Every part of Australia is,
always was and always will be,
Aboriginal land.

As a community gathering-place, a festival of arts, cultural exchange and celebration and as a site for the sharing of ideas and stories, Ten Days on the Island pays respect to the Palawa/Tasmanian Aborigines – The original owners and cultural custodians - of all the lands and waters across Lutruwita/Tasmania upon which our Festival takes place.

With thanks to the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre for place names and other words in palawa kani, the language of Tasmanian Aborigines.


Ten Days on the Island 2021 will be a journey across the island to celebrate and unify our communities after a tumultuous year. The Festival, which runs from 5-21 March, will follow the three-weekend model that proved overwhelmingly popular in 2019 and will celebrate each of our regions in authentic and memorable ways.

In 2021, Ten Days on the Island will celebrate its 20th year. What started as a spark of an idea in 2001 when founding Artistic Director Robyn Archer AO set out to create Tasmania’s first international arts festival with ‘a significant difference from most of the existing festivals around the world’ has continued to do just that. Tasmania’s beloved biennial arts festival is unique in the world – a festival that travels to every corner of the state.

The 2021 Festival will be the second for Artistic Director Lindy Hume, who says:

“Reflecting on our decision in March to shape the 2021 Festival as a celebration of Tasmanian artists now feels like a defining, empowering moment in the rich 20-year history of Ten Days on the Island. Leaping boldly into this home-grown program, we have curated a series of unique experiences in local landscapes through which Tasmanian artists will imagine, create and respond from the perspective of this extraordinary place in these extraordinary times.

“The whole program just buzzes with global connectedness and the confidence, innovation, brilliance and ingenuity of local artists animating our Festival. We will reveal more abundant riches in January but, as a taste of things to come, we are delighted and proud to share three very special events.”

Minister for the Arts, the Hon Elise Archer MP, welcomed the early release of details Ten Days on the Island 2021, “I’m delighted to share with Ten Days the announcement of some of the Festival 2021 program which was shaped by the realities of lockdown, social distancing and travel restrictions. It’s an international program developed by artists in Tasmania and it’s so very inspiring that our artists have stepped up to the plate and that Ten Days has the courage and confidence to create an almost entirely local program.”

In the North West, mapali – Dawn Gathering returns, this time to Burnie, where the community will come together to celebrate the break of day with a stirring Welcome to Country to mark the opening of the Festival as the sun rises over the Burnie foreshore.

Collaborating with director David mangenner Gough will be movement director Adam Wheeler (Tasdance), music director Yyan Ng (percussionist) and the Goldberg Aberline Studio, working alongside hundreds of local artists, community groups and schools to create a special event bringing together performers from our Tasmanian Aboriginal community and beyond – elders, singers, dancers, drummers and visual artists.

In the North, Lindy has spent the past few months uncovering the story of the ‘Marvellous Corricks’, a pioneering and astoundingly versatile family of travelling performers whose extraordinary achievements will be celebrated in a gala event in Launceston. The Corricks dazzled audiences around the world at the turn of the 20th Century before they settled in the northern Tasmanian city.

Paying tribute to the Marvellous Corricks, Ten Days on the Island joins forces with the National Film and Sound Archive and Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery for a show-stopping event in the Princess Theatre – once a regular performance venue for these original entertainers.

In Hobart, audiences will have the special opportunity to explore Hide the Dog, a new work by lutruwita/Tasmanian writer Nathan Maynard who has created a story for people of all ages with Aotearoa/New Zealand writer Jamie McCaskill. This production will premiere at Sydney Festival in January before coming to Ten Days on the Island in March.

Hide the Dog is a trans-Tasman production directed by Isaac Drandic (Noongar) and designer Jane Hakaraia (Māori) that will transform Hobart’s Theatre Royal into a magical world with elaborate costumes, projections and spectacular effects.

The 2021 Festival will be presented in a very different environment with the world experiencing great upheaval during the global pandemic.

Ten Days on the Island will be delivered in line with the Tasmanian Government’s event framework. The Ten Days on the Island program, including free events, will be ticketed to ensure contact tracing and precautions for COVID-19 safety. For more details on Ten Days on the Island’s COVID plan, please see the website.

Tickets for all early release shows will be on sale through tendays.org.au on THURSDAY 26 NOVEMBER.

The full program will be announced on Thursday 28 January