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Paint the Town Rainbow

Darwin Pride is back, baby. From songstress Ricki-Lee headlining the major Music Festival to a family fun day, comedy show, bush foods feast and more, this year’s program promises to have something for everyone!

By Lisa Pellegrino

THE THEME FOR DP24 is 'celebrating the differences that connect us'. Dr Sean Taylor is Chair of Top End Pride, and hopes the festival unites people across the board.

"I want the LGBTQIASB+ community, First Nations community, the multicultural community and the general community to celebrate the differences that connect us and embrace that difference ... to come together and walk as one.”

Darwin is home to many proud LGBTQIA, Sistergirl, Brotherboy+ communities with long histories. In the face of struggles and hardships, we've seen the strength in coming together to love, support and acknowledge who we are, where we've been, and where we're going.

Ben Tyler is a proud Bininj man from Kakadu and the founder of Kakadu Kitchen. This year, he's organised an Indigenous culinary event at The Last Supper. For Tyler, Pride signifies many things.

"Pride means being seen in our community, celebrating together, and bringing our diversity and our different cultures together under the umbrella of Pride. It’s about better understanding what issues we face, having a voice and having the support of our community."

Drew Tweddle from Darwin Pride says an integral part of any Pride Festival is highlighting the issues that communities face.

"I think Pride is just as important now as it was. Throughout the years, there's been different fights we've had to navigate as a community. At the moment, it's really about visibility, it's about safety, and it's about celebration.”

The program boasts an impressive array of events and artists including a cabaret night, sports events, and an inaugural film festival at the Deckchair Cinema.

On Saturday, there’s a hive of activity at the Waterfront. The morning begins with a series of Pride forums and wellness workshops, before the massive Pride Parade leads you straight to the Darwin Pride Music Festival at Fort Hill Parklands. The stellar line-up includes local and interstate DJs, drag artists, and the dazzling headliner Ricki-Lee.

"I’m so excited! I know how much Pride events mean to the community, so I always go above and beyond to put on an amazing show,” she says.

"I think it’s so important to celebrate how far we’ve come, and for there to be a safe and fabulous place for people to express themselves unapologetically. Visibility is so important, so celebrating a community that has been marginalised for so long is so powerful."

Darwin Pride Festival runs across four days, with satellite events on either side. In mid-June, Katherine also hosts the annual Katherine Pride Festival, packed with an awesome line-up of events and activities for the whole community to enjoy. Make sure you come along and truly celebrate all the differences that connect us with Pride.

Darwin Pride 2024

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Photos: Oliver Thompson

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