EXPERIENCE 22 DAYS of wonder at Brisbane Festival, one of Australia’s leading international arts festivals and Queensland’s largest cultural event. This year there are more than 60 impressive and spectacular events across Brisbane’s hottest cultural precincts, including dance, music, cabaret, theatre, circus, comedy, visual art, film and more.
With five world premiere commissions, 11 Australian premieres, 25 Queensland premieres and a star-studded lineup of international luminaries, Australian legends and homegrown heroes, Brisbane Festival is set to envelope the city once more from 9 to 30 September.
Live music dominates the program, befitting a city that takes pride in its place in the history of contemporary popular music. There are 26 unique events including British megastars London Grammar headlining an outdoor mini-festival at Riverstage; the euphoric Megan Washington in concert with Queensland Symphony Orchestra; and Australian rock legends Tex Perkins, Don Walker and Charlie Owens.
Theatre highlights from the world stages include the Lyric Hammersmith’s compelling production of Ferdinand von Schirach’s controversial courtroom drama “Terror”— would you kill 164 people in order to save 70,000? Or the ravishing Chinese dance-drama “Under Siege”; and the Australian premiere of the satirical comedy “An Octoroon”, a subversively funny riff on the 1859 melodrama by crowdpleasing Irish impresario Dion Boucicault.
There’s also a string of work from the Asia Pacific, reflecting Brisbane’s close relationships in the region. There’ll be work from China, Korea, Singapore and Indonesia.
This year’s program sings with local legends too, including Dead Puppet Society and Tim Sharp’s highly-anticipated visual theatre extravaganza “Laser Beak Man”; Casus Circus’s dizzying new work “Driftwood”; and a doubledose from homegrown hit-makers Strut & Fret, including the sizzling “LIMBO UNHINGED”.
With a host of free and ticketed events, the Festival is also a school holiday onestop-shop for fun. Enjoy nine ticketed children and family shows including “Look! Look! It’s a Gobbledygook” from ARIA award winner Justine Clarke, and “Grug and the Rainbow” featuring exquisite puppetry and beautiful storytelling. Head to Treasury Brisbane Arcadia for a dedicated Family Fun Day on 16 September.
The extravagant three-week Festival culminates on Saturday 30 September with Australia’s longest fireworks celebration, Sunsuper Riverfire, igniting the city skyline in a spectacular closing display. Secure your spot at one of the many vantage points including South Bank, Kangaroo Point Cliffs or Eagle Street Pier, and settle in for 20 minutes of awe-inspiring fireworks for the 20th year running. Spectators will also be wowed by aerobatics from the Australian Defence Force. It’s no wonder that Brisbane Festival attracts an audience of more than one million people every year, don’t be one to miss out.
Brisbane Festival, 9–30 September, ■ various locations around Brisbane. Free and ticketed events. brisbanefestival.com.au