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Brisbane, one of the world's most beautiful cities, has the best weather for outdoor parties. Our bright summer sunshine and mild, cool winters bring festivals to Queensland throughout the year. In 2017, Brisbane is bursting with festivals, celebrating music, dance, visual art, theatre, film, food, wine, country life and simply being a Brisbanite. Fill your year with fun – book these festivals in your diary, listed in order from January – December.
St Jerome's Laneway Festival – 26 January 2017 – free and ticketed events
Beginning in an intimate laneway bar in 2004, St Jerome's Laneway Festival is now an annual musical celebration spanning 6 cities in Australia, New Zealand and Singapore. The Festival is unique for a fun atmosphere, encouraging local community expression, leading to music which quickly becomes essential listening for the mainstream. Previous acts have included Architecture in Helsinki, The Presets, Clare Bowditch. In 2017, Tame Impala and Fascinator from Australia, Tycho, Whitney and Aurora from overseas will perform.Visit the St Jerome's Laneway Festival site to book and view the program.
BrisAsia Festival – 27 January – 19 February 2017 – free entry
Thousands of years of Asian culture are celebrated in Brisbane during 80 events featuring contemporary and traditional art, music, food, film and philosophy. Food stalls with Japanese and Chinese delicacies will bring the tastes of our local Asian restaurants to the streets of the city. Visit the BrisAsia Festival website to view the program.
Brisbane Underground Film Festival – 5 – 7 February 2017 – ticketed events
Trapped in a roomful of strangers is often awkward, especially in the dark. Make it fun at New Farm Cinemas with the BUFF showing the latest weird, risky, low-budget movies, created to shock and captivate, mixing the spirit of independent film-making with shock-and-gore. Break from the blockbuster and the formulaic film with these exciting new works. Visit the Brisbane Underground Film Festival site to book.
Supercell: Festival of Contemporary Dance – 18 – 25 February 2017 – ticketed events
During a ferocious tropical storm in Queensland, the idea for Supercell was born. Just as the storm cell forced diverse particles to collide, creating beauty, rejuvenation and spectacle, Supercell brings local and international dance lovers and professional dancers together for a series of performances, workshops and parties. Visit the Supercell: Festival of Contemporary Dance site to book.
Brisbane Comedy Festival – 26 February – 28 March 2017 – free and ticketed events
At the end of Feb, an epidemic of tickled funny bones will spread throughout Brisbane as over 60 Australian and international comedians become the doctors, nurses and orderlies of mirth. Nightly, in the Powerhouse and the City Hall, satire, character, cringe-worthy, improv and sketch comedy will amuse, shock and awe audiences fortunate enough to book tickets to see Steve Hughes, Cal Wilson, Dave Hughes, Stephen K Amos and Ruby Wax. Visit the Brisbane Comedy Festival website to book and view the program.
Logan Car Show 10th Anniversary – 26 February 2017 – ticketed event
At the Logan Entertainment Centre, car fanatics of all ages will enjoy the sights, sounds and...smells... of cars, bikes and trucks in the 10th anniversary Car Show. Cars will be gleaming for the show and shine displays of automotive artistry or roaring for the fast and furious race events. Home enthusiasts can grab tips from drivers, inspect the handiwork and purchase parts, tools and gadgets from trade stands. Visit the Logan Car Show 10th Anniversary website for full details.
World Science Festival – 22 – 26 March 2017 – free and ticketed events
For kids of all ages, the magic of science, in all its forms, will be exhibited with our most entertaining researchers, educators and innovators. Review Extreme Moments in Science with Dr Karl, discover the next cool jobs in science, join interactive apprentice sessions in robotics, biology, forensics, palaeontology and 3D fabrication, bust myths, automate automobiles. Visit World Science Festival to book.
Ipswich hosts the southern hemisphere's biggest country and roots festival in March. For the 10th anniversary, the Dixie Chicks will headline a stacked lineup, including Adam Harvey, Lee Kernaghan, and the McClymonts. Festival-goers can use public transport to travel from the city or camp nearby. Visit CMC Rocks for the program, accommodation and transport options and to book festival tickets.
Banff Mountain Film Festival – 3 - 8 April 2017 – From $27 - $37
Conquer your fear of heights from the safety of a cinema seat as the best short films of mountain culture are shown, using giant cinema screens to capture the magic of the world's mountains – the awe-inspiring beauty and the cultural issues resulting from and solved by human habitation and exploration. At the Powerhouse Theatre, the award winning films and audience favourites from November's Banff Mountain Film Festival in Canada will be shown at the Brisbane Powerhouse, including 2.5 hours of Australian content. Visit the Brisbane Banff Mountain Film Festival site to book and view the program.
Festival of Tibet – 26 – 30 April 2017 – free and ticketed events
The magical landscape and enigmatic people of Tibet are often at risk, from political and environmental dangers. Despite this, or perhaps in response to it, a Tibetan ideal of non-violence and compassion has inspired millions of people to live according to these Buddhist values. In April, you can enter Shangri-La, experiencing the cultural treasures previously only imagined in John Hilton's classic novel, Lost Horizon. At the Brisbane Powerhouse, there will be a peace-themed concert, workshops and demonstrations of calligraphy, meditation, painting, the singing bowl, and a special event with the Prime Minister of Tibet, the Honourable Sikyong Dr. Lobsang Sangay. Visit the Festival of Tibet website to book and view the program.
Buddha Birth Day Festival – 28 – 30 April 2017 – free entry
Happy Birthday Gautama Buddha! Celebrate the Buddha's birthday in Brisbane with peace and tranquillity. On Southbank, there will be live music and cooking demos, delicious vegetarian food from pop-up stalls, cultural displays and talks, workshops and arts and crafts. Visit Buddha Birth Day Festival for details.
Anywhere Theatre Festival – 4 – 21 May 2017 – ticketed event
In over 500 performances hosted in 70 venues throughout Brisbane, comedy, opera, dance and theatre will entertain thousands of Brisbanites. Enjoy unconventional pop-up events in the most unusual places, forever changing your memories of car parks, reservoirs and stairwells. Visit the Anywhere Theatre Festival site to book.
Queensland Cabaret Festival – 1 – 11 June 2017 – ticketed events
Whether you love classical or rock & roll music, jazz seems to entrance both classical and rock & roll music lovers, balancing the serene with the energetic. Cabaret is the sultry, smooth extension of the artform, tempting listeners to immerse themselves in the pleasurable sensations of music. Join local and international performers in the intimate concert halls in the Brisbane Powerhouse. Visit the Queensland Cabaret Festival website to book.
In the Queensland State Equestrian Centre, put on your check shirt, cowboy hat and boots, tightening your jeans with a giant belt buckle to feel an adrenalin rush during barrel racing, bareback riding, breakaway roping and steer wrestling events. Feeling brave? Sign up for the open competition bull riding. Hold your nerve for 8 seconds as a furious bull bucks and rears to toss you amongst the dancing clowns trying to distract it. Visit QSEC's Rodeo Round-Upto book.
Le French Festival – 7 – 9 July 2017 – Free and ticketed events
Vive La France! Celebrate the principles of freedom, equality, fraternity during Brisbane's Bastille Day with French music, cuisine and chic culture. Sample French wine and champagne, peek into the latest style trends with catwalk fashion shows and learn the art of French living with master-classes in hosting a dinner party, making pastry and chocolate, pairing food and wine, enjoying impressionist art with wine, and cooking Boeuf Bourguignon. Visit the Le French Festival site to book.
Queensland Music Festival – 7 – 30 July 2017 – free and ticketed events
In 15 venues throughout Queensland, the QMF encourages and inspires local musicians to tell the stories of their communities through song. All musical genres are included as rural and urban themes merge to create heart-moving melodies. An initiative of the Queensland Government, the QMF also funds scholarships, awards and touring programs to support local youth dreaming to become professional musicians. Visit the Queensland Music Festival site to book.
Satisfy your hunger for local delights with a delicious spread of food and wine, using fresh regional produce. Meet celebrity chefs, master tricky cooking challenges with master-classes, pack your pantry with purchases at the produce market while sipping local wines. Visit the Regional Flavours for details.
The Ekka - Royal Queensland Show – 11 – 20 August 2017 – ticketed event
Since 1876, the Ekka showcases the best aspects of life in Queensland, especially from rural towns, farms and outback communities. In its 140th year, the Ekka will bring the best of bush to Brisbane, with fresh produce, fashion, music concerts, whip-cracking, cooking display, country dancing, cuddly animals, homewares and outback art. Children of all ages will enjoy the attractions, games, carnival food and sporting, media, chocolate and superhero showbags. Each night ends with EkkaNITES, a colourful fireworks and stunt show with skilful motorbike and horse riders racing beneath fireworks and flashing lights. Visit the The Ekka - Royal Queensland Show website to plan your day and book tickets.
Brisbane Festival – 9 September - 1 October 2017 – free and ticketed events
For 3 weeks across the city, the Brisbane Festival features dance, theatre, classical and contemporary music, visual art and lecture events destined to disrupt the conventional. Our city's festival has dynamic aims – to be a fun feast as we look outward, inspiring new thinking in art, in Brisbane and in our lives. Brisbane's biggest cultural event will again conclude with the spectacular Riverfire fireworks display. Visit the Brisbane Festival site to book.
Oktoberfest – 6 – 22 October 2017 – $25
In the Brisbane Showgrounds, women can dress up in a dirndl, the traditional alpine dress while men can put their legs into lederhosen, buttoning up the knee-length leather breeches to join Australia's largest celebration of German culture. During October, a Brisbane-based Bavaria will feature boisterous singing and thigh-slapping dancing, yodelling, beard competitions, feats of strength and giant mugs of beer. Enjoy traditional German and European cuisines, including pork knuckles, bratwurst and sauerkraut, strudel and Black Forest cake and the best chocolates in the world. Children will enjoy the Kinder Zone's science, history and language exhibits between carnival rides. Visit Oktoberfest to book.
Woodford Folk Festival – 27 December, 2017 - 2 January, 2018 – ticketed event
Over 100,000 people will escape the city during the new year, partying with folk music at Woodford. In over 400 acts, a festive village atmosphere is created with Blues Roots concerts, cabaret, circus, comedy, visual art and indigenous and local theatre. The variety of personalities, staying in camp sites, caravans and home-stays, mix to create a unique buzz where great food, drink and conversation are a constant theme. Visit the Woodford Folk Festival website to book.
Which Brisbane festival is your best bet for 2017? Please let us know with a comment.