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MacDonnell Ranges

Macdonnell Ranges, Hugh NT 0872, Australia

Wide Open Space

Hidden in the MacDonnell Ranges about 50 miles east of Alice Springs, one of Australia's most intimate festivals unfolds along the 300-million-year-old N’dhala Gorge. Wide Open Space, usually held at the end of April, was born in 2009 as a way for a Red Center artist community to raise money for a sound system. That system has been put to good use every year since, transmitting the experimental sounds—from bassy beats to gypsy folklore—of local and international artists to an earth- and community-conscious crowd. Street theater, hula hoopers, cabarets and even pole dancers push all the right envelopes, but the event has managed to maintain a low profile (only 1500 people attended in 2015), which is exactly what makes the experience so special. That and the stunning starscape that lights up the desert each night. Shhh... Let's keep this one a secret.