Every epic Brisbane event to pencil into your 2019 calendar
Planning to visit and want to know what’s on in Brisbane? We’ve hunted and gathered the biggest and best events happening in this fine city in 2019. From incredible art exhibitions and moving new plays and ballets, through to international sport matches and stadium tour pop concerts – scroll down to read about the epic events that will rock Brisbane during our best year yet.
Events + exhibitions on now
Winner of nine Tony Awards including Best Musical, the Broadway musical from South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone and Avenue Q co-creator Robert Lopez is heading to QPAC this March.
Show your colours and get to Suncorp Stadium to support the Queensland Reds this season. The boys need all your support behind them as they tackle some tough competition.
Wear purple and cheer on the girls courtside when the Lorna Jane Queensland Firebirds play the 2019 season. There’s nothing quite like the thrill in seeing the action live.
Get your mates together and storm the Gabba. The first games of the season will kick off in March, where you’re guaranteed to see spectacular marks, impossible goals and amazing action all around you!
The Broncos 2019 season will see major rivals return to Suncorp Stadium in head to head clashes. Can they go all the way this year? Show your colours and support your team.
Celebrate all things space and NASA with this amazing exhibition that journeys through humankind's exploration of space. Discover the history of rocket science and space flight and learn about some of the most extraordinary accomplishments in space technology.
Cultural traditions stemming from tens of thousands of years of living history are on show at this three-month winter festival jam-packed with 55 events. Join cultural whale watching tours, Kunjiels (corroborees), Indigenous sports, music, eco boat tours, art exhibitions, fibre art and weaving workshops, bush tucker dining, arts and cultural talks by specialists and new events featuring international acts and First Nations dancers and performances.
Set your sights on discovering what Brisbane has to offer as you jog through our streets and around the river. The marathon event will cross several bridges and multiple landmarks along the way, in what will be one of the most picturesque courses Australia has to offer.
Go Queenslander! Witness Australia's great sporting rivalry in 2019 as the maroons and the blues battle it our for supremacy.
The largest championship Drag Racing event outside of the USA, the Winternationals attract a huge entry list of over 500 competing teams from all over Australia and overseas.
At its heart, cabaret is a form storytelling – from delicately beautiful to thrilling and hilarious, catch it all on stage at the Queensland Cabaret Festival. Here an ever-changing narrative of ideas and performance, with music, song, dance, comedy and movement means there’s never a dull moment
Yes, the colour and fun of Redcliffe Kite Fest is back on the bay this June. Head to Pelican Park in Clontarf for a weekend of family fun, kite flying, music, roving performers and more.
Moscow’s mighty Bolshoi Ballet returns to Australia with their grandiose epic Spartacus, recounting the story of a Roman slave's fight for freedom.
Laugh, cry, gasp and play, MELT is Brisbane’s chance to embrace the last of the heat and celebrate Brisbane’s vibrant LGBTQI+ community.
This ballet showcases the future, bringing together the rising stars of Queensland Ballet and our Academy for a season of contemporary and neo-classical works.
One of Australia’s most acclaimed contemporary artists, Ben Quilty, is displaying his first major survey exhibition in a decade at GOMA. The exhibition is a broad view on Quilty’s works – from his early reflections and his experience as an official war artist in Afghanistan, through to raw, intimate portraits of himself, his family and his friends.
Sumptuously beautiful, George Balanchine’s glittering three-act ballet Jewels offers audiences a unique chance for the Bolshoi Ballet to showcase its dancing strength in depth.
Taste food and wine from the Scenic Rim at this festival of farm tours, cooking classes, producer dinners, pop-up cafes and other free or low-cost activities. Connect with your farmers and learn about where food comes from. Star event, the Winter Harvest Festival, is held on July 6.
Rising star Meyne Wyatt’s debut play is as riveting and unflinchingly honest as his stage presence. Urgent, wryly funny and politically incendiary, City of Gold is a call for change that will sound out for years to come.
This running festival will challenge you like no other can. Run through sub-tropical Brisbane and the lush D’Aguilar National Park for a trail that will test your limits.
Queensland Music Festival | 5-28 July
The Queensland Music Festival is a state-wide celebration of musical excellence with its home base in Brisbane. The 2019 program is set to feature a variety of local and international artists from across many genres.
The Winter Harvest Festival is a fabulous, relaxed day out for families and food lovers. Taste the food, meet the producers, watch the cooking demonstrations and feast from the Scenic Rim’s smorgasbord of fresh produce.
This is a magical fairy tale for little lovers of dance and music. Set in the Australian bush, go on a charming journey with colourful sets and costumes that will delight all ages.
Featuring 14 new songs from Andrew Lloyd Webber and all the original songs from the movie, this high-octane smash hit delivers face-melting guitar riffs and touching romance in equally awesome doses!
Hear ye, hear ye. The 30th Abbey Medieval Festival enables visitors to co-create their own unique medieval experience by participating in highly engaging activities and programs. Hark! Get booted and ready for feasting, stallholders and more.
The reputation of Brisbane’s dining scene only continues to grow, and nothing exemplifies this quite like Regional Flavours. South Bank will become Brisbane’s food hub during the festival with some of the region’s best on offer at the marketplace, with a host of celebrity chefs taking to the stages.
Night Noodle Markets | 24 July - 4 August
The sizzle, spice and smells of the Night Noodle Markets return to Brisbane. Food-lovers arrive hungry to feast on signature dishes and new innovations from local favourites and interstate pop up stalls.
Round up your mates or your family and start planning a weekend packed full of non-stop thrills at the Ipswich SuperSprint. Queensland Raceway offers one of the most accessible trackside experiences on the Supercars calendar.
Colin Thiele’s cherished yet bittersweet coming-of-age story gets a new stage life. This production will touch the hearts of young and old with its masterful puppetry and boundless imagination.
This comedy that asks if good intentions are the ultimate crime of the middle class. Razor-sharp and whip-smart, this edgy new comedy marks the directorial debut of one Australia’s most accomplished storytellers, Joanna Murray-Smith
Queensland’s largest annual event is back for its 143rd year. Held over 10 full days, the Ekka showcases life and achievements in the Sunshine State and welcomes visitors from all across Queensland and Australia to the heart of Brisbane. The event has grown from 17,000 visitors in its first year in 1876 and now averages over 400,000 visitors.
Last time Music Director Alondra de la Parra conducted a program of music like this, audiences and reviewers alike went wild. Hear music inspired by Brasil and Mexico, including a musical description of one of Mexico's proudest sporting moments.
Synthony is a unique collaboration between the Brisbane Philharmonic Orchestra, DJ's and vocalists performing the biggest dance tracks of the last 30 years. August 17th will see the iconic Brisbane City Hall transformed into a nightclub like no other with state of the art audio, lights, lasers and full visual show.
Head along to the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre to see a combination of excellent locally made rigs with brilliant products from overseas, plus all the gear you need for them, including electronics, safety equipment, fishing gear and more.
Run/slowly die as you cross three of Brisbane’s most iconic bridges in this 10km fun run. Getting up bright and early on a Sunday morning may be a struggle but the sunrise and necessary café breakfast after makes it all worth it.
Experience the most famous love story of all time. After a sell-out season in 2014, Queensland Ballet is back with Sir Kenneth MacMillan’s iconic rendition of the bard’s famous tale of star crossed lovers.
Be fashion forward and see what trends are taking the runway by storm at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Festival. Come and support Brisbane's local incredible design talent and retailers. Lights, camera, action.
Get ready to eat, drink and enjoy all weekend long. With Moreton Bay as a stunning backdrop, bite and sip your way along the Redcliffe Foreshore and enjoy a jam-packed entertainment program. Entry is free.
Over six days the Brisbane Writers Festival presents more than 150 events with 200 writers, attracting more than 20,000 literary lovers to the State Library of Queensland and QAGOMA each September. In its 57th year BWF will continue to explore big ideas and showcase some of the world’s most influential thinkers.
Don’t miss this gripping, darkly funny drama about a spiritual force and a family’s need to connect with it. In his debut at La Boite, Isaac Drandic directs this incredible new Australian work with a stellar Indigenous cast.
Meet Edna: She’s 14, chronically awkward,and everyone thinks she’s a serial liar. But none of this will matter when her REAL life starts. With Harry. There’s just one problem. This world premiere by Yve Blake is stacked with insanely catchy numbers that will take you straight back to your first crush.
Brisbane Festival will once again transform the city over three dazzling weeks in September. With its thrilling program of theatre, music, dance, circus and opera, it will all come to a close with a bang during the renowned spectacle that is Sunsuper Riverfire on the final night.
Get yourself along to Australian music showcase BIGSOUND Live and join industry decision-makers watching a wide variety of up-and-coming artists over two nights. One wristband gets you access to all 15+ venues to discover the future of music.
Beer, cider, music, ping pong – name a better day out and about in sunny Brisbane? Soak in the good vibes and good ales at this popular mini festival at the showgrounds.
Pop culture comes alive at Oz Comic Con each year, held at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre.
Late September every year Brisbane ignites with a fierce firepower greater than anything else. It’s Riverfire night. Brisbane’s night of nights. Find a prime location, book a riverside restaurant, claim a spot at South Bank and get set to watch the sky light up.
The 23rd Valley Fiesta is set to take over the streets, malls and laneways of Fortitude Valley for its free, all-ages street party. In 2018 the huge festival lasted five days and spread throughout 40 venues and three laneways.
Don your dirndl and lederhosen and get to the Brisbane Showgrounds to take part in Australia’s biggest Oktoberfest. Indulge in tradition and try bratwurst, pork knuckles (Schweinshaxe), and Black Forest cake (Schwarzwalder Kirschtorte) with a side of German-brewed beer.
Throwing open the doors of Brisbane’s most interesting spaces in October, visitors will be invited to go behind the scenes in design studios, places of worship, heritage spaces, medical labs and emergency facilities.
The INAS Global Games are the world’s biggest sports event for athletes with an intellectual impairment, and the 2019 games is set to be the biggest week yet. More than 1000 athletes are expected to travel to Brisbane to compete in what is an important build up to the 2020 Paralympic Games.
Personal stories from Brisbane’s neighbourhoods — this is theatre in a stranger’s living room. Join this unique theatre experience as the doors of local homes are flung open over three weekends. The residents invite us into their private spaces to enchant us with personal stories, histories and anecdotes.
A great city has been torn apart by a civil war between two brothers. In the aftermath, both lie dead – one hailed as a hero and lying in state, the other condemned as a traitor and dumped in a carrion pile. In this lyrical adaptation of Sophocles’ timeless tragedy, award-winning Brisbane playwright Merlynn Tong adds an urgent modern twist.
Savour Tchaikovsky's Concerto’s tunefulness and breathtaking virtuosity in which the violin is, ‘pulled about and beaten black and blue’. Admire the lovely flute and violin exchange in the second movement and sit back for the onslaught of gypsy, kick-up-your- heels vivacity in the volatile Trepak derived finale.
Multi-platinum singer-songwriter and global sensation Shawn Mendes is bringing his world tour to Brisbane. Mendes will be armed with his new self-titled hit album, which debuted at #1 on both the US Billboard 200 chart and the ARIA Album Chart.
Queensland Ballet: Bespoke | 8-16 November
More than dance, Bespoke is a multi-sensory experience bringing together artists to disrupt the norm by interlacing technology and dance. Don’t miss this dynamic dance for the digital age.
Celebrate the cinematic excellence and cultural diversity of the vast Asia Pacific region at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards. The awards will recognise and celebrate the best films of the region and the people who contributed to making them.
Wonderland Festival | 21 November - 1 December
Showcasing burlesque, circus, cabaret, music, comedy, poetry, theatre and variety shows from both international and Australian artists, Wonderland is set to take over Brisbane Powerhouse once again.
Come along and celebrate the worlds of television, film, fantasy, comic books, sci-fi, anime, cartoons, books, gaming, toys and collectables at Supanova. Be sure to keep an eye out for special guest announcements.
Christmas Actually delivers all the hits from beloved holiday classic Love Actually wrapped up with a sprig of holly, comedy and charm. Bursting with nativity lobsters (yes, more than one), cinnamon sticks and endless fun, Christmas Actually is the ultimate silly season starter.
This Tissot Track World Cup is the first major UCI world track cycling event hosted in Australia since 2012. Hosted at the Anna Meares Velodrome, this world-class facility was built to host the track events during the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.
Christmas in the City | 30 November – 25 December
Australia’s most extensive free Christmas program takes over Brisbane’s centre each December. Join the city for free festive fun at the annual parade, light projection shows, markets, fireworks and cinema series.
Christmas isn’t officially here until you see Queensland Ballet’s annual production of The Nutcracker. With the magnificent music of Tchaikovsky and lavish sets and costumes, Ben Stevenson’s production of The Nutcracker is a must-see Christmas treat, and always a sell out.
Woodford Folk Festival | 27 December – 1 January
In its 34th year, Woodford Folk Festival will bring more than 2000 local, national and international performers to the stage over six days and nights. With over 35 performance venues within the village, festival-goers will be inundated with concerts, dances, street theatre, circus performances and cabarets.
New Year's Eve Fireworks Spectacular | 31 December
Enjoy an evening of free, family-friendly fun as Brisbane’s New Year’s Eve Fireworks Spectacular returns to South Bank. Is there any better way to bring in the New Year?
Post Malone is gearing up to give Australian audiences the time of their life when they catch their beloved 'Posty' live on stage. With his own signature 'sauce' with dashes of hip-hop and R&B you are going to want to want to party down with the crowd.
This rock’n’roll family reunion will break your heart and fill it with songs. Part madcap buddy comedy, part electrifying rock gig, and part clarion call against the taint of inequality, this effervescent play sold out its original season at Sydney’s Belvoir Theatre. Now it’s set to charm Brisbane.
Celebrate the birthday of Gautama Buddha with free entertainment for the whole family. The largest in the world, these celebrations span over three days with cultural displays, live performances and vegetarian food.
Over the past three years Brisbane Street Art Festival has connected hundreds of multidisciplinary artists, showcasing the work of local, national and international street artists.
All 16 clubs will play in Brisbane from Friday night to Saturday during a Magic Round at Suncorp Stadium.
Anywhere Festival | 9-26 May
The nooks and crannies of Brisbane will explode with over 500 performances in places you least expect it to. Theatre in car parks, comedy in laneways, opera in reservoirs, dance in stairwells and quirky workshops exploring arts and craft from cooking to jewellery.
Johannes Fritzsch, Queensland Symphony Orchestra's Conductor Laureate conducts Bruckner's ravishing seventh symphony, a spiritual odyssey of dark cosmic power rich in melodic beauty.
Brisbane Art Design (BAD) will celebrate visual art and design, animating a network of parks, laneways, galleries, artists spaces and studios at 25 locations across the city. The festival will showcase the many talented artists and designers of Brisbane. The centrepiece will be a major exhibition at the Museum of Brisbane.
Brisbane Art Design at MoB | 10 May - 11 August
As the central part of BAD, the Museum of Brisbane is holding a major exhibition featuring established and emerging artists, experimenting across mediums including robotics, performance art, video, installation, ceramics, jewellery and painting.
Have your form guide ready, don your best frock and fascinator or suit up for one of seven Group One races, including the iconic UBET Stradbroke Day.
Wear your best pink clothes and get involved in the Mother’s Day Classic to raise awareness and funds for breast cancer research. The annual fun run and walk is a fun way to get the family outdoors on Mother’s Day and to support a good cause – nobody could miss the sea of pink swarming around Brisbane.
Don’t miss this breathtaking triple bill filled with masterpieces from ballet’s best. Starting with legendary choreographer George Balanchine’s iconic Serenade, followed by Jiří Kylián’s Soldier’s Mass, and finished with a world premiere from acclaimed choreographer Trey McIntyre.
All the fun and challenge of the Straddie Salute is back in 2019. Sign up for the original Straddie Salute Tri (offroad), the Straddie Pure Tri (road), the Straddie Fun Run, the StraddieKidz duathlon, plus a host of fun new island activities.
Over three days Australia's largest cake, sweet and chocolate festival is hitting Brisbane. Expect a cross between an edible art gallery, Willy Wonka factory and Culinary College.
Get your Greek on at this year’s Paniyiri Festival in West End. Various performances are held over the weekend to keep you groovin’ as all the food stalls stop you from movin’. Indulge yourself with Souvlaki, Moussaka, Loukoumades and Baklava before you dance the night away. Opa!
Sit down to a 21st century re-imagining of Shakespeare’s iconic love story. La Boite’s production takes no prisoners in its version of theatre’s infamous star-crossed lovers.
Held in South-East Queensland only once every seven years, this is your chance to admire the most beautiful budgerigars in the country.