Brisbane Festival is coming to town this September - Visit Brisbane


Brisbane Festival is coming to town this September

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Image: Airship Orchestra, ​this out-of-this-world multi-sensory installation is a mystical tribe of unearthly characters beamed from the night stars.

Get ready for the Brisbane Festival, world-class music, arts and cultural event set to take you on a journey of reconnection and celebration this September.

The program will showcase some of the country's breath-taking talent through premiere productions and collaborations, commissioned new work, award-winning performances, surprising venues and a brand-new Festival hub.

The festival will play host to leading Aussie musicians such as five-piece band Boy & Bear, indie-pop duo Client Liaison, solo superstar Kate Millier-Heidke and ARIA Award-winning singer David Campbell among many others.

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Launching her second program, Brisbane Festival Artistic Director Louise Bezzina said the core themes of community and celebration lay at the heart of the 2021 Festival.

“There is a renewed ambition to this year’s Festival, a joyous and uplifting celebration of our River City, with large new creations, such as the premiere of Brisbane’s Art Boat along with a spectacular line up of world-class talent,” Ms Bezzina said.

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Image: Sky Castle: A magical, interactive dreamscape of inflatable arches.

“This year’s program builds upon 2020’s Boldly Brisbane vision and beckons locals and visitors alike to step into the spring light, reconnect, celebrate and enjoy this Brightly Brisbane Festival,” Ms Bezzina said, adding that more than half of the events are free.

Over 23 days in September, the Festival will commission 18 new works, stage 15 world premieres, deliver 139 productions and present events in 223 locations across the city.

More than half of the events in 2021 will be free, such as the Piano Burning on September 10, Bright Sparks on September 21 and Babushka: Right to Party on September 22.

The Festival opens on 3 September with two stellar events led by the keenly anticipated world premiere season of Trent Dalton’s Boy Swallows Universe, adapted for the stage by Tim McGarry and presented by Brisbane Festival, Queensland Theatre and QPAC.

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Image: Trent Dalton’s Boy Swallows Universe

For those chasing a more provocative experience, look no further than cabaret show Razzle Dazzle Riot, which is set to bring together a glam squad of drag performers for an opulent overload of sequins, song and circus.

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Image: Razzle Dazzle Riot

In a Queensland premiere, TV star Hugh Sheridan (Packed To The Rafters) will perform his stage show HUGHMAN. The show will feature high-voltage tap, exhilarating disco moves and cool cabaret, in what will be an entertaining mash-up of music, colour and costume.

Iconic live music venue The Tivoli will host 11 acts throughout the September festival. Brisbane’s own pop-powerhouse Sheppard will kick things off on September 3. Post-punk Brisbane-based outfit WAAX will then close proceedings on September 25.

Fresh off its reopening in August, The Princess Theatre will welcome four acts throughout the festival. Brisbane duo COLLAR will perform on September 3, following the release of their debut EP Strangest Desires in 2020. Expect a live set that toes the line between a grungy, dystopian rave and electrifying art installation.

ARIA Award-winning singer-songwriter Jarryd James will then play on September 8, in what will be his first Brisbane show following the release of his first album in five years. The doors of Queensland’s oldest-standing theatre will then be kicked back open between September 11-12 for a raucous, once-in-a-lifetime housewarming party to celebrate the reopening of the famous theatre.

Your lovingly local, hysterically heretic person of interest, Betty Grumble, will return to Brisbane with her new offering, Enemies of Grooviness Eat Sh!t. See her at The Princess Theatre between September 15-17.

For those chasing a laugh, 44 Sex Acts in One Week, and Funny Mummies Comedy Gala will keep you entertained. You also don’t want to miss Let’s Be Friends Furever (yes there will be real dogs on stage!) and Demolition, an explosive new show by Polytoxic, These shows will be across Brisbane Powerhouse and Metro Arts.

All events comply with Queensland Health’s COVID Safe Events framework and health authority directions.

Don't miss out, purchase your tickets now via the official website at

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