21 Events You Need to Experience at Brisbane Festival

21 Events You Need to Experience at Brisbane Festival

So many events, so little time.

By Paige Booth | 16th August 2016

1. Riverfire

Always the highlight of the Brisbane Festival, Riverfire is the fireworks display we look forward to all year long. This year we’ll be wowed once again by the Australian Defence Force with the RAAF Super Hornet and Army Helicopter making an appearance.

Brisbane River
DATES: From 7pm on Saturday, September 24

2. Ballet Preljocaj’s Snow White

A full-length ballet about a classic fairytale, from France’s greatest contemporary ballet company – what more could you want? Oh, and the costumes just so happen to be designed by the inimitable Jean Paul Gaultier. This engaging performance is one you don’t want to miss!

Lyric Theatre, QPAC: Cnr of Melbourne and Grey St, South Bank
DATES: Friday, September 2 to Sunday, September 11
TICKETS: From $69

3. La Verita

If you combined Surrealist Salvador Dali with acrobatics, this is what you’d get. Part-dream and party-reality, this crazy performance is a combination of modern art and dance, with rhinos climbing ladders and wine corks falling from the sky.

Playhouse, QPAC: Cnr of Melbourne and Grey St, South Bank
DATES: Tuesday, September 20 to Saturday, September 24
TICKETS: From $45

4. Little Mermaid

Meow Meow’s Little Mermaid turns a Hans Christian Anderson classic into a risqué cabaret. Forget the fairytale you thought you knew, and dive into this new raunch story, with contemporary music by Amanda Palmer, Kate Miller-Heidke and Megan Washington.

Arcadia: South Bank Cultural Forecourt
DATES: Thursday, September 15 to Saturday, September 24

5. La Boite Theatre’s Snow White

Fairytale retellings are in full swing at Brisbane Festival this year! This performance of Snow White (not to be confused with the ballet!) is a reimagining of the tale from the Brothers Grimm with a focus on the dark side of the story. It’s a tale of good and evil, beauty and ugliness, killer and prey, lies and betrayal – don’t bring the kids.

Roundhouse Theatre: 6-8 Musk Ave, Kelvin Grove
DATES: Wednesday, September 7 to Saturday, September 24
TICKETS: From $30

6. Troppo

What if a circus troupe washed up on a beach? A daring new acrobatic team graces the mystical island called Troppo with their skills as they try to escape. This is a sight-seeing performance the whole family will enjoy.

The Courier-Mail Piazza, South Bank
DATE: Tuesday, September 13 to Friday, September 23
TICKETS: Children $35; Adults $45

7. Blanc De Blanc

From the creators of Madonna’s Rebel Heart Tour and direct from London’s West End comes acclaimed cabaret Blanc De Blanc. In the words of Time Out Sydney, “If Baz Luhrmann made a nightclub, it would be this.” A tantalising and glittering performance that combines circus, burlesque and cabaret – need we say more?


Arcadia: South Bank Cultural Forecourt
DATE: Friday, September 2 to Saturday, September 24
TICKETS: From $38

8. 3D Street Art

Australia’s highly-awarded pavement artist Jenny McCraken will turn Brisbane into a sea of amazement with 3D wall and floor amusements. Don’t forget to take some snaps and share them with #BNE3D for the chance to win prizes thanks to Brisbane Airport!

Arcadia: South Bank Cultural Forecourt
DATE: Tuesday, September 20 to Friday, September 23


9. Street Art workshops

Can’t get enough of the street art? Children aged seven to 12 can also take part in workshops that will teach them how to paint and draw amazing 2D creatures. Each session goes for 30 minutes and all materials are provided.

Arcadia: South Bank Cultural Forecourt
DATE: Tuesday, September 20 to Friday, September 23

10. South Bank Pinkstallation

Have you ever noticed the top-hatted unicycle-riding statue hanging over Stanley Street Plaza in South Bank? Well, he’s one of the last remaining sculptures from Brisbane’s World Expo ’88. For the Brisbane Festival, he’ll be floating on a pink cloud of top hats with a new friend. If you head towards the roundabout on Grey Street, you might spot the four-metre pink bunny

Stanley Plaza, South Bank
DATE: Saturday, September 3 to Saturday, September 24

11. Get What You Want: Music Cinema

If you love music docos (or just great cinema, really), you have to check this event out. GOMA will be showing music documentaries and biopics, with features focusing on musicians including Miles Davis, Amy Winehouse, Bob Marley, Madonna, Kurt Cobain and Nick Cave.

Gallery of Modern Art: Stanley Pl, South Brisbane
DATE: Friday, September 2 to Sunday, October 2
TICKETS: $10.50

12. You Should Be Dancing

The Treasury Casino and the Brisbane Festival are coming together for an exclusive new pop-up venue in Queens Park. Freestyle your way through eight nights of dancing, with different themes and mixes such as the Bollywood Bloc Party and the Jamaican Jump Up. No dance experience is necessary, but each night will open with a dance lesson – then it’s everyone for themselves to bust a move and let loose. More info here.

Queens Park, adjacent to Treasury Casino & Hotel, Brisbane
DATE: Saturday, September 3 to Sunday, September 11

13. Game Show-Off

An interactive, cabaret-style game show where the audience compete in teams for the honourable prize. Grab some drinks and brace yourself for seven rounds of entertainment, laughs and shocks.

Theatre Republic Bar: Cnr Kelvin Grove Rd and Musk Ave
DATE: Thursdauy, September 8 to Friday, September 23

14. Montaigne

Triple J Unearthed High finalist Montaigne will be performing a special show for one night only. The singer-songwriter’s unique voice has been compared to the likes of Florence Welch, Bjork and St Vincent.

Aurora Spiegeltent: South Bank Cultural Forecourt
DATE: From 7pm on Tuesday, September 13

15. Dappled Cities

For one show only, Dappled Cities will perform at Brisbane Festival with songs from their new studio album as well as their old favourites. Expect some ’70s electro!

Arcadia: South Bank Cultural Forecourt
DATE: 9.30pm on Sunday, September 4

16. Creative3 2016

Creative3 is Australia’s largest conference for creative entrepreneurs and is designed to enable creatives to build successful businesses and careers. The event will bring together some of the world’s leading creative game changers to share their knowledge and experience across design, fashion, animation, digital media, film and television, music and games.

Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre: Cnr Merivale and Glenelg Streets
DATE: Varied events from 7.30am to 8.30pm on Thursday, September 22

17. Wilting In Reverse

Wilting in Reverse is a play about a play about a life in reverse, set in the year 2085.
Stuart Bowden, the internationally acclaimed maker of Before Us, She Was Probably Not a Robot and The Beast, offers up his unique style of DIY theatre blending playful storytelling, sharply crafted writing, physical comedy, and immersive, lo-fi music performed live.

Theatre Republic – QUT Creative Industries, The Loft ( Building z2) Musk Avenue, Kelvin Grove
DATE:Varied session times from Tuesday, September 20 to Saturday, Septemebr 24.
TICKETS: Concessions $20pp | Adults $25pp

18. Rhys Nicholson – Bona Fide

For one show only, whip smart and sassy comedian Rhys Nicholson will perform his fifth solo show about lying... or will he? No, he definitely will and you need to buy tickets ASAP before they sell out.

Aurora Spiegeltent: Cultural Forecourt, South Bank
DATE: 9pm on Tuesday, September 20
TICKETS: Concessions $26pp | Adults $30pp

19. Tapas by Zen

Tapas by Zen
Zen has been offering tapas and fine food at events and cocktail functions for 10 years and their pop-up shop in the Snake Lounge brings the tapas right to you.

Snake Lounge, Arcadia: South Bank Cultural Forecourt
DATE: Throughout Brisbane Festival

20. Ahmet’s Turkish Restaurant

This amazing restaurant will also be offering a $50 per person meal deal throughout Brisbane Festival. The dish will be a chicken turlu: diced chicken breast marinated with lemon zest, yoghurt and vegetables. House-made lamb and bulgur kofte drizzled in garlic yoghurt sauce and Turkish delight will finish off the night. The meal will also be paired with a glass of 2014 Vinaceous Voodoo Moon, Malbec, Margret River.

DATE: For a limited time throughout Brisbane Festival


21. Aria

For the Brisbane Festival, celebrity chef Matt Moran’s Aria restaurant is offering a roasted barramundi fillet with heirloom carrot, saffron, fennel and muscles served with a glass of 2015 Pinot Grigio from Adelaide Hills… all for just $50 per person.

Aria: 1 Eagle Street Pier, Eagle St, Brisbane
DATE: For a limited time throughout Brisbane Festival

A photo posted by ARIA Brisbane (@ariabrisbane) on

Feature Image: Blanc de Blanc, Darren Bell


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View mag here >

Article by Paige Booth

This story has been written by a Guest Styler for Style


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