Nightcliff Seabreeze Festival

Design Feature
Type of Project
Northern Territory

The annual Nightcliff Seabreeze Festival runs along 1.5 kilometres of the Nightcliff foreshore by the Timor Sea in Darwin. The festival celebrates the talents and skills of the vibrant, inclusive and diverse local community through a celebration of arts, culture, performance, food and the environment. A family event, the festival is an avenue for local and remote Indigenous and non-Indigenous people, children, young people, teachers, parents, emerging and professional artists and performers to converge in a community celebration.

Celebrating vibrance, inclusivity and diversity

The Nightcliff Seabreeze Festival is committed to providing a creative, active, fun and inclusive space for the engagement of people of all ages in a safe environment. The festival emphasises the importance of children and young people feeling connected to a community that supports them, and offers a broad range of activities, across many art forms. For example, activities that encourage creativity and ‘hands on’ involvement include a sand sculpture competition, Bendigo Bank Community Art Prize, a public art space, and Free Recreation and Entertainment for Everyone in the Parks (FREEPS) at the Nightcliff Pool (hosted by the City of Darwin). 

Importantly, the festival provides a snapshot of the community organisations, including sporting clubs, political and environmental groups and not-for-profit organisations in Darwin and the issues and activities that the locals champion.  In 2017, the Northern Territory Field Naturalists’ Club ran free environmental guided walks, providing local stories and history of the Nightcliff foreshore area to generate a sense of place by reinforcing the community’s connection to the area.

A public art space encourages visitors to get creative and have fun
A public art space encourages visitors to get creative and have fun

Community health and wellbeing are integral to the festival. The event encourages the public to be active by walking along the length of the foreshore and participating in events such as building sandcastles, hula hooping, dancing to live music, and swimming in the local pool.

Bike valet service
Bike valet service

A strong social media campaign encourages the community to take advantage of Nightcliff’s Active Movement Network and ride their bike to the festival with a valet service provided and prizes offered. 

To help attendees identify and make healthier and more sustainable food and drink choices, the festival is a sugary drink free event with water actively promoted and fruit provided as alternatives. Festival coordinators will increase the availability of healthy refreshment options through the introduction of a red-light rating system for the 2018 Festival.

Nightcliff Seabreeze Festival aspires for everyone to feel visible, valued and part of the Top End community. Although most of the festival is free and in relatively accessible spaces, barriers such as medical treatment, living in a residential care space or limited mobility can make the festival inaccessible for some members of the community so there are events designed to bring the celebrations to these groups. In 2017, artists were engaged to perform at a medical facility, aged care home and local parks within the Nightcliff suburb. A circus troupe, June Mills (a well-known local singer) and a Balinese Dance Group performed within these venues, to audiences who otherwise would not have had access to the festival. The cost for this “Visibility/Mobility” project was $25,000.

Project team

  • Volunteer Committee Members
  • Northern Territory Government
  • City of Darwin
  • Charles Darwin University
  • Nightcliff Bendigo Bank
  • Corrugated Iron Youth Arts
  • Festivals Australia
  • Community Benefit Fund
  • Class A Energy Solutions
  • Power and Water Association
  • Living Water Smart
  • Bicycle Network Northern Territory
  • Northern Territory Recycling Solutions (NTRS) waste recycling
  • Environment Centre Northern Territory

Project cost

$130,000 annually

You might also like