Desert Festival 2017 EOIs opening soon

DESERT FESTIVAL 2017 EOIs are opening soon. We are running late but hope to have them open by 15th May 2017 and they will be open for a month

Subscribe to our weekly email newsletter, follow us on Twitter or visit our Facebook page and you’ll never miss out on Desert Festival Updates.

The iconic Desert Festival WILL return renewed in 2017 August 18th until 7th September.

A Long Weekend in Alice

A big shout-out to the Something Somewhere Film Festival exec’ team: Alex Kelly Festival Director, Anneke Rose General Manager, Matt Woodham Production & Design, launching the festival this Thursday!

We are super excited to co-present…..
The Long Weekend in Alice Springs Live

25 mins | Australia | 2016
Performed by Joshua Santospirito and Craig San Roque

Looking out into his backyard, long-term Alice Springs local Craig San Roque begins to meditate on the unconscious and repetitive cultural behaviours that Australia seems to be stuck in and what it might mean.

An extraordinary audiovisual performance developed out of the cult favourite graphic novel The Long Weekend in Alice Springs with live narration and music by San Roque and Joshua Santospirito. Originally commissioned for the 2016 MONA FOMA festival in Hobart, this unique performance finally comes home to Central Australia where it belongs.

Co-presented by Red Hot Arts Central Australia


• Friday 21st April, 6:30pm
• Saturday 22nd April, 6:30pm
Alice Springs Cinema

Film Program

Annual General Meeting

Dear Member of Red Hot Arts Central Australia,

Notice is given to all members of Red Hot Arts Central Australia that the Annual General Meeting of the Association is to be held at

Date:                   Wednesday 26th of April 2017
Time:                   4:30pm – 6:30pm
Location:             67 Bath St
Alice Springs NT 0870

1. Welcome
2. Approval of new members
3. Apologies
4. Confirm minutes of the previous AGM
5. Business arising from the minutes
6. Chair’s report and presentation of annual report
7. Presentation of audited financial report
8. Election of Board Members
9. Date of next meeting
10. Close
11. Special Guest, Stephen Schwer from Tourism Central Australia

Documents Tabled

  1. 2016 Audited Financial Report
  2. 2016 Annual Report

1st Crew round table

April 11th

We had a healthy turn out with staging, lighting, sound and rigging represented. CAAMA was present as an organisation and Something Somewhere Film Festival was there as a festival. We had some understandable apologies, what with big events coming up this week.

We discussed the topics of being crew, crewing events, training and development of new crew, equipment hire and availability and paying crew.

Significant threads

  • Creating a continuum of work for crew
  • Bringing to the table to build this continuum the original events, such as Camel Cup, the newer events such as Desert Festival, emerging events, like Blacken and finally the larger government sponsored events for example Red Centre Nats.
  • Selling the advantages of local crew to the companies that win tenders, in particular AJS
  • Looking at the model that was used by the Victorian government to create a strong events calendar that supported crew and equipment
  • Building business confidence for the crewing and technical professionals and businesses by long term contracts and planning
  • Connecting with crews from Barkly to build out the local teams instead of going interstate
  • Connecting with crew from different groups to expand the crew, de-siloing the local crews
  • Providing not just training days in key technical areas but opportunities for crew to develop their skills over time
  • Not exhausting crews, remembering the importance of the win at the end of the job
  • Looking to schools, and other organisations for people genuinely interested in events
  • Working together with equipment and moving beyond grants for more equipment

As we were also representing Desert Festival we took the opportunity to outline the significant changes being implemented in how we cost and design the festival.

  • Developmental volunteering
  • Building the festival from the crew up, down the artist down
  • Multi-year contracts
  • Tiered employment – senior leads, operators, volunteer assistants

Greg Thompson from Araluen Arts Centre was unable to be present due to an upcoming show. He called in and contributed some key points

  • Support for pathways from high school > events, recommended grades 11 – 12
  • More opportunities for these people
  • The need for volunteer insurance (RHACA is currently preparing to provide this to members)
  • Breaking down the barrier between crews inside and outside the convention centre

The round table closed with a group request for another and to bring in more people from across the crewing landscape. With a preference for 5pm.

Remote Ops

Remote Ops 2017 was a big success.

Remote Ops is an unconference for anyone who wants to get stuff done outback

Participants met on April 6th 2017 in Alice Springs and talked about working on the edge. Discussions centered around Remote Australia, isolation, space and openness to achieve new things.

We looked both inwards to Australian practice and outwards to the future, new horizons and away from ‘normal’ ways of thinking and doing. Queer things happen out back; there is an abundance of weirdness, independence and strong self-reliance which supports trailblazing and experimentation.

The Remote Ops event used a combination of structured presentations and scheduled open space sessions to ensure time for both provocations and conversations.

It was a full day with delicious food from Reality Bites Catering and great work from the Red Hot Unconference team Charmaine Kik, Andrew ‘Cookie” Cook and MC Sarah ‘Hooper’ Cook of Circosis.

Here’s what some of the participants had to say about their experience:

That we as a group of people and no doubt lots of others in this town have a good toolkit for thriving in a remote setting. …    … I hadn’t thought about it in that way before and it made a lot of sense looking at what we do through that lens.

Barb Molanus – South Australian Health And Medical Research Insitute

Loved the concept of unconference – challenged our assumptions about conferencing and opened up a different kind of discussion.

Jon Oster – CEO Regional Arts Australia

I found myself gaining new perspectives and different ways of thinking about the same old problems. It was also really valuable being in a group that was not exclusively arts sector based.  It was refreshing and healthy for my thinking to be part of conversations from a broader community development, health, government, town planning perspective.  Come! Share and learn. It’s really healthy to step out of your busy bubble for a day, look up and see what else is happening and connect with others.

Mary Jane Warfield –  Regional Arts Fund Manager

  • How do you start a community initative?  David
  • High Flow human spaces and systems – MJ and Ben
  • What can we do to activate the Todd Mall and CBD –  Judith
  • Arts Practice as an approach to achieving social change – Jason
  • Drones; Why? What? How? Where? –  Felicity
  • Corruption -> Governance -> Assimilation – John
  • Choosing Peerness vs Competition – Barb
  • How do you build relationships with people you have never met? – MJ
  • Digital platforms and the potential for remote storytelling – Caddie
  • No nation can defend itself unless it occupies its own space – John
  • Curation + Context What do you apply your resources to to help make your context an asset, not just a restriction? A discussion about applied curation, impact, scope and focus in a remote context. –  Alex Kelly

Come What May – Destination Central Australia

The seasons of Central Australia are vibrant experiences. From Autumn through Spring it is back to back Arts and Cultural events.

April 2017 Red Hot Arts launched a national promotion for the Autumn season with the proud support of the Department of Tourism and Culture, titled “Come What May”.

This promotion spans capital cities with increased reach through our fantastic sponsor Avant Card, and will be supported by online advertising, aided by local web specialists Desert Digital.

Click here for a mock-up of the fold-out poster

Over 10,000 copies will be distributed through 100+ locations over 2 months with headline branding at 50 key sites. This builds on from last year and aims to be a recurring annual campaign working to establish Central Australia as a national destination for Arts and Cultural events tourism.

To help achieve this goal we will be working closely with Tourism Central Australia to enhance these promotions with our shared skills and through their award winning Visitor’s Centre.

Of course, there would be no promotion without the incredible local presenters, their events, festivals and energy. Over the next year we will work with them to improve the promotion of their events for 2018, and lobby Tourism NT and the Department of Tourism and Culture for more targeted assistance in building audiences and tourist value.

For spring this year, the Alice Springtime promotion will return, improved from the lessons of 2016 and now 2017.



18 August – 7 September 2017
The Desert Festival creates a fleeting utopia, a glimpse into possible futures for inland Australia. Inspired by Professor Gerritsen’s notion of Central Australia’s ‘pulse and pause’ rhythm, we present both big exuberant public space events as well as opportunities for more intimate, deep-diving experiences for visitors and locals alike.

The Desert Festival is all about stimulation, engagement, liveability, development and value exchange. In 2017 we are prioritizing diverse entry points for diverse audiences to a build a broad, rich experience of engaged culture and vibrant civic life.

We embrace Alice Springs’s position as the capital of inland Australia, and are excited by the important role it plays as the place where people from around the Central Desert and beyond gather to test ideas, share experiences and be a part of active change.

In this context, our program will explore a key human strength: our capacity to ADAPT. Throughout the programming and venues audiences will encounter imaginative transformations, creative camouflage, fantastical hybrids and stories of change.

We open the festival with a fresh partnership with the Henley on Todd Regatta. This evening event kicks off three weeks of positive civic engagement programs towards urban revitalisation. Central to this is transforming a carpark into The Desert Garden, a pop-up multi-venue curated hub in partnership with Yeperenye Shopping Centre. Across the festival, local and NT artists will feature prominently, backed by local production teams. The festival closes with the Alice Springs Pride Carnivale dance party.

The Desert Festival takes place from 18th August to the 7th September in Alice Springs, a part of the Alice Springtime season of events.

Key Dates FOR  2017 Desert Festival
Late February Announcement of dates
April Expressions Of Interest open. Includes open calls for 1) Artworks and 2) Host venues
7th July Pre-event and program launch. We will launch the program in a local iconic cultural event. Intimate performances and a busy location will combine to create media opportunities
18th August —
7th September
Desert Festival Program

Desert Festival welcomes approaches from potential partners, sponsors, artists and collaborators.  We are supported by: NT Government, Arts NT, Festivals NT, Tourism NT, Alice Springs Town Council, Yeperenye, Festivals Australia.  —  08 8952 2392  —

Download PDF of this information Desert Festival One Page

Download Word Doc of this information Desert Festival One Page

Desert Festival EOI process

Desert Fest 2017 will be on between the 18th August – 7th September

We will soon (April) be opening our EOI process.

You will have two options:

1)       Apply as part of an open programming framework, into one of our registered venues, ( or BYO venue) and input an image, text,  the ticketed price you need for your show, genre and other information for the program

2)       Apply to be part of our curated hub, where priority will be give to NT based artists. This process closes early so you can still go into open program if you are unsuccessful.  National and international artists will only be considered if:

  1. You are proposing a developmental application that builds the local NT arts and culture industry, with a performance or show as an outcome
  2. You have the capacity to offer at least one NT based artist (or production crew) a paid opportunity in your project

If you have any questions about this, please do not hesitate to ask.

Poster wall is online

Poster wall at 67 Bath is fully operational!

The Black Wreath


Wide Open Space Festival

This worked out pretty well and we learned a lot, tomorrow morning’s set will be even better.

If you want your Arts and Cultural event promoted like this, we have a template, some specs and a special price of $66/poster. Events can be promoted for up to a month.

Wall is open to all events that are promoted through What’s Hot and in Central Australia