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Free Events at Festival 2018

Home > Brisbane > School Holiday Activities | Music | Lists | Free | Festivals
by May Cross (subscribe)
I'm a writer, artist and keen photographer.
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Here is my pick of the best of the Festival
This is a once in a generation event and it is FREE, so don't miss out. You can celebrate the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games right here in Brisbane - even if you're not that into sport. Festival 2018 showcases the arts and culture of Queensland. Basically, we are showing off to all the tourists in town (and to locals) to show them how creative and fun-loving we are.

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Festival 2018 in King George Square (image by May Cross)

In Brisbane, the Festival is offering visitors and anyone in the city, world-class entertainment that's all free. The programme features music, exhibitions, theatre, dance, film, comedy, markets and much more. Join in from Wednesday 4 April through to Sunday 15 April 2018. You will find performances and stories throughout the CBD, at South Bank, the City Botanic Gardens, Roma Street Parkland and lots of venues in between. You can find the Festival Hub at the South Bank cultural forecourt on the beautiful Brisbane River.

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One Million Stars at City Hall (image by May Cross)

Below are some of my favourites, but check out the full programme at Brisbane City Council's Festival 2018 here.

1. One Million Stars

One Million Stars To End Violence is a global star weaving movement, It was created to unite people through peaceful activism. The public artwork, created by Maryann Talia Pau, is installed in King George Square during Festival 2018. In partnership with the Queensland government, Maryann reached out to the international community to weave a million stars. It is making a statement for collective change with individually hand-made stars from 15 countries. The message of peace and solidarity is very powerful.

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A Million Stars (image by May Cross)

2. The Story of Brisbane
Explore the Story of Brisbane through the words of local poets, songwriters and authors including Steele Rudd (creator of Dad and Dave), David Malouf (author of Johnno), Oodgeroo Noonuccal (better known as poet and activist, Kath Walker) and The Go-Betweens (famous for the song Streets of Your Town). It stars the inimitable playwright, director and actor Therese Collie, along with award-winning actor Tim Mullooly. Catch it on Sunday 8 April from 11.30 am to 12.30 pm on the Satellite Stage at South Bank.

Therese Collie, story of Brisbane, Festival 2018, May Cross
Therese Collie in the Story of Brisbane (image by May Cross)

3. Maiwar
Did you know that the traditional name for the Brisbane River is Maiwar? For Festival 2018, Maiwar is an art programme by indigenous artists. The artists have recorded their connections to the city, river and country. The First Nation contemporary art is very diverse and is displayed outdoors throughout the Brisbane CBD, including King George Square, Museum of Brisbane, William Jolly Bridge and various lanes around town. You can see it any time that suits you - day or night, as a self-guided tour of the "gallery". There are also guided tours at various times and panel discussions, which are free but bookings are required.

4. BNE Design
The Museum of Brisbane brings you Brisbane's leading designers, artists and creators in an outdoor Market. BNE Design showcases more than forty of our best local artists. You can buy jewellery, fashion, home-wares, ceramics and accessories. Don't forget Mother's Day is coming up - so this is the perfect opportunity to give her something handmade and unique which she will treasure. There are also free hands-on workshops with the artisans and creatives. It is on in the evening Friday the 13th (Oh no, but don't be scared – it will be lovely, I promise) and during the day on Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th in King George Square.

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South Brisbane Forecourt (image by May Cross)

5. Blak Friday
Black Friday is a term we use for Friday the 13th, but "Blak Friday" is what Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders call a gathering of their people. On the cultural forecourt of South Bank, you can experience a Blak Out on Friday the 13th (of course). There will be emerging artists and also well-established performers such as Ed Kuepper, Heart Music and Regurgitator to entertain you. Contemporary songs and music will combine with ancient stories to share this old and thriving culture.

Brisbane Wheel, South Bank, cultural forecourt, Festival 2018
The Cultural Forecourt is Adjjacent to the Brisbane Wheel (image by May Cross)

6. Nunukul Yuggera Aboriginal Dancers
You can also experience the ancient Dreamtime with the descendants of the Nunukul Yuggera, Yugimbir and Nugi tribes. They will perform their indigenous stories through their dances, songs and other forms of cultural expression. I have seen them perform several times and you won't be disappointed. You can enjoy them for free on Thursday 5 April and Friday 13 April, at 5 pm, on the Orbit Stage, South Bank.

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Nunukul Yuggera Aboriginal Dancers (image by May Cross)

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Why? The Commonwealth Games are not just about sport.
When: During the Commonwealth Games
Where: All over Brisbane
Cost: All these events are FREE
Your Comment
Great article, May - you've just made me wish we still lived in Brisbane!
by Elaine (score: 3|7677) 938 days ago
Just so people know - I enjoyed Regurgitator again yesterday on the 7th (and I believe Ed Kuepper was on earlier that day) not Blak Friday (as could be assumed from above article).
by Barb Jeffs (score: 1|88) 935 days ago
I love that Brisbane has so many events
by lockw (score: 2|152) 931 days ago
Thanks Elaine. Brisbane has lots happening in the next few weeks.
by May Cross (score: 3|7239) 938 days ago
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