Walking With Spirits returns to spectacular Beswick Falls with a lineup to match, as well as great food and unique workshops
Opening Ceremony, 6pm Friday 14th July
Ghunmarn Culture Centre, Beswick Community
Camping available at Centre Friday night, access from midday Friday
2017 offers intimate cultural engagement on Friday evening with a special ceremony at Beswick’s Culture Centre. Festival Director Tom E. Lewis amps up Walking with Spirits with an opening NT premiere screening of his new short film Finding Mawiranga. This film journey back to country to rediscover Dhumbul, the Morning Star, is a chance to share Tom’s cultural inner world and celebrate with a dance performance from his Murrungun family, travelling all the way from Numbulwar to dance Dhambul live. The film will premiere at SIFF next month and have its NT premiere at WWS. Together with the raising of Beswick’s own Morning Star pole, traditional dancers from the region, and led by one of Arnhem Land’s leading Songmen Djakapura Manyarryun, expect nothing less than magic in a wonderful kick off Walking With Spirits 2017.
Concert event, 6pm Saturday 15th July
Camping available at Falls Saturday night, access from midday Saturday
Regarded as one of the country’s most spiritually significant Indigenous cultural festivals, this year’s Walking with Spirits returns to Beswick Falls with an outstanding cultural coup. The event will be headlined by ARIA Award winning musician and composer David Bridie performing with Papuan Songman superstar George Telek and musicians from the Gunantuna. Singing songs from the highly acclaimed latest album a Bit na Ta this special performance is an incredible experience and a rare treat for NT locals and visitors alike. a Bit na Ta peaked on the Transglobal Int’l Chart at No.9 and continues to accrue outstanding reviews from senior music reviewers across the country and a 5 star review in Songlines Magazine [UK].
Adding to the stellar line-up is Yorta Yorta man Benny Walker. Recently crowned the “Aboriginal Act of the Year” by MusicVictoria, he received four  NIMAs last year and has the industry labeling him as ‘a rising star’. Benny’s never played an NT festival before and is pumped to bring his full band to WWS, “The moment I heard about Walking With Spirits I wanted in, we’re gonna give it all we got” says Benny.
Equally talented but totally different is N.E. Arnhem Land’s Rrawun Maymuru. Recently having embarked on a solo career Rrawun’s been impressing audiences with his cosmically toned vocals and cultural performance sensibilities; this will be his first public performance in the Top End. And what would Saturday night be without a spectacular dance performance? This year Rako Pasefika from Fiji will perform their exuberant and visually tantalizing traditional dance and song; a feast for all eyes young and old. Having impressed audiences at Byron Bay’s Boomerang Festival Rako brings a rich injection of cultural grooves from the Pacific.
Walking With Spirits is an outstanding way to experience the heart and soul of the Northern Territory. Located 107km south-east of Katherine, the exclusive weekend event features upcoming Indigenous musical talent, as well as a stellar line-up of acts from across the country and the region. Share in ancient ceremonies and vibrant culture on a land where it is said that the shadows of the Aboriginal song men and dancers flicker in the firelight. An array of family-friendly activities including dance and weaving workshops, local food, art and cultural museum tours featuring AR technology, will be open for visitors to explore.
“Walking with Spirits is so important for us, we invite our families from all over Arnhem Land, all the different styles of Bunggul (dance) come together and this way we teach our young people proper culture. And we want to share this with visitors from around the world, our country, our culture, our stories,” says Beswick artist, Julie Ashley
Artistic Director, Tom E. Lewis, is delighted to announce the program and venue. “I truly believe this to be our most significant event so far, showcasing stars from across the country and the Pacific. It is a privilege to welcome them to walk on the ground and with the spirits of Melkjulumbu (Beswick Falls). This year especially, we return to the Falls to honour the senior Lawmen who worked for 15 years to make his event what it is today, we celebrate and cover their spiritual tracks in order to continue their legacy.
3 night package
Friday to Sunday
Friday 14th July:
Opening ceremony, film and your choice of workshop
at Ghunmarn Culture Centre, includes Camping in Beswick Community
Saturday 15 July:
Main concert and camping at Beswick Falls,
Sunday 16th July:
Explore the amazing area around the falls and enjoy another night camping on site.
Adults: $195, Conc. $155, child (5-15) $75
2 night package
Saturday and Sunday
Saturday 15th July:
Visit Ghunmarn Culture Centre in Beswick Community then onto Beswick Falls for Main concert and on site camping.
Sunday 16th July:
Explore the amazing area around the falls and enjoy another night camping.
Adults: $165, Conc. $135, child (5-15) $55
1 night concert package
Saturday 15th July
Visit Ghunmarn Culture Centre in Beswick Community then onto Beswick Falls for Main concert.
Adults: $145, Conc. $115, child (5-15) $35
Friday 14thJuly at Beswick Community
Rotuman Dance & Drumming
Traditional dance and drumming with international guests from the Rotuman and Tongan Islands Rako Pasefika
Workshop 1: 2pm – 2.30pm
Workshop 2: 2.30 – 3pm
Body adornment with Rako Pasefika
Learn the art of Rotuman and Tongan body adornment with coconut shell and feather kits (making kits provided)
Join special guest Rotuman weavers together with our local Indigenous Women.
Learn how these two cultures have woven pandanus into their lives through the ancient art of weaving.
From our Culture Centre kitchen, serving Friday afternoon/evening and all day Saturday to 4pm.
Chunks of NT barra cooked in a fragrant coconut and spice curry served with fresh herbs and Jasmine rice (GF)
served with rice and a papadum (Vegan)
Green pawpaw pounded with fresh chilli, peanuts, fish sauce and herbs
Smoked ham and tomato with Dijonaise
Blend of cheeses and herbs and relish
At Beswick Falls
Serving from 5pm Saturday til late
Hung Kangaroo sausage with Riberry and burnt tomato relish and local salad
Served with Fire potato parcel of onion and bush herbs butter
Smoked honey pineapple with smashed coconut cream