Welcome to the North Australian Festival of Arts (NAFA), where we transform Townsville with eclectic and vibrant events that include comedy, dance, theatre, circus, music, visual arts and so much more. Over 18 days of celebrating, art, culture, inclusion, and community, NAFA returns to Townsville, from the 26th September to 13th October 2024, with the same mantra; no matter who you are, where you come from or what artform you represent, everyone is welcome at NAFA.


Since 2019, NAFA has been a powerhouse of creativity, drawing in a whopping 248,545 audience members, providing opportunities to 4,300 artists and 431 event staff, and injecting over $21.4M into the local economy. NAFA has firmly established itself as a signature event in Townsville, offering a kaleidoscope of performances, experiences, and venues that showcase the vibrant spirit of the arts.

Our journey began during the 2018 Commonwealth Games when Townsville was named one of the four Event Cities. Out of this, Festival 2018 was born, igniting a spark in our community for more cultural celebrations. Recognising this demand, Mayor Jenny Hill and the Townsville City Council committed to establishing an annual arts and cultural festival, thus giving birth to NAFA.

Despite facing challenges like the unprecedented monsoon event in early 2019 and the subsequent impacts of COVID-19, NAFA has persevered, welcoming thousands of attendees and delivering unforgettable experiences. The inaugural Northern Fringe Festival in 2018, added an extra layer of excitement, bringing live acts, music, comedy, and more to various venues across Townsville.

HALO, with its mesmerising light installations, cast an enchanting aura over the city, captivating audiences and setting a new standard for artistic expression. Through it all, NAFA has been a beacon of hope and renewal, helping our community heal and come together through the power of the arts.

While the road hasn't always been easy, NAFA's resilience has paid off. In 2022, we celebrated our biggest festival yet, with over 52,000 attendees and 427 shows featuring 1,456 talented performers. And in 2023, we continued to dazzle audiences with over 471 performances across various art forms.

As we look ahead to 2024, we're filled with excitement and anticipation. Despite the challenges, NAFA remains committed to bringing joy, inspiration, and entertainment to our community. Join us as we embark on another unforgettable journey through the arts – we can't wait to see you there!