The Cape York Dance Festival as it was known in the early 1980s was a festival of dance and culture to be rotated every two years within the communities of Cape York. The first two Dance Festivals were held at Cooktown and Hopevale. For the last 25 years, the Dance Festival has been staged at Laura, and has come to be known nationally and internationally as the Laura Aboriginal Dance Festival.
The 2007 Festival was highly significant, as the Laura Aboriginal Dance Festival marked its 30th anniversary in Cape York. The Festival is widely believed to be the longest continual running Aboriginal cultural festival in Australia.
The Festival has an international audience as witnessed by the large number of European websites pertaining to Aboriginal cultural content and the number of tourists who attended in 2009 from overseas.