New festival set to nurture future NT musicians and artists 

Creative Arts and Humanities head of school Bill Wade, creative lecturer Leif Sundstrup and music lecturer Jack Tinapple

A new festival designed to cultivate art and performance within the NT community will showcase the latest in innovative musical concepts and technology by some leading international musicians.

The Merge Festival to be held at Charles Darwin University’s Casuarina campus will be streamed live via the internet throughout the Territory and will aim to connect creative arts practice with creative industry research.

Merge program director and creative lecturer Leif Sundstrup said that Merge aimed to serve as a podium to celebrate the unification of new media, visual arts, dance, and music performance.

“The week of multi-disciplined events by local and visiting artists will give the audience a chance to see the latest in innovative research and creative approaches to music through performances, lectures, and workshops,” he said.

“All performing artists will provide a presentation on their work prior to their evening concerts, giving the audience an opportunity to discover the behind the scenes mechanisms that form the basis of creative arts practice.”

Mr Sundstrup said one of the highlights of the festival would be a presentation and performance by internationally renowned composer and keyboard player Dr Allan Zavod.

“Dr Zavod has toured, played and recorded with celebrated bands such as The Glen Miller Orchestra, Woody Herman, Jean-Luc Ponty, Frank Zappa, George Benson, Sting and Nigel Kennedy as well as solo performances for royalty and heads of state.”

Mr Sundstrup said the festival would also feature a “Pitch Your Project” program which would be open to everyone in the community who has a brilliant idea or project and who would like to tease out its research potential.

Merge will also include live performances from home grown talent and bands to be streamed live across the web from Darwin and Alice Springs campuses, offering bands an opportunity for widespread and accessible engagement with the NT community at large.

During Merge, art lovers can also view the latest artworks from some of the Territory’s well-known artists at “the Merge Exhibition” that will feature artworks ranging from painting to digital art displays, photography, animation, sculpture and film.

The Merge Festival will run from February 12 to 19. For more information about attending any Merge event go to or to access viewing hubs in Katherine or Alice Springs to watch the daily events live or follow online at