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  • Writer's pictureMagnetic Community News

NAFA brings best performers, artists to Townsville

Pictured above: Dungarri Nya Nya Ngarri Binya

Get ready for two weeks of laughs and live shows as Wil Anderson and Ross Wilson head to Townsville for the North Australian Festival of Arts this year.

The entertainers will be joined by Mahalia Barnes, Circus Wonderland, and B.ABz, while Dancenorth and Wulgurukaba Walkabouts will be debuting their new work Bambarra-ma Dariburu (It’s good to make good) at the North Australian Festival of Arts (NAFA).

NAFA is made possible through funding support from the Queensland Government through Tourism and Events Queensland and Arts Queensland, along with Festivals Australia and Townsville City Council.

Mayor Jenny Hill said the new-look NAFA would take all of the fun of the festival and pack it into two-and-a-half show-stopping weeks of arts action.

“As a Council we are focused on growing Townsville into a city that embraces the arts, particularly in delivering international-standard signature events and providing opportunities for the growth of local artists,” Cr Hill said.

“Events like NAFA make it possible to bring the best in world-class entertainment and arts to Townsville, creating avenues of growth for North Queensland-based artists.

“This year’s NAFA offering includes powerhouse comedian Wil Anderson, legendary musicians Ross Wilson and Mahalia Barnes and RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under icons in the B.A.Bz World Tour, along with NAFA favourites Silent Disco, Circus Wonderland and Dancenorth.

“NAFA is a huge boon to Townsville businesses, with visitors choosing to head to the city to enjoy the festival, but also our other tourism offerings, our cafes and restaurants, and our accommodation options.

“I’m thrilled to see NAFA back in its new format this year and can’t wait to head down to opening night next month.”

Community and Cultural Development Committee chairperson Ann-Maree Greaney said the new-look festival was now more accessible.

“This year we’re featuring Auslan-interpreted shows to ensure NAFA is as accessible as possible to residents and visitors to the city,” Cr Greaney said.

“We’re also throwing our support behind young artists by bringing the Youth Arts Hub @ NAFA to the festival for the first time, bolstering local talent and cementing Townsville’s reputation as the arts and events capital of Northern Australia.

“NAFA is proud to present an incredible mix of acts in various categories including cabaret, circus, comedy, dance, music, theatre, visual art, interactive, children, workshops and talks.

“The Strand will be the epicentre of NAFA this year, with NAFA’s Festival Hub being set up at Strand Park with the Empire Theatre, Pinnochi’s Palace, the Photo Booth, Garden Bar, the famous Spiegeltent, as well as our food trucks and box office. We’ll also be bringing acts, exhibitions and workshops out into the community, so check your copy of the program to see what’s on in your neck of the woods.

“This is a reflection of our commitment to make this festival cater to people of all ages from all walks of life.”

NAFA 2023 runs from June 23 to July 9 this year. Tickets are available on the NAFA website or by calling 4417 5127.

To see the full program and to book tickets, head to

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