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Barunga Festival is a must for anyone seeking an authentic Aboriginal cultural experience. Barunga is an iconic family friendly event on the national festival calendar and boasts a proud tradition of celebrating Indigenous music, sport, culture, art and dance.

Barunga Festival is 9-12 June 2023 and it’s the 35 Year anniversary of the Barunga Statement.  

EOI interest is open for stallholders, information booths, sponsorship
and tickets are on sale now at

General admission is only $55 + fees for a adult three day pass. 

General Manager of the Bagala Aboriginal Corporation Helen Lee said, “After 11 years the event is finally returning to the Traditional Owners and is entirely not-for-profit with all ticket sales and sponsorship will go back into the event”.

Highlights include traditional bungul dances, a main stage of live music, Top End & Barunga/Arnhem Region art and fabric fair, fashion show, didgeridoo and spear throwing, youth activities and a Big Rivers AFL competition game. 

Over the weekend, sporting teams including AFL, basketball, softball and Rugby 7’s will all be battling it out at Barunga. On offer will also be ticketed cultural workshops including didgeridoo and spear making, weaving, bush tucker and bush medicine plus community tours. 

The festival attracts a 4000-strong audience of Indigenous and non-Indigenous people, who celebrate together in a small community with a local population of approx 360 people. 

Helen said, “If you are a food or retail vendor, public/private/community organisation wanting to connect with people in country, or want to get involved by sponsoring Barunga go to the website or email

Traditional Owners are welcoming visitors for a three-day celebration against a backdrop of spectacular dry season sun rises, birds and animals on their ancient lands. 

Senior Traditional Owner Esther Bulumbara said her people welcome the opportunity to hear about the plan for a Voice to Parliament, Treaty and truth-telling at this year’s festival.

“This is important information we need to know, particularly for our young people, as this is the 35th anniversary of the Barunga Statement,” she said.

“We also invite visitors with open arms to come and stay on our country and enjoy and participate in First Nation People’s culture and way of life. “

The first Barunga Festival was held in 1985 at the instigation of the leader of the Bagala clan, Bangardi Lee. The community was then known as Bamyilli. 

Located 45 minutes southeast of Katherine with sealed road access Barunga is one of the most authentic Aboriginal cultural events in Australia that is both cost-effective and accessible. 

Barunga sets a positive example for all First Nations people nationally and the wider international community and adventure traveller. Preserving culture, keeping language strong and traditions alive has an impact for generations to come.  

Helen Lee said, “If you are interested in finding out more about culture, on country, we welcome you to attend this year’s Festival and experience it for yourself’.

Tickets, FAQ and more information available at