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Mahbilil Festival celebrates Kakadu culture

15 August 2017

“We invite everyone to come to Mahbilil to share in this festival of local culture and enjoy this beautiful season on our country.” This is the message from Gundjeihmi Chairwoman Annie Ngalmirama, who is encouraging everyone to join in Jabiru’s biggest cultural celebration.
Taking place on Saturday, August 26, the annual Mahbilil Festival will return to celebrate Kakadu culture, both traditional and contemporary. 
“Every year Mahbilil brings us together to celebrate and you are welcome to join us, to dance, to try some bush tucker and have fun!” Anna said.
Running from midday to midnight, Mahbilil is a family-friendly event crammed with activities, music, dance, food, workshops, Indigenous art exhibitions and demonstrations, painting and lots more.
The Psycus Circus is also returning to Mahbilil yet again for the 6th year running, showcasing Jabiru’s budding young performers.
On an ongoing quest to explore the wonderful world of theatre, the Psycus Circus, in collaboration with Jabiru Area School, are sure to deliver a powerful hour of entertainment.
Mahbili Festival Producer Scott Large said, “there will be an incredible selection of bands from across the Top End with hand-picked acts from Darwin and around the country. Workshops will include traditional arts and craft such as spear-making, pandanus weaving and local storytelling. One of the highlights of the festival for many is the local dance program with the Jabiru Bininj Gunborrk dancers set to light up the dance ground once again! This all sits alongside a full program of bushfood preparation and cooking both on the coals and in a traditional ground-oven.  And there is plenty more on offer to make this a Mahbil-ous day out!”
In the band line up, OKA draws upon their indigenous connection to place and country to create their signature feel good Australian earth sound, an irresistible blend of influences spanning house, big beat, reggae-dub, Roots, Jazz and world music.
Hailing from the Gold Coast, Tijuana Cartel has built a firm reputation for beats that span the globe. 
Multi-layered grooves, touches of slide and flamenco guitar, trumpet, Vocals and Afro Cuban Percussion mixed with some hardened electronica -it’s a combo that’s intriguing, energetic and utterly delicious!
Kakadu’s very own Black Rock Band is also in the line up. Incorporating traditional and contemporary styles, Black Rock Band mesh incredible cultural depth with a steady rock style, singing in both Kunwinjku and English.
With lots of activities and entertainment aimed at young kids, youth and the older folks, there really is something for everyone.
The festival will run in conjunction with West Arnhem Regional Council‘s Gurrung Sports Carnival.