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Brisbane Festival 2013

Home > Brisbane > Nightlife | Festivals | Cultural Events | Concerts | Art
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Experience the River City on fire
It began in 2009 with the merging of the Brisbane Festival and RiverFest.

It brings more than half a million people to Brisbane's riverbanks on the opening night.

It is arguably Australia's largest cultural event.

It is the Brisbane Festival - and it's back this September.

freeze frame, dance, brisbane festival, city
Passion: Freeze Frame dancers -

Presenting more than 100 events and 450 performances in theatres and outdoor venues across the "River City", the Brisbane Festival reflects the diverse tastes and passions of the city's community.

Arts Queensland pins the Festival's ever growing success to its "broad cultural focus" and "strong sustainability message unique to the Brisbane landscape".

Fostering local community ownership and pride, the Brisbane Festival "assists in developing social cohesion and a sense of shared responsibility in the sustainability of this city," Arts Queensland says. "Accessibility to this program is ensured by providing many free or low cost events."

This year's Brisbane Festival will open with the usual Santos GLNG City of Lights explosion of colour (Saturday 7 September) and will run every night for three weeks.

Some events to look out for in particular are:

Paul Kelly's Festival Launch

Performing at QPAC's Concert Hall on 7 September, Australian singer/ songwriter Paul Kelly will pay tribute to the everlasting compositions of some of the world's most renowned musical artists.

Ensemble Conversations With Ghosts, will feature Australian Symphony Orchestra's contemporary composer James Ledger and world-famous recorder virtuoso Genevieve Lacey.

Conversations With Ghosts, Brisbane Festival
Symphonic: Conversations With Ghosts -

Co-written by Paul Kelly and James Ledger, the performance will reflect on the nature of mortality and include twelve new songs inspired by poets Judith Wright, W.B. Yeats, Les Murray, Emily Dickinson, Kenneth Slessor, Norman MacCaig, Lord Alfred Tennyson and Paul Kelly himself.

Ten young musicians from the Australian National Academy of Music will join Conversations With Ghosts on violins, horns, keyboards, a viola, cello, double bass, clarinet/saxophone and a harp.

Headline Act by Freeze Frame

Organisers have been thrilled to announce a new collaboration between Australia and America, commissioned especially for this year's Brisbane Festival.

Directed and choreographed by three-time Emmy award-winning choreographer Debbie Allen, Freeze Frame will take the stage in a blend of dance, music and theatre.

Brisbane Festival Artistic Director Noel Staunton says Freeze Frame explores the passion and pain of street kids in Los Angeles.

At an age as young as eight, these kids have the choice "to get a gun and join a gang or join a dance troup", says Staunton. "It's about optimism. The stories in the show are all real stories and half the cast are the real kids off the street."


In a grand, iconic closure to the Brisbane Festival, Sunsuper Riverfire is sure to wow crowds on Saturday 28 September.

riverfire, riverfest, Brisbane festival, suncorp
Breath-taking: Riverfire -

Coinciding with school holidays, the mesmerizing firework display is already in the stage of detailed planning.

The annual Riverfire sees families, friends, colleagues and complete strangers lay out their picnic blankets and together enjoy the splendour that is Brisbane City.
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Why? Excitement. Thrill. Culture.
When: 7 Sept 3013 - 28 Sept 2013
Where: Various locations around Brisbane
Cost: Free - Affordable
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