Laura Dance Festival

Laura is the central meeting place for people from the Cape. As well as being home to Australia’s most significant collection of rock art, it hosts another internationally recognised celebration of Aboriginal culture, the Laura Dance Festival.

The dance festival grounds at Laura occupy the site of a very old, traditional Bora ground. It’s a respected and sacred site. Here, people from about 20 different communities located across the Cape come together to celebrate with music, dance, singing and cultural performances.

It’s a place and event where families meet new and old family members and exchange and pass on history.

The festival has been coordinated by several different organisations over the years and in 2020 the Ang-Gnarra Aboriginal Corporation will take over responsibility for arranging and hosting the Laura Aboriginal Dance Festival for the first time. To assist with this, we have engaged coordinator Jay McDonnell who can be contacted on 07 4060 2239 or email

This is a significant milestone for the traditional owners.

The dates for the 2020 Laura Dance Festival are 3-4-5 July, 2020.

Dance keeps our culture alive. Keeps the younger generation involved. Dance is a part of our lifestyle.

Past, Present & Future

The festival began in the early 1980s and is believed to be the longest running Aboriginal cultural festival in Australia. Over three days, the event showcases the culture of the Aboriginal people of Cape York through song and dance, attracting thousands of visitors from across Australia and overseas. It enables the wider community to witness and gain an insight into the uniqueness of our ancient culture.

Early details are still being confirmed, but the next Laura Aboriginal Dance Festival will be held between 3-4-5 July 2020. This is to align the Dance festival with the Cooktown 250th celebration of the landing of Captain James Cook and crew and the first Bama contact with white people.

We’re also pleased to announce and welcome Bundarra on board, as a major sponsor and business partner for the 2020 Laura Aboriginal Dance Festival.

Additional corporate and local sponsorship for the Laura Aboriginal Dance Festival 2020 would be greatly appreciated. All inquiries can be made through the Ang-Gnarra corporation office on 07 4060 2239 or email

Additional details will be posted on this site, as and when they are confirmed.

Music and dance go together. Everybody dances – it is just in you and you do it all the time. The old people danced because it was part of their life. We do the same.

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© Ang-Gnarra Aboriginal Corporation 2019

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