Brisbane’s epic 2021 event calendar
From rainforests to rugby league, Brisbane’s got it all in 2021. Here’s your guide to the city’s non-stop schedule of exclusive events for lovers of sports, arts, culture, nature, motoring and more.
If you were born to be wild, this world-exclusive exhibition is for you. Showcasing the art, design and history of the motorcycle, the exhibition features more than 100 innovative and influential motorcycles from the 1860s to the present day, and considers these iconic vehicles through the lenses of social history, pop culture, design and technology.
It’s a look at the past, present and future of motorcycles that puts you in the saddle – but you’d better get your motor runnin’, because the exhibition is only at GOMA until 26 April 2021.
Thinking about how to get there? We’ve done some of the hard work for you and planned three itineraries for your motorcycle day trip, no matter where you’re starting your journey!
Presented by TAB, enjoy a grand show of the best of Australasia’s thoroughbred horse racing, accompanied by culinary delights, elegant fashion and sensational entertainment from 1 May to 12 June 2021.
Get ready to explore Brisbane’s creative neighbourhoods with Brisbane Art Design in May 2021. With a focus on art and design across the city, Brisbane Art Design 2021 promises a stunning festival with an expansive program of tours, talks, workshops and exhibitions.
This is the ultimate truck stop. Australasia’s premier transport event returns in 2021 with the most comprehensive display of trucks, trailers, equipment and accessories that any truckie could hope for.
The world-class show will be held at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre from 13-16 May, with approximately 300 exhibitors filling all three levels of the venue. Staged by Heavy Vehicle Industry Australia (HVIA), the show is part of Australian Heavy Vehicle Industry Week, which will encompass a range of events around Brisbane to celebrate and showcase the industry’s design, engineering, manufacturing and technological innovation from 10-16 May.
Dine BNE City is a celebration of The City’s best restaurants and bars 🥂 From 13-30 May, this first-of-its-kind event will tempt taste buds with 80+ exclusive offers and experiences hosted at 50+ renowned venues. Mark it in your calendar, ready your appetite and indulge in food & drink pairings, multi-course meals and bar tours!
Talk about a magic moment. The NRL’s marquee round attracted almost 135,000 fans in 2019, and after being taken off last year’s calendar due to the coronavirus, it’s back in a big way in 2021.
Don’t miss your chance to watch your favourite NRL team – and every NRL team – take the field at Suncorp Stadium across one weekend from May 14 to 16.
Secure your tickets to Brisbane’s own CrossFit Games Oceania semi-final from 28 - 30 May and watch the top athletes from Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific battle it out for their place in the CrossFit Games Final!
MELT | 19 - 30 MAY
Brisbane is set to sizzle. Now in its sixth year, MELT – the Festival of Queer Arts and Culture – will bring both sparkle and substance to Brisbane Powerhouse, with a mix of theatre, cabaret, music, visual arts, storytelling, forums, panels and conversations.
Designed to celebrate LGBTIQ+ arts and culture and promote visibility and inclusivity among the queer community, MELT will rase the curtain on another program full of spectacular events, dazzling performances and provocative discussions from 19-30 May.
Brisbane’s epic events calendar isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon – sometimes literally. Ever since the legendary Robert de Castella blazed across the line to win Gold at the 1982 Commonwealth Games, the marathon has held a special place in Brisbane’s heart, and the Brisbane Marathon Festival is the City’s ultimate celebration of fun, fitness and human endurance.
A world-class event attracting elite athletes as well as recreational runners who just want to get out and get active while enjoying Brisbane City, the Brisbane Marathon Festival will feature races for competitors of all ages and abilities from 5-6 June.
This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience works by the likes of Van Gogh, Monet, Vermeer, Rembrandt, Raphael, Caravaggio, Turner, Fra Angelico and Titian, direct from The Met’s collection – one of the finest collections of
European paintings in the world, the majority of which rarely leave the permanent display in New York.
Spanning 500 years of masterpieces, it’s a breathtaking journey from the 1420s and the emerging Renaissance to the height of early 20th century post-impressionism, including portraiture, still-life, landscape and figure studies.
This Australian-exclusive exhibition – a must-see for art lovers and anyone with any interest in history, society, beauty, religious iconography, mythology and symbolism – will be held at GOMA from 12 June to 17 October.
Get ready for the ride of your life, as Australia’s biggest multi-disciplinary cycling festival pedals back into the Anna Meares Velodrome and other venues around the city. The three-week program will seek to capitalise on the surge in cycling participation and popularity in the wake of the coronavirus, with the Brisbane Showgrounds set to host an Active Lifestyle Expo with markets and entertainment for all ages from 1 - 11 July.
Other highlights of the festival include the Track National Championships for Juniors, Masters and Elites, firmly establishing Brisbane as the home of track cycling, and Spokes n’ Jokes, a cocktail event taking a look at the lighter side of cycling.
The Tour de Brisbane is one ride you don’t want to miss, with over 110 kilometres of fully closed city roads and a new home at the Brisbane Showgrounds. With multiple distances and challenges available, there’s a ride or race for you, whether you’re shooting for the podium or just going for a casual pedal.
The Tour de Brisbane is a great way to experience Brisbane’s most iconic landmarks on two wheels, and you can even raise funds for vital organ and tissue transplant research along the way.
And now for something completely different. Brisbane Comedy Festival returns in 2021 with a hand-picked selection of the funniest folk in the country, bursting at the seams with comic musings, side-splitting stories and tear-inducing tales.
Held across Brisbane Powerhouse, The Tivoli and The Fortitude Music Hall, this multi-venue laughter extravaganza will feature everything from stand-up to improv and sketch comedy with the most hilarious national and local comedians from 16 July to 8 August.
It’s back and tastier than ever. With Moreton Bay as its stunning backdrop, the Food and Wine Festival precinct will wind its way along beautiful Redcliffe Parade, where foodies will enjoy top-notch bites and sips as well as a jam-packed program of live entertainment.
Running alongside the free festival precinct, many of the foreshore restaurants and operators will also be showcasing special menus and hosting interactive events and workshops. Get your mouthful of Moreton Bay morsels from 11-12 September.
The next evolution of action sports is coming to Brisbane. The world’s top athletes in FMX, BMX, skate and scooter will gather in Suncorp Stadium for a global showdown, with gravity-defying big air formats, the largest ramps ever seen in competition and innovative course designs.
Be there live as Australia’s finest take on elite challengers from the USA, the UK, Brazil, Japan and more, pushing the limits and attempting insane, never-before-seen tricks in a battle to top the podium from 23-24 October.
You’ve never seen Wagner’s Ring Cycle like this before. It’s a spectacular new production from visionary Chinese director Shi-Zheng Chen that sees the pinnacle of opera performed over four nights – a 15-hour epic of men and maidens, gods and giants, dragons and dwarves.
Get settled in for the long haul and enjoy this exhilarating adventure from 29 October to 20 November.
Australia’s flagship golf tournament will return to Brisbane in December 2021, with dates to be confirmed.
Recent champions include Adam Scott, Cameron Smith, Greg Chalmers, Peter Senior and Geoff Ogilvy, so you can expect a star-studded lineup of the country’s best players to be swinging for the Joe Kirkwood Cup at the Royal Queensland Golf Club in Eagle Farm.
The landmark tenth edition of QAGOMA’s flagship exhibition series, The Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (APT10) will take a fresh look at contemporary art from across Australia, Asia and the Pacific. Surveying recent developments in art spanning from Northern Oceania to West Asia, the exhibition will place a strong emphasis on the contributions of First Nations and those living outside their home countries.
Continuing the exhibition’s legacy of bringing together a diversity of cultural and creative perspectives in a single, expansive presentation, APT10 will be held at QAGOMA from 4 December 2021 to 25 April 2022.
Want to discover award-winning restaurants, stunning five-star hotels, sensational shopping, world-class galleries, jaw-dropping natural wonders and more while you’re here? Browse visitbrisbane.com.au for even more things to do in Brisbane.