2023 Arts Program

From gently creative to smutty fun, the arts program has something for everyone!  Kicking off with the ethereal Opening show, under the Big Tree on Friday evening, local and visiting artists will be roving, dancing, teasing, singing, strutting and spinning their way throughout the festival.

    • 6pm - Opening @ The Big Tree (by the Wonderground)
    • 10pm - Late Night Cabaret @ The Wonderground
    • 12am - The Gutter Variety Show & Queer Dance Party @ The Wonderground

    • 11am - 8CCC Brekky Show @The Wonderground & live to air
    • 1-4pm - Queer Drawing Club @ The Wonderground
    • 3-5pm - Decomp Dayspa @ Pop Up
    • 4:30-5:30pm - Jane Fondle Dance Workshop @ The Wonderground
    • 6pm - Sister Buffalo Acidically Arid Fashion Show @ The Wonderground
    • 7-7:40pm - Midnight Velvet @ The Bar Stage
    • 8:30-10:30pm - House of Diamonds @ Pop Up

    • 9-11am - 8CCC brekky Show @ The Wonderground & Live to Air
    • 1-3pm - Decomp Dayspa @ Popup
    • 1-3pm - The Dirty Word @ The Wonderground
    • 3-5pm - The Bilbies' 10th Birthday Bash @ The Wonderground

    ft. All Things Peachy, Thipe Flippers by Circus Dust, and ‘Come to the Fore’ by Daisy Ewing

    Cast your eyes above to the skies and see what you'll find flying around the giant ghost gums of Ross River…elusive fairy wrens, brazen budgies, crazy cockatoos, magnificent eagles, mysterious owls of the night.

    Don’t miss the Thipe of Circus Dust, a magical performance of aerial strength, grace and gravity-defying trust, set against a moving musical backdrop produced by All Things Peachy, Penguin and Gleny Rae Virus.

    The performance incorporates Come to the Fore, a conceptual piece addressing gender, and domestic violence and the ways in which conditioning manifests in day to day life within families, communities and in our country. Come to the Fore has been proudly supported by the NT Government.

    All Things Peachy

    All Things Peachy, a Mparntwe musician, cabaret artist and committed change maker, has collaborated with talented local multiple disciplinary artists, Penguin and Gleny Rae Virus, to produce a moving musical backdrop for the WOS Opening Show.

    Thipe Flippers

    Late Night Cabaret

    ft. Miss Friby, Jane Fondle, Desert Diamonds, Spankween, Anna Thompson and the Giant Heads Menagerie

    Hosted by Melbourne’s boldest showgirl, Miss Friby, the Late Night Cabaret brings together an eclectic mix of local and visiting artists in a variety show to knock your socks off! 

    Hooping, drag, dance, razzle dazzle, glitter, muck, fluff and of course.. the art of the tease. The late night cabaret has it all.

    Miss Friby

    In a wild tornado of hilarious showmanship, Miss Friby's world class wit, high end choreography and nail biting satire will charm the pants off you, especially if they're in her size!

    Desert Diamonds

    Nestled in the Heart of Australia you can find a charismatic burst of high energy dance and classic cabaret sophistication. Infusing classic showgirl, broadway, jazz, contemporary, hip hop and burlesque, the Desert Diamonds NT power packed energy, strength and charm is unforgettable. Founded in 2017 at Wide Open Space Festival, The Desert Diamonds NT has garnered a reputation for creating performances infused with fun, cheekiness, sophistication and class. Boasting a robust yearly calendar of sold-out tri-annual cabaret shows and performances interstate and locally.

    Jane Fondle

    Jane Fondle is all about getting physical. Taking the world by a fluoro glitter-explosion storm, Fondle is a regular name on the international Hula Hoop circuit. She's developed her own hoop style, combining 80s/90s dance, aerobics and hula hooping. Rhythm is a dancer and that dancer is Jane Fondle.

    Giant Head Menagerie

    Giant Head Menagerie are creatures with all kinds of kinks. They rove! They dance! They glow! With laser beam eyes + protective maternal instincts, Keith Koala has descended from the bulldozed habitat to seek justice! Housing crisis plus chronic STD for its species, the personal is political for Keith and co.

    Anna Thompson

    Anna Thompson is a multi-disciplinary queer performer, producer and director working at the intersections of physical comedy, performance art, and roving performance, on Larrakia land. Anna Thomson Comedy produces weird and wonderful productions, workshops and roving performances.


    THE GUTTER variety show & queer dance party

    ft. Madam & the Mafia, Leyla Love, Mariah Chaos and many more…

    Joining their curb-side family of sluts, strippers, & kink freaks, Madam & the Mafia will lure you on to the slippery slope of this late-night backwater of filth & bend you into the mouth of THE GUTTER…

    THE GUTTER is a strip club, a late night church, a place of worship for the erotic, a parliament of hookers, a collaboration of gritty performance artists and an underground dance floor bunker for queerdos. 

    Welcome to THE GUTTER 

    Where we celebrate S3x w0rkers, sensual art performers, drag performers, and the art of exotica and erotica in an underground lair… 

    …where First Nations, queer/LGBTQIA+, disabled, POC, amateur and working artists, performers and s3x w0rkers take centre stage to be celebrated and worshipped in all their divine unique freaky ness… 

    …where we don’t sl*t-shame we sl*t-FAME, where there are no bad wh0res only bad laws… 

    …where the audience can experience and explore the celebration of divine sensuality and s3xuality that is alive within us all… 

    …where you can be everything you want to be, and more. 

    Only those of us who have been told we are no better than ending up in the gutter, will be embraced here. You are safe, you are welcome, you are celebrated. 

    Welcome to The Gutter.

    Madam & the Mafia

    With strutting stank bass lines and the promise of revolt, Madam and the Mafia take fetish fantasy play out of the closet and into music. Their queer dirty funk and diva electro pop is a dalliance between the theatric operatic highs of Madam Zuzu’s electrifying vocals and the hot breathy homo threats of MC and producer Faggot Mafia.

    Leyla Love

    Mariah Chaos

    Queer Drawing Club

    Queer drawing club likes to question everything, peeling back assumptions, and embracing joyful / playful approaches to making. Our work is fluid, mobile, changeable – we draw while moving, draw with our eyes closed, and draw with our whole bodies. We love to experiment with unusual materials, pushing the boundaries of what drawing can be; and how we can be as drawers, movers and makers. 

    For WOS 2023, club member Ellis Hutch will lead a playful workshop responding to the immediate environment and how we experience our surroundings through all of our senses, not just what we can see, but also what we hear, smell and feel. Ellis invites people of all abilities to join in and experiment with drawing as a means of being present, of deep listening and most importantly – having fun.

    Jane Fondle Dance Workshop

    Before hash-tagging, TikTok and selfies existed, there was Cyndi Lauper, Prince and WHAM!  Take the passion and make it happen; step back to a time when all things glittered and spandex and sweat bands were the daily uniform.  

    Jane Fondle will get you lungeing and thrusting to a hot 80s soundtrack and we'll end up with a rad choreography that you can pull out any time you hear the track on a dance floor. Pull up your legwarmers, tease your hair and don't forget your glitter. Prior dancing in your lounge room to your favourite 80's songs is recommended though not a prerequisite. So pop on your best g-string leotard and successories and let's push it real good. 

    Decomp Dayspa

    Decomposing darlings from Darwin bring you a pop up afternoon dayspa!

    Immerse, hydrate and refresh at a dewy desert oasis where you can wash away the dust and irrigate your soul.

    The soggy sisters welcome you to trade spa treatments for a tale or maybe a twirl at their regenerative, fully compostable retreat. These decomposing beauticians will use all local, all natural treatments to treat you. Take a misty moment to moisten, you deserve it.

    The Dirty Word

    The Dirty Word is Mparntwe's very own open mic poetry event! After three years off we're back and ready to share our words and our mic with you. Please come and jump up, read a poem or two and be part of it.

    Sister Buffalo Acidically Arid Fashion Show

    The Sister Buffalo fashion show, Acidically Arid, brings the audience on a trip through time and space that bears witness to wholly discarded and repurposed items from the tropics that will extend their aesthetic purpose in the Red Centre. Garments and objects will be reimagined and reconstructed.

    House of Diamonds

    A product of Red Hot Arts’ Project Seed and premiering in the 2022 Desert Festival, welcome to the lavish world the Desert Diamonds. Glimpse into a grandiose life as you promenade through the House of Diamonds, immersed in a surreal fantasy landscape rendezvous of art deco decadence and desert couture.

    Midnight Velvet

    Bold, Sassy and Visceral, Midnight Velvet is produced by the Cabaret Dance Theatre powerhouse The Desert Diamonds. Femme fatale meets Queens of desert dynamism. Evoking old hollywood glam and delivering the power punch sass of contemporary pop, the Desert Diamonds straddle the junction between dance genres and variety theatre traditions.

    8ccc Brekky Show

    Local community radio station 8CCC brings you a very special WOS edition of the brekky show with this outdoor broadcast, live from The Wonderground. 

    Many Voices One Frequency

    The Bilbies' 10th Birthday Bash

    It's been 10 years since the Bilbies first came to WOS, arriving wide eyed and white-tip tailed. They immersed themselves in the desert festival experience - making out at the pool party, watching incredible sunsets and wrapping glow-stick around their ears while diving deep onto late night dance floors. A year later they were invited back and the Bilby Tea Party was born, your Sunday afternoon WOS staple of frocks and 80s and 90s hits. When they weren't drinking from teacups, the Bilbies became environmental activists in Alice. They attended anti-fracking protests, ran workshops about threatened species, and they even worked at the Bilby Festival in Kiwirrkurra helping ecologists and Indigenous rangers track feral cats. Their disdain of felines culminated at WOS in 2021 when they Smashed the CAT-riarchy, figuratively and literally, spilling the confectionary and condom laden guts of a giant feral kitty pinata all over the heaving dance floor.

    It's time to celebrate 10 years of troublemaking as the Bilbies 3.0 descend on WOS once again. Bring your best birthday costume and be prepared... to party