30 July – 2 August 2021

BLACKEN OPEN AIR is one of the world’s most remote heavy metal festivals.

Blacken Open Air returns to the Dead Centre 30th July – 2nd August at Ross River Resort, coinciding with the NT Picnic Day long weekend. Tickets are on sale now.

Australia’s original camp out heavy music festival, Blacken Open Air, is back for the ninth year since its inception in 2013. It runs across three nights from Friday, 30th July to Monday, 2nd August.

Gathering on Arrernte country, against the stunning, ancient backdrop of N’Dhala Gorge, Blacken provides a uniquely Australian experience. The lush festival site is surrounded by red cliff escarpments and ancient river beds.

Run by Alice Springs’ own heavy music record label, The Black Wreath, this festival is like no other. Featuring an enormous lineup of bands from across the nation, as well as Arrernte cultural performance, art installations, sideshows and an array of gourmet food – Blacken has something for everyone.

Gates open Friday evening for the pre-party…
Main Stage runs Saturday and Sunday until late!

The festival is family friendly with a kid’s area and activities.

  • Gates open on Friday evening for early arrivals
  • Main stage is programmed on Saturday and Sunday until late
  • Ross River Resort is located 85km East of Alice Springs
  • The festival is family friendly with a kid’s area and activities


Early Bird Tickets on sale soon!


  • Open Friday evening for early arrivals
  • Vehicle access to the main site STOPS at 4PM on Saturday 11th April, or when capacity is reached. Pedestrian access continues throughout the weekend
  • There is a day-parking area outside the main gates
  • Security will be searching vehicles and bags on entry (a condition of the liquor licence)


  • Camping is encouraged for all attendees
  • Camping is included for the duration of your ticket validity
  • Vehicles, tents, caravans, camper-vans, trailers, couches and the like are welcome in the camping area
  • Cabins are also available on site. For bookings contact Ross River Homestead directly on (08) 8956 9711


  • Don’t hit a cow man. The road to Blacken Open Air is cattle country. Please don’t underestimate the dangers. Cattle, Camels and wild Brumbies roam free on the road. A sharp eye is paramount while driving the Ross Highway. Tell your passengers to be spotters along the way.
  • Driving after dark is a no-no
  • Sections of the Ross Highway (the road to Blacken Open Air) are one lane. This means room for one vehicle only. Both cars give way by slowing down, stepping half off the bitumen and driving with care past each other
  • The “rule” around these one-lane stretches; if a heavy vehicle is coming towards you, you MUST pull off the road completely and let it pass. You can then continue on your journey
  • On the one lane sections there are occasional blind corners. Slow down and take them carefully
  • Drive at walking pace on site during camp setup and when leaving

Drinking Water

  • There are multiple clearly marked water refill taps located within the festival site and camping area
  • Please note, the tap water is bore water; safe to drink but may not be to everyone’s liking


  • There will be a number of food vendors available catering for carnivores, herbivores and most in between
  • Breakfast, lunch & dinner (and coffee!) is available
  • Don’t forget to hit the supermarket on your way out to pick up snacks!


  • This is a fully licensed event
  • No BYO alcohol is permitted
  • Purchasing drinks from the bar supports the festival
  • Any alcohol found during entry, in camp or on person will be confiscated
  • Please advise the crew / medics or security immediately if you see someone who appears to be distressed due to intoxication, anxiety or any other unidentified ailment

Cash & EFT

  • >Please bring sufficient cash for the weekend
  • There will also be EFTPOS facilities on site

Showers & Toilets

  • Toilets and hot showers available on site
  • Disabled amenities are on site
  • To conserve water, showers will be operating in the morning only

Safety, Security & First Aid

  • We want every festival-goer, performer and crew member to be safe at Blacken!
  • Please look out for your fellow metal-head!
  • First Aiders will be on site
  • Roving licensed security personnel will be on site
  • There will be a police presence for your safety
  • Traditional Owners ask all festival goers to not climb the red ridge at the back of the campsite. This is a sacred site
  • Dehydration is a serious risk in the desert. Please ensure you stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water
  • Slip, Slop, Slap! Be sun-smart.
  • Blacken Open Air strongly advises not to bring illegal substances
  • No fireworks
  • No generators
  • No glass
  • No drones>


  • >No pets are permitted on site
  • Certified Assistance Dogs are of course welcome


  • Festival managed campfires are available for all to enjoy
  • >Don’t be the reason they’ll be completely banned at future events
  • There is a zero-tolerance policy to fires in the camping area
  • Renegade fires will be extinguished by site crew


  • Please take your campsite rubbish home with you
  • There will be rubbish and recycling stations around the festival site
  • Smokers please stomp ya butt & put it in the bin

Blacken Open Air Festival Conditions of Entry • All signs must be adhered to where possible. • All people who come onto this property acknowledge and accept the following warning and waiver of liability. Warning: The property you are about to enter (Ross River Resort) is a provider of recreational services and activities. You are further warned and advised that Ross River Resort contains all manner of obstacles, risks and dangers, both known and unknown, natural and man-made, which may result in loss or damage to your property, personal injury or even death. Knowing this to be the case, if you choose to come onto this property you do so at your own risk, waiving and foregoing any rights to make any claims for losses and injuries. • All attendees to this property agree and accept that the Blacken Open Air have exclusive occupation over all areas used in relation to the Blacken Open Air Festival at Ross River Resort. • All patrons must have a valid ticket or entry authorisation. • Official wristbands are to be worn at all times. Patrons without a wristband will be escorted off site. • All minors will be kept under the direct supervision and within constant eyesight of a responsible parent or guardian at all times. • No illegal or menacing weapons allowed on-site. • All vehicles and bags entering the site will be inspected by security at the security-check point. You may be requested to submit to a search of your person, vehicle and/or property. • Licensed security are authorised to refuse entry. • Swimming is only permitted in designated area. • No Glass permitted on site. • No BYO alcohol allowed. Alcohol can be purchased at the Festival site • Illicit drugs are strictly forbidden on this property. • Alcohol may only be consumed within the licensed area. • Alcohol will not be sold to and may not be purchased for persons under 18 years of age. • As per Tobacco Control Act, smoking is only allowed in specific areas • A TOTAL FIRE BAN IN THE OVERNIGHT CAMPING AREA is in operation for the entire duration of the festival – No naked flames or campfires permitted. Gas stoves are permitted. • No pyrotechnics, fire crackers, sparklers or flares allowed in the overnight camping area. • No pets allowed (certified assistance dogs excepted) • Please remove all rubbish from the campsite when you leave. • Community standards of behaviour are expected and persons deemed to be behaving in a manner that is dangerous or unacceptable to management will be refused admission and/or removed from the premises. • Activities such as ‘stage diving’ and ‘crowd surfing’ are strictly prohibited and signs will be displayed to reiterate this (a condition of our insurance for the event). • The right is reserved to vary artists, programs, and presentation/performance times without notice and without refund. • Please report any incidents or inappropriate behaviour to festival staff.

Buy tickets online now!