a big success in Townsville since it began in 2019. It originated from the Commonwealth Games Townsville Festival 2018 and has become this hugely successful event.”

Tourism Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said the big line-up of all-Australian music acts would make Townsville the place to be.

“It’s fantastic to see the North Australian Festival of Arts evolve with more arts, culture and entertainment experiences for 2021,” Mr Hinchliffe said.

“NAFA is the perfect excuse for a Townsville escape to experience the region’s cultural and natural attractions including the Great Barrier Reef.

“Events like NAFA support North Queensland jobs and the Palaszczuk Government’s economic recovery plan.”

CQUniversity Townsville Campus Associate Vice-President, Professor Pierre Viljoen said that the University was once again proud to partner with Townsville City Council to deliver a world class cultural event to communities in North Queensland.

“CQUniversity is proud to be NAFA’s major education partner, and to work with Council and event organisers to deliver this award-winning event and give back to the region,” Professor Viljoen said.

“Now, more than ever, it is important to provide opportunities for our communities to come together and to support the arts and creative industries.”

NAFA runs from 2 July to 1 August across Townsville.

For more information and to book tickets, head to

Headline Shows & EventsDates
The White Rose & the Red, TheatreiNQ 30 June - 11 July
100 Years Ago, Circus Wonderland 1 - 11 July
Popcorn Underground, Wonderland Spiegeltent 1 - 4, 6 - 11 & 13 - 18 July
Dungarri Nya Nya Bi Nya, Wulgurukaba Walkabouts, Big Eye Theatre Dancers, Komet Dancers, Obery Sambo, Meriam Dancers, Bindal Dancers, Dancenorth Australia 3 - 4 July
Brass Monkeys, Circus Trick Tease and Nicholas Clark Management 3 - 6 July
High Tea with BOOFF, Homunculus Theatre Company6 - 11 & 14 - 18 July
Don't Mess with the Dummies, Dummies Corp14 - 18 July
Comedy Hypnotist Matt Hale: Bonkers, Matt Hale Comedy Hypnotist30 - 31 July & 1 August
Tropic Sounds featuring Tones and I & Pierce Brothers31 July
Eden, Legs on  the  Wall22 - 25 July
A Fast Life on Wheels, Tim Ferguson23 - 24 July
POSE1 August

Messengers to land in Townsville for NAFA

Messengers to land in Townsville for NAFA

Date published: 7 May 2021

A not-so-little flock of birds will be spreading a message of hope and joy when they land in Townsville this July as part of the Messengers of Townsville public art installation.

The captivating artwork will include six Gouldian finches created by internationally renowned visual artist Florentijn Hofman.

The larger-than-life sculptures will be arriving in Townsville for the North Australian Festival of Arts (NAFA) on 2 July and will be spread across iconic landmarks in Townsville until 11 July.

Townsville will be the first regional stop for the giant birds before they head off to Mackay Festival of Arts, Better In Blackall, and return to Brisbane Festival.

Townsville City Council Community and Cultural Development Committee chairperson Ann-Maree Greaney said it was exciting to have Townsville be the first landing spot outside of Brisbane for this flock of sculptures.

“NAFA is an award-winning festival that shines a spotlight on local artists as well as artists from further afield. Messengers of Townsville will encapsulate the spirit of NAFA, spreading hope and joy across the city,” Cr Greaney said.

“I’m looking forward to having one of these incredible sculptures on top of buildings throughout, and to hear everyone’s reactions when they see the Gouldian finches land across the city.”

The artwork will travel more than 3,300km on its six-week tour of Queensland.

The work made its world premiere at Brisbane Festival in 2020 when Brisbane Festival Artistic Director Louise Bezzina commissioned the colourful Messengers of Brisbane installation as a beacon of hope for the city following an extended COVID-19 lockdown.

“These giant Gouldian finches are glorious visual reminders to look up and smile, to experience a moment of joy and to celebrate,” Ms Bezzina said.

“The Messengers will not only inspire and invigorate regional communities but will help bring local and interstate visitors to regions that are emerging from the interruptions of COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions.

“I am delighted at the incredible support and assistance that Tourism and Events Queensland, Mackay Regional Council, Blackall-Tambo Regional Council and Townsville City Council have given to help us tour this magnificent and joyous public artwork.

“Fittingly, the Messengers will wrap up their regional tour just before Brisbane Festival returns from 3 – 25 September 2021.”

Based in The Netherlands, Mr Hofman worked with Brisbane’s UAP (Urban Art Projects) to bring his concept and designs to life for the major commission.

“This work breathes hope for better days. It symbolises celebrating life and being positive... especially during this period,” Hofman said.

This project is an original commission by Brisbane Festival, supported through the Giving Program by Tim Fairfax AC and Gina Fairfax.

The Queensland Government, through Arts Queensland and Tourism and Events Queensland, is proud to support Brisbane Festival and the Messengers regional tour. The Queensland Government, through Tourism and Events Queensland’s Destination Events Program, is also proud to support the North Australian Festival of Arts, which features on the It’s Live! in Queensland events calendar.

Messengers - BrisFest - Image 1
Image Credit: Atmosphere Photography
Messengers - BrisFest - Image 2
Image Credit: Atmosphere Photography
Messengers - BrisFest - Image 3
Image Credit: Courtesy of UAP