Santos pulls plug on Darwin Festival sponsorship

A coalition of climate and arts philanthropists has offered $200,000 to Darwin Festival to replace the support of fossil fuel company Santos.
An orange-yellow flare of fire jets from an oil well's stack against a blue sky.

Gas and oil company Santos has ended its naming rights sponsorship of Darwin Festival’s free opening night event following ongoing pressure from traditional owners and environmental activists. 

Santos’ decision was announced on Tuesday night (18 October) in a meeting between the Darwin Festival Board, Fossil Free Arts NT, and First Nations leaders from the Tiwi Islands and Beetaloo Basin who are impacted by Santos gas projects.

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Richard Watts OAM is ArtsHub's National Performing Arts Editor; he also presents the weekly program SmartArts on Three Triple R FM. Richard is a life member of the Melbourne Queer Film Festival, a Melbourne Fringe Festival Living Legend, and was awarded the Sidney Myer Performing Arts Awards' Facilitator's Prize in 2020. In 2021 he received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Green Room Awards Association. Most recently, Richard received a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in June 2024. Follow him on Twitter: @richardthewatts