The Garma Festival

I missed the Garma Festival last week from August 1-4.

Garma is one of the most colourful and vibrant festivals in the world. I cannot explain Garma better than what I found on their website.

The ancient sound of the Yidaki (didjeridu) is a call to all people to come together in unity; to gather for the sharing of knowledge and culture; to learn from and listen to one another. Each August, the Yidaki call announces the start of Garma, the largest and most vibrant annual celebration of Yolngu (Aboriginal people of north east Arnhem Land) culture.


Garma is Australia’s most significant Indigenous event, and a model for self-determination, reconciliation, Indigenous knowledge sharing, transfer and exchange. Garma  is a colourful event with a greater, deeper purpose. Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians experience and are directly involved in a spectacular yet substantive display of cultural practice and cross-cultural learning.
Garma incorporates visual art, ancient storytelling, dance – including the famous nightly Bunggul – and music, as well as other important forums and education and training programs relevant to cultural tourism, craft, governance and youth leadership.
It aims:

  • To provide contemporary environments and programs for the practice, preservation, maintenance and presentation of traditional knowledge systems and cultural traditions and practices, especially Bunggul (traditional dance), Manikay (song), Miny’ tji (art) and ceremony.
  • To share knowledge and culture, thereby fostering greater understanding between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.
  • To develop economic opportunities for Yolngu through education, training, employment, enterprise and remote Indigenous community development.

Garma is presented by the Yothu Yindi Foundation, a not-for-profit Aboriginal corporation with tax- deductible status, and all Garma entry fees and other revenues go to the programs and projects of the Foundation.

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