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‘By the Water’ concert

This concert is sold out. 

Featuring Dan Sultan and Thelma Plum

Experience the raw power and emotion of three-time ARIA Award-winner Dan Sultan as he performs on the Museum’s lakeside lawns. And as the sun goes down and the stars come out, get ready to be mesmerised by the compelling voice of the very talented Thelma Plum.

This is your chance to hear two of the best contemporary Australian singer/songwriters in action. Be the first to grab a friend and join us for the 6th annual By the Water concert.

Saturday 6 February 2016, 79pm
Outdoor amphitheatre, by the shores of Lake Burley Griffin
National Museum of Australia


Sorry tickets are sold out.

Dan Sultan

Dan Sultan
Dan Sultan. Image: © Claire de Robespierre.

Sultan plays what he calls ‘country soul rock'n'roll’. After carving a reputation as an inimitable musician with a captivating stage presence, the buzz surrounding Dan Sultan has only grown since he won the 2010 ARIA for Best Male Artist, and the 2014 ARIA for Best Rock Album (Blackbird).

Sultan is an Australian Indigenous singer and songwriter who was recently named the joint 2015 Artist of the Year at the National Indigenous Music Awards along with Jessica Mauboy.

Sultan’s third LP album Blackbird is the culmination of many months of writing and recording, and sees powerhouse riffs met by crackling gospel interludes, old-school rock and roll jams, pure country tones, bare and aching ballads, harmonies, horns, banjos – even an Arabic scale or two. Blackbird is the simple journey of a man singing about love, desire and identity – an Australian musician coming into his own.

Thelma Plum

Thelma Plum
Thelma Plum. Image courtesy Select Music.

Gamilaroy woman Thelma Plum is an Indigenous singer-songwriter who captured the hearts of Australians when her first demo ‘Father Said’ won Triple J’s Unearthed competition in 2012. The then 17-year-old also became the first winner of the Triple J Unearthed National Indigenous Music Awards that same year. She went on to release her debut EP Rosie and a second EP Monsters. The latter included the hit ‘How Much Does Your Love Cost?’ that ranked in the Triple J Hottest 100 of 2014. Thelma has performed to sold-out tours and major music festivals across Australia.

She has collaborated with beat-smith, M-Phazes (Kimbra, Eminem), who lent his sought-after talents to sculpt a sound that is forward-thinking and modern without compromising Thelma’s warm colloquial purr.

‘How Much Does Your Love Cost?’ was mixed by Eric J Dobowsky (Chet Faker / Flight Facilities). Opening with the jangle of an Ennio Morricone western score, Thelma’s voice commands focus as a crescendo of strings builds beneath, breaking into a truly hypnotic chorus. Named the Song of the Year in the 2015 National Indigenous Music Awards, Thelma is a musical talent not to be missed.

Frequently asked questions

What time do doors open?

Doors open at 6pm for a 7pm start.

Can I buy tickets at the door?

Sorry tickets are sold out so you cannot buy tickets on the door.

Is seating allocated?

No. Seating is not allocated; in fact, there are no seats! We suggest that you bring a picnic blanket to sit on.

What if it is raining?

This outdoor concert will go ahead no matter what the sky throws at us! If the forecast looks dire, pack a poncho or a raincoat. In the case of extreme weather we will relocate to the Museum’s Main Hall.

Stay in Touch

Get updates on #ByTheWater or on the Museum’s facebook page.

Will food and drink be available?

A selection of beer, cider, wine and non-alcoholic drinks will be available at a cash bar. Food will also be available for purchase.

On site on the night will be a hand-picked selection of some of Canberra's best and tastiest mobile food vendors, with a taste for every palate:

  • Miss Vân's offers tasty, vibrant, fresh Vietnamese street food with a heavy influence of Lao and Thai flavours.
  • The One brings fine-dining techniques to street food. Pork belly or beef short rib are mouth-watering fillings for pressed buns and Thai-style tacos. Fish and vegan options are available.
  • Delightful coffee, homemade donuts and a chilled set-up make Chasing Mr Morris the perfect pit-stop for a sweet or caffeinated pick-me-up.

Getting here

The National Museum of Australia is located on Acton Peninsula on Lake Burley Griffin in Canberra, just a short drive south-west of the city centre. Access is via Lawson Crescent, Acton. See the Museum’s website for more information.


  • Stretch your legs and enjoy a walk to the National Museum from the city on the bicycle/walking paths along the north-western shore of Lake Burley Griffin.

Local bus services

  • Action bus number 934 services the National Museum on weekends. For route and timetable information and fares visit the Action website.