Every epic Brisbane event to pencil into your 2020 calendar - Visit Brisbane

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Every epic Brisbane event to pencil into your 2020 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 2020. 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

WATER | until 26 April 

Image by: Angela Tiatia | Holding On 2015

This transformative exhibition flows through the Gallery of Modern Art until the 26 April 2020. Changing the gallery landscape into a world of water, encounter a vast rocky riverbed created by Olafur Eliasson or gather at an oasis with animals from around the globe with Cai Fau-Qing's beautiful glassy pool. 

*Visitors must wear footwear at all times (no bare feet). Appropriate footwear is recommended to interact with the exhibition.

High Rotation | until 19 April

This one is for music lovers. Make your way to the Museum of Brisbane to see High Rotation, an exhibition that follows the journey of some of Brisbane's most successful and influential musicians. Uncover what makes their music so popular and unique and how Brisbane has influenced their origin story. 

New Woman | until 15 March 

This exhibition represents a snapshot of Brisbane women artists over the past 100 years. It depicts their personal stories and exemplifies the enduring legacy that these women have created for the Brisbane art scene. Experience this uniquely curated exhibition of paintings, photography, sculpture, performance and installation works by artists such as Tracey Moffit, Margaret Cilento, Judy Watson, Courtney Coombs and more.

January

ATP Cup + Brisbane International | 3 -12 January 

A highlight of Queensland's summer events calendar, tennis fans can experience the action close-up as the biggest names in world tennis play nine days of heart-stopping action and entertainment.

Australia Youth Water Polo Championships | 11 – 23 January 

Have a ball in Brisbane. This new national event will bring together more than 190 teams from around the country compete in the National Age Championships for 12&U, 14&U, 16&U and 18&U divisions. 

Cirque du Soleil: KURIOS – Cabinet of Curisities | 10 January – 23 February

Discover the cabinet of curiosities, a tale where time stands still, and audiences are transported to a fantasy world, where anything is possible. Poetic, joyous, absurd, fun and beautiful watch as gymnasts, acrobats, contortionists, clowns, actors and more bring alive a story that will have the whole family entertained 

Elton John Farewell Yellow Brick Road | 16 January

Don’t miss this emotional farewell tour by the legend and icon Elton John. This performance captures 50 years in the business, highlighting the classic songs that have changed the international music industry landscape forever with tunes like Rocket man and Tiny Dancer. Sequins, signature shades and songs for the era. 

February 

Laneway Festival | 1 February

Tones & I, King Gizzard & The Lizzard Wizard and Ocean Alley are just a few of the bands that comprise the stellar line-up of hot acts For Laneway this year. Don’t miss out on this most excellent music experience.

BrisAsia Festival |1 – 29 February

BrisAsia's program of theatre, dance, food, film, talks and visual arts provides a wonderful opportunity to discover and celebrate Asian cultures in Brisbane.

An Evening with Michael Bublé | 4 – 5 February 

Grab your tickets to hear the smooth vocal stylings of Michael Bublé backed by a 36-piece orchestra. It has been six years since his last Australian tour, you can look forward to some classics as well as new songs and stories. 

ICC Women’s T20 World Cup | 15 – 20 February

The ICC Women's T20 World Cup is the biennial international championship for women's Twenty20 International cricket. Catch matches at the Alan Border Field between Bangladesh versus Thailand and India vs Pakistan.

Brisbane Comedy Festival | 21 February - 22 March

Prepare yourself for a laugh a minute with the eighth annual Brisbane Comedy Festival - it is the biggest yet! They have over 66 comedians across four weeks.

March 

RACQ International Women’s Day Fun Run | 8 March 

This event unites the Queensland community in support of women affected by breast cancer. Join the 2020 RACQ International Women’s Day Fun Run to support this incredible cause. 

Brisbane Cycling Festival | 12 March – 5 April

The Brisbane Cycling Festival rolls into the city during 2020 with a series of events set to lure cycling fans plus professional and amateur riders alike.

Brewsvegas | 12-22 March 

Your bars, your beer. Brewsvegas is a grassroots, community minded celebration that has grown to be Brisbane's biggest craft beer festival. 

Cycling Australia Track National Championships | 12 – 29 March

Watch Australia’s track stars in the annual battle of the boards at the championships.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory | From 18 March

Do you love all the chocolate? Roald Dahl’s delicious tale Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is coming to Brisbane! Get ready to hang out with Charlie Bucket, Veruca Salt and Augsutus Gloot and explore this magical candy wonderland of ‘pure imagination’ live on stage. 

World Science Festival Brisbane | 20 - 24 March

WSFB Street Science

Once again, this festival will bring some of the world’s greatest thought leaders to the city, showcase local scientists and performers from around the Asia-Pacific region and host the brightest and best in the field.

QODE Brisbane| 24 – 25 March 

QODE is part of the Curocity experience running in March and April. Targeted at entrepreneurial start-up and investment communities with a strong emphasis on inspirational and educational content this innovation and technology event is unlike any other. Technology is now the single most important factor in driving the business and economic landscape. Get involved in the conversation. 

CMC Rocks QLD | 20 – 22 March

CMC Rocks Queensland

CMC Rocks is lucky to call Brisbane home! This is the biggest international country and roots festival in the Southern Hemisphere. Don’t miss country superstars Miranda Lambert, Kip Moore, Morgan Evans and Brothers Osborne, just to name a few. Don’t miss out, grab your tickets now. Once you’ve got your mates and snagged your tickets, plan your getaway with these incredible gems. 

Curiocity Brisbane |20 March – 5 April 

Things are about to get seriously curious in Brisbane! For 20 brilliant days in March, from the South Bank Cultural Precinct to the creative hub centred around the Powerhouse in New Farm - connected by our river - Brisbane will come to life with a myriad of curious encounters with science, the arts and technology. The city will be transformed. Day and night. Inside and out. A fully-immersive, sensory experience for everyone’s inquisitive nature. Touch, see, hear, taste, learn, play and wonder.

April

Six Day Final Brisbane | 3 – 5 April

Six Day Cycling

Bikes, beats and beers – the world’s best track cyclists will descend upon Brisbane in April 2020 when the internationally-renowned Six Day Series comes to Australia. Join the party atmosphere when world champions, Olympians and the next generation of cycling superstars take to the track.

Tour de Brisbane | 5 April

The Tour de Brisbane is set to showcase Brisbane as an international cycling destination to anyone on a bike, from elite riders, to weekend warriors, to families and kids. The event is headlined by the UCI Gran Fondo World Series which is part of the internationally sanctioned series held all over the world.

Moreton Bay Triathlon | 19 April

Join in for a beautiful swim in the protected bay, followed by a fast ride over the Ted Smout Bridge and a flat foreshore run. In 2020 Moreton Bay Triathlon will again be offering Olympic, Sprint, Enticer and Kids distances.

Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht Race | April TBC

The Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht Race will set sail from Shorncliffe on Good Friday morning. The race record was set in 2004 in a time of 20 hours, 24 minutes, 50 seconds… Can it be beaten this year? 

Bluewater Festival | April TBC

The Bluewater Festival attracts thousands of visitors to the Shorncliffe Pier and Moora Park, Sandgate on Good Friday to take advantage of the best waterfront views for the start of Australia’s second-biggest yacht race – Brisbane to Gladstone.

Anzac Day Parade Brisbane | 25 April

The Anzac Day Parade in Brisbane has it's 104th anniversary on 25 April 2020 having been continuously commemorated from the first Anzac Day in 1916. Many people arrive early for the dawn service, followed by the parade. No tickets are required to spectate this family event.

May 

NRL Magic Round Brisbane | 1 – 3 May

NRL Magic Round

All 16 clubs will play in Brisbane from Friday night to Saturday during a Magic Round at Suncorp Stadium.

Shrek The Musical | From 9 May

Don’t miss the chance to see Shrek The Musical, based on the Oscar®-winning DreamWorks film, bringing the hilarious story of everyone’s favourite ogre to life on the stage.

Brisbane Street Art Festival | 2 – 17 May

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.

Buddha Birth Day Festival | TBC

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.

Mother’s Day Classic | 10 May

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.

Paniyiri Greek Festival | 18 – 19 May

Paniyiri Festival 2019

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!

Anywhere Festival | 7-24 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 other unusual venues. Get your tickets now.

June

McDonald’s Brisbane Marathon Festival | 7 June

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.

Melt Festival | 18 - 28 June

Laugh, cry, gasp and play, MELT is Brisbane’s chance to embrace the last of the heat and celebrate Brisbane’s vibrant LGBTQI+ community.

Scenic Rim Eat Local Week | 27 June - 5 July

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.

July

Abbey Medieval Festival | 11 - 12 July

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.

Regional Flavours | 18 - 19 July

Regional Flavours River Quay

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.

Brisbane 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.

August

Royal Queensland Show (Ekka) | 7-16 August

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.

Brisbane Boat Show | 21 August

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.

The Sunday Mail Bridge to Brisbane Fun Run | TBC

Run/slowly crawl 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.

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Festival | 25 - 29 August

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. 

September

Brisbane Writers Festival | TBC

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.

Moreton Bay Food and Wine Fest | 12 - 13 September

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.

Brisbane Festival | 4 - 26 September

Brisbane festival

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.

BIGSOUND Festival | 1 - 4 September

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.

OZ Comic Con | TBC

Pop culture comes alive at Oz Comic Con each year, held at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre.

Sunsuper Riverfire |26 September

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.

October

Oktoberfest Brisbane | TBC

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.

Brisbane Open House | 10 - 11 October

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.

November

Asia Pacific Screen Awards | 26 November

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 | TBC

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.

December 

Christmas in the City | 30 November – 25 December

Lighting of the Christmas tree in Brisbane City

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.

Queensland Ballet’s The Nutcracker | TBC

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

Woodford Folk Festival

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?

Past events

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