Brisbane Festival returns with a vibrant new look and program, promising to fill the city with joyous connections, curiosity, inspired stories and a deep civic pride from September 2 to 24.
The festival promises to get off to a flying start, when multiple ARIA-winner Jessica Mauboy performs an anthology of her greatest hits in a dazzling opening night concert event.
The ever popular Riverfire also moves from the festival’s traditional finale to the opening weekend, with the city skyline set to explode in colour on Saturday September 3.
Despite only operating in its current format, the Brisbane Festival has cemented itself as one of Australia’s premier celebration of the arts, with a world class program set to be unleashed during Brisbane’s biggest cultural event.
This year’s festival, curated by Artistic Director Louise Bezzina, will feature more than 580 performances – 230 of which are free, and will play host to twelve Queensland premieres and six international presentations.
“Now more than ever, we must amplify the stories of artists and honour the power of the arts as a unifying force,” Ms Bezzina said. “As the 10-year Olympic countdown to 2032 begins, the time is now to show the world our personality, our vitality and our story.”
Returning Festival favourite experiences include smoking ceremony Jumoo (2 September); Brisbane’s Art Boat (2 – 24 September); and Brisbane Serenades (9 – 24 September), an evolution of the trailblazing Street Serenades program that sees seven exceptional music festivals traverse the city’s North, South, East and West.
Music lovers will be in heaven with a host of musical moments, including special performances from some of Australia’s top artists. The Whitlams will be celebrating the 25th anniversary of their landmark album Eternal Nightcap (16 September), and Katie & Tyrone Noonan will mark 20 years since the release of george’s breakthrough album Polyserena (17 September).
Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) returns as a celebrated Festival hub, with all four theatres housing major theatrical events including four large-scale premieres.
One highly anticipated new work is The Call, a new opera with original music and libretto by Connor D’Netto, Kate Miller-Heidke and Keir Nuttall (20 – 24 September).
Additional QPAC highlights include Queensland premieres of blockbuster events including the seven-time Tony Award-nominated modern masterpiece Girl from the North Country (8 – 18 September), Evonne Goolagong-Cawley’s heart-warming story Sunshine Super Girl (22 – 24 September) and Stephanie Lake Company’s drum-and-dance extravaganza Manifesto (14 – 17 September).
Brisbane Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner said Brisbane Festival spotlighted the city’s thriving creative community and was an ideal opportunity for residents to support local venues and artists.
“In my unbiased opinion, Brisbane is Australia’s best city all year round but there’s a particular sense of fun and frivolity every September,” the Lord Mayor said.
“With four huge weekends of fantastic artistic experiences for all ages including seven spectacular mini music festivals across the city, Brisbane Festival exemplifies Brisbane’s position as a world-class international city.”
Start planning your festival by clicking on the What’s On tab at the Brisbane Festival website; tickets for all ticketed events are on sale now.