Fb. In. Li.

National Indigenous Music Awards NIMAS

National Indigenous Music Awards NIMAS

Annually August

Amphitheatre, Darwin

Music NT Inc

Year completed / duration
2004 – 2022

Mark Smith – MusicNT

Case Study: Summary of Event Services Provided

The Darwin Amphitheatre brought a transformative shift to the event’s creative vision, offering not just an elevated experience but a picturesque setting. Partnering with the Darwin Festival proved instrumental, allowing us to synergize resources and strive for continuous improvement despite persistent budget constraints. Collaborating closely with the audio and visual company and engaging a local artist for bespoke theming design, the team navigated challenges and amplified the event’s visual appeal within financial limitations.

Challenges in managing diverse lineups and engaging a large audience were tactfully addressed through strategic programming adjustments. Shifting from a headliner-focused approach to dynamic sequences of performances and awards ensured sustained engagement. Despite limitations, the team’s commitment to a visually appealing and engaging event remained unwavering, showcasing their dedication and adaptability.

The event’s distinctive touch lay in emotionally charged moments, from honoring Gurrumul’s memory to witnessing traditional dances, adding an extraordinary dimension. The layout navigated the amphitheatre’s spaces purposefully, avoiding dead areas and ensuring a seamless flow for attendees. Lighting played a crucial role, with cost-effective strategies like tree illumination enhancing the venue’s beauty. The Darwin Amphitheatre became more than just a backdrop; it became an integral part of the event’s captivating atmosphere.

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Diving Deeper into the Event Management Details

Vision and Concept:

How did you approach the creative vision for the event?

Moving the event to the Darwin Amphitheatre marked a significant elevation in its overall experience. The venue was not only perfect but also beautiful, providing an ideal setting for the event. A notable enhancement came from our partnership with the Darwin Festival, sharing production resources and collaborating to create a synergistic atmosphere.

Addressing the creative vision posed challenges, primarily due to the consistently small budget. The goal was continuous improvement year by year while distinctly separating the look and feel from the preceding night’s activities. This required detailed discussions with the audio and visual company to align with the Darwin Festival’s offerings.

Collaborating once again with Techy, we explored creative ways to enhance the venue. Whether it involved hanging or rigging elements or incorporating exceptional features like LED screens, the aim was to elevate the visual appeal within the constraints of the budget. Despite financial limitations, the goal was to consistently enhance the event’s creative vision and deliver an unforgettable experience to the attendees. – Marijana

With a limited budget, a small team, and volunteers, organizing the event posed challenges. While more resources could have enhanced the event, we took pride in our accomplishments. Programming, colours on stage, discussions with lighting experts, and incorporating acts’ visuals into the backdrop were crucial elements. – Marijana


The design also had to accommodate the sizable audience, occasionally constrained by budget limitations for screens. Achieving balance in visual elements was a challenge, and sometimes we had to settle for just one screen, which wasn’t ideal. Maintaining a visually appealing and balanced presentation remained a priority despite these challenges. – Marijana

Venue Selection

What challenges did you face, and how did you overcome them?

The stage is expansive, and the lineups usually feature a diverse mix. It’s intricate, ranging from solo performers to full bands with varying spans. Addressing changeovers, especially with 12 acts in the last nine months, posed a significant challenge.

Ensuring engagement for an audience of around 3000 was crucial, particularly during award nights, which can risk becoming tedious. Initially, the client favoured ending with a headliner, but we adjusted the approach. Walking on stage at 10:30, even with an incredible artist, proved ineffective as fatigue set in for attendees who had been there since 7:00. We revamped the entire strategy.

Programming became pivotal for this event, determining the order and introducing a musical number between every award. Initially, acts performed four to five songs, but we streamlined it, considering the involvement of television and ITV broadcasting. – Marijana

Lighting and Atmosphere:

Enhancing the beauty is a cost-effective task; we illuminate the trees, adding a touch of magic. The stage is well-designed, and the entrance, though requiring some signage, contributes to the overall allure. The venue itself is pretty amazing. – Marijana

Unique Touches and Themes

What was your favourite distinctive touch or theme from this event?

My Favorite aspect is the enchantment, the sheer magic of the night. It’s filled with intense emotions. For instance, we meticulously plan everything, and then we received the news of Gurrumul’s passing. We swiftly incorporated a memorial for him, making subtle adjustments. The night becomes a tapestry of emotions, requiring careful navigation to avoid causing distress. Balancing everyone’s perspectives and sensitivities becomes paramount.

The emotional resonance of the night is unparalleled. Witnessing artists pouring their hearts out, coupled with the presence of the red flag dancers, a group of 34 performing a traditional dance rarely seen outside community ceremonies, is truly astonishing. It’s moments like these that make the event extraordinary. – Marijana

Event Design and Layout:

How did you approach event design to avoid dead spaces and ensure a seamless flow for attendees?

The open spaces in the amphitheatre aren’t a concern; it’s a picturesque hill where attendees can sit, enjoy the view, and there’s a purpose behind it. – Marijana