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Le Festival - Brisbane's French Festival 2018

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by Roy Chambers (subscribe)
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Fun French atmosphere that caters to all ages and tastes
Rendezvous at South Bank for an aperitif and more at Brisbane's French Festival, Le Festival. Starting on the evening of Friday July 6 and going through to late Sunday afternoon, this popular festival will feature food, wine and entertainment, with great family fun during the day and a party that continues on into the night.

Brisbane gets its French on for the Le Festival
Brisbane gets its French on for the Le Festival

Le Festival is one of the most popular paid cultural festivals in Brisbane. Bought early online the tickets are $5 with a 3 day pass being $15. When the cheap tickets run out online or on the day, the tickets will go to the normal price, which is $10.

Opening at the Brisbane French Festival
Opening at the Brisbane French Festival

What to do at the festival

There is a lot to do at the festival, but the best involves food and wine. In particular, relax with a plate of cheese and a glass or two of wine under the Brisbane July sun, which gives the air of a spring day in the south of France.

Kids will find lots of different things to do as well with plenty of activities for the kids to enjoy at Le Canson Mini-Festival, with plays, book readings, workshops, shows, dance and more. Your kids can learn to paint like Picasso, do a Tahitian dance and there are competitions for best singers (in French) and best French themed costume. These activities run from 10 in the morning till around 4:30 in the afternoon.

Entertainment will run all day and night, showcasing the new and old of France, from le can-can, folk style music by a group from New Caledonia, orchestral music, opera, cabaret, jazz and of course you can dance the night away to French electro.

The best way to sum up the French approach to entertainment is there is a great sense of style and history behind French culture, but there is also a great joy, celebration and a sense of fun, all of which permeates the festival. This is seen in its blend of high and low, modern and traditional, as well as serious and fun with a certain multicultural approach to French culture as well.

There are also a range of market stalls with over 70 this year. Brisbane and the Gold Coast areas have many people selling French, but most trade only online. At Le Festival, you can buy clothes, wines, cheeses as well as fresh food directly from the sellers.

French, Food, Wine, Entertainment, Fun and French Flare
French, Food, Wine, Entertainment, Fun and French Flare

Master Classes

In addition, there are a number of master classes that you can join, but once again, reserve your tickets online before they are booked out. These classes include French fashion styling, French cooking, as well as champagne, wine and cheese appreciation classes and how to make your own perfume. I am not sure of the prices of all the classes, but they range from around $5 to $190, so there is something for all budgets.

The taste and style of France at South Bank
The taste and style of France at South Bank

Getting there

Obviously, the best way to South Bank is public transport, with buses stopping at the Cultural Centre Station, Trains stopping at South Brisbane Station and let,s not forget the ferry. If you want to drive, there is plenty of paid parking under both South Bank and QPAC, with the QPAC parking being the most conveniently located. You may want to reserve your parking spot online before going on a festival day to avoid any inconvenience.

The Wheel of Brisbane in French colours on a foggy evening
The Wheel of Brisbane in French colours on a foggy evening

The Verdict

Tickets are not that expensive, especially if you buy them early online and, of course, this is the festival with the most class, but still is able to be a lot of fun for everyone. However, most of your expense will be on food and wine, though you can enjoy a cheap afternoon and evening of entertainment without spending too much.

Definitely a festival to include on your calendar and a great opportunity to get your French on in a fun and relaxed atmosphere that caters for all ages and tastes.
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Why? Get your French on in a fun atmosphere that caters to all ages and tastes
When: Fri 5-10 pm, Sat 9 am to 11 pm, Sun 9 am to 6.
Where: South Bank Cultural Forecourt (in front of QPAC near the Wheel of Brisbane)
Cost: $5 early bird online, $10 otherwise
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