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2019 Mahbilil Festival extends program

14 August 2019

The annual Mahbilil Festival will return to Jabiru from August 30 to September 1 to celebrate Kakadu culture, both traditional and contemporary.  Excitingly, the 2019 festival is branching out to a program of events over a weekend, which makes it a perfect reason to head out to Kakadu for a few days of entertainment.  
Mahbilil Producer Scott Large said the Kakadu region is at an interesting crossroads with the closure of Ranger Mine.
“As it transitions into post-mining, there is a renewed focus on cultural tourism as the future. Over many years Mahbilil has been an event destination for locals and tourists alike and there are discussions around building on the event's history and developing its scale and scope,” he said.
“This could potentially see the event expand and produce events in Kakadu National Park, drawing from the rich Bininj cultural traditions and highlighting the natural wonder of Kakadu.  We are aiming for this year's festival to strengthen Mahbilil’s reputation as one of the NT's great regional festivals and continue to grow this great celebration of Kakadu culture.”
Mirarr Traditional Owner Simon Mudjandi also said, "Mirarr invite everyone to our country for another wonderful Mahbilil. The festival is a beautiful chance to share and experience Kakadu culture, we hope to see you there.”
The main festival day on Saturday runs from midday to midnight. Mahbilil is a family friendly event full of workshops for kids, displays, Indigenous art exhibitions and demonstrations of weaving, painting and other crafts. 
Local showcasings includes art from across Arnhem Land and performances from local traditional dance groups.  
A variety of bushfoods also features prominently with large earth ovens cooking buffalo, barramundi and the specialty of the region, magpie goose. 
Jabiru Area School will also be producing a special performance with Corrugated Iron Youth Arts to present as a highlight of the festival. 
Scott said the music at Mahbilil is a highlight of the event and there is a strong pool of local talent to work with. 
“Black Rock Band have been having some great success interstate, playing festivals and touring with Xavier Rudd and others.  It’s going to be great having Shane Howard up here and he will be performing a special collaboration with Black Rock, ” he said,
 “Also, Ripple Effect are pioneers of female music in Arnhem Land and are role models for many other young women who might be interested in music, so we’re excited to showcase them.  And having Pheoebe Jacobs return this year is a real treat- she is always electric on stage.”
On Sunday, 1 September, there is a family-friendly outdoor movie night on the event lawns at the Crocodile Hotel, screening the fantastic family film ‘Bran Nue Dae’. 
Also happening on the Friday night and Saturday is Kurrung Sports Carnival, with basketball and AFL competitions run by West Arnhem Regional Council.


Music Program

- The Black Rock Band 
- Shane Howard Trio
- The Ripple Effect Band
- Shellie Morris
- Phoebe Jacobs 
- Jabirumours 
- The Wulgularr Drifters