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Brisbane Festival - The Best & Biggest Celebration of Arts in Queensland

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brisbane festival
Photo courtesy of Brisbane Festival


The Brisbane Festival returns with an electrifying line up of music, theatre, dance and family fun that will make September the month for the arts in Queensland. An initiative of the Queensland Government and Brisbane City Council, the Festival brings many benefits to the city, residents and visitors. It highlights Brisbane as a contemporary destination and a new world city of Australia. It also provides more Queenslanders with easy access to more great arts.

brisbane festival
Photo courtesy of Brisbane Festival


As one of the country's premier events and a highlight on the city's cultural calendar, the Brisbane Festival is key to attracting visitors to the city and helping to grow the local economy. This year's visitor turnout is expected to be in the hundreds of thousands from 6 to 27 September as the festival serves up 73 productions and 440 performances. There are simply too many to list. Here are 7 FREE and ticketed festival highlights over 3 weeks that will make your September a very special and unforgettable one. Just don't forget to grab your tickets before they run out.

Operatic sensation of the year headliner

the perfect american
Photo courtesy of Opera Queensland


Brisbane Festival will host the Australian premier of Iconic composer Philip Glass's latest operatic sensation, 'The Perfect American' from 15 to 20 September. This exclusive performance from one of the world's greatest artist is only possible through the collaboration between the Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC), Opera Queensland and Queensland Symphony Orchestra. The opera has only been shown twice in Europe with a world premiere in Madrid and another season in London, so don't miss this rare production that delves deep into the life of Walt Disney and explores the myths around this famous and enigmatic American.

Opening Night by Puja! - FREE
puja! DODOLAND
Photo courtesy of Puja!

You will be treated to a FREE opening night performance from the multi-awarded Puja! which combines theatre, circus, dance, architecture, engineering, vertiginous sports, multimedia and live music into all their shows. They have performed in more than 20 countries including Canada, Mexico, Taiwan, Brazil, Singapore and United Arab Emirates. You don't want to miss Puja's DODOLAND show based on Lewis Carroll´s 'Alice in Wonderland' on opening night. A striking light show and live rock music will accompany gravity-defying acrobats delivering an aerial visual performance 40 metres above Reddacliff Place.

The Telstra Spiegeltent

Telstra Spiegeltent
Telstra Spiegeltent / Photo courtesy of Brisbane Festival


You can expect a bigger and better Telstra Spiegeltent at the Brisbane Festival. South Bank will be transformed by a schedule of world-class cabaret, family entertainment, comedy and music in a larger venue to accommodate the large crowds.

'The Physical Impossibility of Disappearing' by Circa Contemporary Circus
'The Physical Impossibility of Disappearing' by Circa / Photo courtesy of Brisbane Festival


Highlights include LIMBO, a nightly cabaret show with magic, comedy, music, dance and acrobatics; electrifying music from the likes of Joe Henry, Midnight Juggernauts and Phil Jamieson; Matt Okine and Ronny Chieng stand-up comedy; and the world premiere of 'The Physical Impossibility of Disappearing' by Circa Contemporary Circus.

Brisbane Airport Light Garden - FREE

brisbane airport light garden
Photo courtesy of Brisbane Festival


Brisbane Airport and Cave Urban, an architecture and design collective have collaborated to fill the space between the trees and Wheel of Brisbane into a folkloric woodland wonder. Throughout the 3 weeks, you and your family can enjoy this FREE installation at South Bank's Cultural Forecourt. There will be hundreds of twinkling lanterns along a 150 metre colonnade and a 12 metre high centrepiece made from some 1,500 bamboo poles.

DESH by celebrated choreographer Akram Khan

DESH by Akram khan
Photo © Richard Haughton and courtesy of Akram Khan Company


The festival will bring one of the world's best contemporary dancers and his award-winning masterpiece to Brisbane. 'DESH' by Akram Khan is a full-length contemporary solo and interpretation of the artiste's homeland produced with Oscar-winning visual artist Tim Yip (Production Designer for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) and Olivier Award-winning composer Jocelyn Pook. This exclusive festival performance was made possible with the help of the Queensland Government's Super Star Fund.

City of Exxopolis
exxopolis
Photo courtesy of Brisbane Festival

Looming over the South Bank Cultural Forecourt during the entire festival is the towering inflatable city of Exxopolis created by the world-renowned Architects of Air.

Take a walk into this colourful PVC labyrinth of PVC with geometric pods, alcoves, crevices and inflatable domes that soar 10 metres into the air.

Sunsuper Riverfire - FREE

Sunsuper Riverfire
Photo courtesy of Brisbane Festival


The festival will close with a bang with a 16-tonne firework feast on 27 September. The Sunsuper Riverfire alone is expected to draw some 500,000 people to the city's riverbanks to watch the spectacular finale of Brisbane Festival. Don't miss this FREE 20 minute riverfront extravaganza of epic proportions that will light the night sky over the city.
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Why? The best and biggest arts festival in Brisbane and Queensland
Phone: 07 3833 5400
Where: Various venues around Brisbane city
Cost: Free & ticketed
Your Comment
I saw The Perfect American last year. I didn't particularly like it because operas don't appeal to me, but it was very well executed.
by Bryony Harrison (score: 4|12457) 1851 days ago
This is such an exciting festival. The arts community even down in Vic gets excited about it. Thanks for the great images as well.
by H. Clare Callow (score: 2|109) 1851 days ago
This is sure going to be a great event. Being fairly new to Brisbane, I can not wait! Thanks for a great article!
by LoveTravel (score: 1|73) 1844 days ago
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