Uluru Festival launch

Media Release: 23 April 2022

Traditional Owners of Uluru are, today, launching the Uluru Festival, a new cultural festival likely to become a major event on the international calendar.

“Kuwarila pukularinyi Uluruku Festival alara — We’re pleased to be announcing the Uluru Festival today,” said Anangu Pitjantjatjara elder, Rene Kulitja – one of central Australia’s most famous artists whose design “Yananyi Dreaming” featured on a Qantas aircraft back in 2002. “And listen, it’ll be held next year and every April from then on.”

The new festival is an event that Anangu, the Aboriginal people of Uluru and its surroundings, have been planning since before the National Park was locked down in March 2000 due to COVID. “We need a Festival here at Uluru to show the continuing strength of desert culture – our culture, Anangu culture!” said Sammy Wilson, until recently chair of the Central Land Council and former chair of the Uluru – Kata Tjuta National Park Board of Management.

The Uluru Festival has been established to celebrate and share Indigenous culture not only with visitors to the World Heritage National Park, but also with people around the world with the event being streamed live from the inaugural festival next year.

It will include Inma, traditional songs and dances from the region; demonstrations of Aboriginal painting, wood sculpting and bush plants and medicines; and a wide range of music and other entertainment, featuring local bands and Indigenous artists from around Australia. It will complement another well-known, Indigenous festival, the Garma Festival, held in August each year at the Top End of the Northern Territory.

The Uluru Festival will be formally announced at a launch held in the Uluru – Kata Tjuta National Park from 2.30pm on 23 April 2022, with many Indigenous artists and singers taking part from the local Mutitjulu community, and others travelling from the interconnected communities that straddle the South and West Australian borders.

This weekend’s event will give a taste of local culture – from sand-drawings and painting to traditional, ceremonial dances – for visitors who have flocked back to Australia’s most famous natural icon over the past month and filled local hotels to capacity after an absence of two years.

“It’s one of the best times of year for visitors to Uluru,” festival director David Curl said. “With cool nights, warm days and little rain in most years at this time, we can hold outdoor events throughout the day and into the evening. The Uluru Festival is an exciting new opportunity to celebrate culture at Uluru and beyond and we’re sure it will grow quickly into an event of international significance.” David Curl said.

Anangu are inviting everyone to join them and share their culture on 22-23 April next year at Uluru – or from anywhere in the world. As Rene Kulitja says: “Ngula nyakunytjaku nyuranya, palya? – See you all there, next year!” 

Contact: Festival Office, Uluru Festival

Links to downloadable media, including 1920 x 1080P video cleared for broadcast usage in association with this event, available on request.

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