More than 2,500 people are set to descend on one small community in East Arnhem Land for this year’s Garma Festival which kicks off today.

The festivity has evolved from a small community barbecue led by the late brothers, Yunupingu and Dr M Yunupingu in 1999, to become one of the country’s largest and most influential annual First Nations events, today run by the Yothu Yindi Foundation.

This year’s festival goes ahead after Yunupingu passed away in April after a long illness.

CEO of the Yothu Yindi Foundation, Denise Bowden, says the festival will include a memorial to the late Gumatj clan leader.

“It’s going to a very emotive event this year.

Mr Yunupingu has been a an instrumental leader in our region as well as his brother.

The memorial will kick off this Friday.

We’re not just going to take some time to honour not just him, his legacy will obviously play out this weekend in the form of some amazing announcements that will be broadcast nationally.

But we have also lost quite a few loved ones, and we’re going to take some time to consider the legacy of other leaders in the region.”