The 12 events of this summer in Brisbane

Brisbane is the gift that keeps on giving. From international sporting matches to world-class performing arts and musicals, let Brisbane show you a good time this summer.

The challenge now? Trying to fit them all in.

1. Yayoi Kusama: Life is the Heart of a Rainbow | 4 November 2017 -  February 2018

If you don't know her name, you know her work – spots, dots and vibrant repetition are the trademarks of leading contemporary Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama. This summer an exhibition of work (co-curated with the National Gallery of Singapore) will span seven decades of Kusama's career, taking the audience on a wild and wonderful journey through significant moments with more than 70 works. best of all, it's free.

2. Brisbane International | 31 December 2017 - 7 January 2018

Crowd shot of Queensland Tennis Centre

A highlight on Brisbane’s summer events calendar, tennis fans will this year have the opportunity to see superstars Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray and defending champions Grigor Dimitrov and Karolina Pliskova. Enjoy the matches courtside at Pat Rafter Arena, or chill out on a bean bag in front of the big screen outside in Tennis Central with a wine or beer in hand.

3. KFC Big Bash League| December - January

Brisbane Heat

The summer of Big Bash cricket is only getting bigger and better. After an incredible 16/17 season, Brisbane Heat are going for the title. Catch the men and women in action at the double header against the Melbourne Renegades on 27 January, or go along to any of their other matches during the season. 

4. Richard O'Brien's The Rocky Horror Show |  18 January - 4 February

It's just a jump to the left, and then a step to the right. Put your hands on your hips and head to QPAC to see the world famous musical that follows squeaky clean sweethearts Brad and Janet on an adventure they'll never forget. Featuring Craig McLachlan in his award-winning role as Frank N Furter, Rocky Horror arrives at the Concert Hall from 17 January. Attending in costume is optional, but an excellent idea.

5. Aladdin | 28 February - 3 June 2018

Breathtaking sets, mind-blowing special effects, over 300 lavish costumes and a fabulous cast bring the magic of Disney’s Aladdin to life on stage. You'll be dazzled by the production when this Disney classic hits the stage this February. The performance of You've never had a friend like me will blow you away.

6. Brisbane Global Rugby Tens | 9 - 10 February 2018

Brisbane Global Tens

Rugby fans and over 300 star players will descend on Brisbane for two days of rugby heaven for the Brisbane Global Tens. Featuring 10 Australian and New Zealand Super Rugby clubs, as well as four elite teams from Fiji, Samoa, Japan and France, rugby fans will be treated to a host of activities leading up to and during the event.

7. Mao's Last Dancer The Exhibition: A Portrait of Li Cunxin | 1 December 2017 - 30 April 2018

Born into bitter poverty during the height of Mao’s Communist China, Li Cunxin grew up in a world few of us can imagine. Through the chance of fate, at age 11 he was selected to attend Madame Mao’s Beijing Dance Academy — a rare opportunity to escape his humble, rural existence. Today Li and his wife and children live in Brisbane, where he is artistic director of the Queensland Ballet. His inspiring story has been translated into a bestselling novel and award-winning film. This world-first exhibition is an opportunity for audiences to intimately discover both his moving personal narrative and his remarkable artistic achievements.

8. Gillette One Day International | 19 January

Queensland Cricketers Club

Be sure to get to The Gabba, because Brisbane’s Summer of Cricket is in full swing. Australia has had the better summer of the two so far, so go along to the Gabba to see Australia (hopefully) assert its dominance over England yet again.

9. Mamma Mia: The Musical | 26 December 2017 - 4 February 2018

Hitting the Lyric Theatre at QPAC just after Christmas, this global phenomenon will celebrate love, laughter and friendship on stage in Brisbane. Set on a Greek island paradise and inspired by the storytelling magic of ABBA’s classic songs, writer Catherine Johnson’s heart-warming tale tells us of a young bride-to-be, on the eve of her wedding, who wants to discover the identity of her father. More than 60 million people all around the world have fallen in love with the story and the music that make Mamma Mia the ultimate feel-good musical.

10. Gladiators: Heroes of the Colosseum | Until 7 January

This Australian exclusive exhibition features more than 120 artefacts, interactive games and displays to reveal who gladiators were, where they lived and how they trained. View archaeological treasures, including actual pieces of the Colosseum, elaborately decorated bronze gladiator helmets and original arms and armour preserved in the ashes of Pompeii. Learn the story of these armed athletes who fought to entertain and inspire the people of Ancient Rome.

11. Woodford Folk Festival | 27 December 2017 - 1 January 2018

Woodford Folk Festival

In its 32nd year, Woodford Folk Festival will this year host more than 2000 local, national and international performers over six days and nights. With over 35 performance venues within the village, festival-goers will be inundated with things to do, with the program featuring concerts, dances, street theatre, circus performances and cabarets.

12. FOMO Festival | 6 January

Created for Brisbane by Brisbanites, FOMO Festival once more returns to Riverstage with an epic lineup of national and international artists. Post Malone, RL Grime, Kaytranada and Zhu are just some of the names performing at this one-day-only event.

More ideas for summer