Your guide to Brisbane Festival - Festive Weekends - Visit Brisbane

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Your guide to Brisbane Festival - Festive Weekends

Be part of the action as Brisbane comes alive across four festive weekends from 2nd - 24th September. The Brisbane Festival celebrations take over iconic Brisbane landmarks from the riverfront to rooftops, theatres to parks, in blaze of colour, energy and excitement. Serving up quite the entertainer’s menu; from world-class contemporary music, extraordinary art installations, epic theatrical performances and cultural events, discover the Brisbane Festival line-up you won’t want to miss.

Brisbane Festival has curated four festive weekends, start planning your Brisbane getaway now.

BRISFEST LIGHTS UP

RIVERFIRE BY AUSTRALIAN RETIREMENT TRUST | 3 SEP 

Join friends and family for the spectacular opening weekend of the Brisbane Festival at Riverfire by Australian Retirement Trust. For a front-row viewing of the spectacular occasion, Southbank Parklands, Kangaroo Point Cliffs or Howard Smith Wharves are popular vantage points. Be sure to get in early to save yourself a seat to watch the city skyline erupt with fireworks and extraordinary pyrotechnic displays that light up Brisbane’s bridges, barges and city rooftops. Watch the Australian Defence Force exhibitions from 5pm* and fireworks from 7pm. 

Eat: Enjoy the best seat in the house at one of Brisbane’s iconic river-front dining options.

Stay: Book one of these water-front hotels to guarantee epic Riverfire views.

Play: To see the action from afar, take a drive up to Mt Coot-tha for wonderful sunset views and stay after the sun goes down for the epic firework show.

REACH FOR THE STARS

MUSEUM OF THE MOON | 2 – 11 SEPT 

At West Village in West End, be immersed in an interactive Planet Series installation, Museum of the Moon by international artist, Luke Jerram. Presenting a fusion of lunar imagery, moonlight and surround sound, explore the mysterious side of the moon and its reflective ideas, beliefs and connections.

Eat: A fusion of cultures, West End is the place to feed your hunger for organic produce, dining, drinks and cocktails.

Stay: An inner-city suburb rich with history and culture, rest your head at one of West End’s accommodation options.

Play: West End is an eclectic mix of cafes and restaurants, bars and nightlife where aspiring designers, markets, live music and underground movements reflets the lively lifestyle and charm. 

BRISBANE’S ART BOAT | 2 – 24 SEPT 

Transforming into an immersive riverfront hub, Brisbane’s Northshore invigorates visitors with live music, pop-up bars and tasty eats. Don’t miss Brisbane’s Art Boat, a wondrous floating art experience featuring The Spheres by internationally acclaimed artist, Lindy Lee, and making a special midnight voyage on Saturday 10 September. Brisbane’s Northshore hub also features the interactive installation The Pool which is best explored at early evening to play and discover the intended swirling effects of light, colour and movement.

Attention parents: see the return of Family Days, where on Tuesday’s you can explore the stunning installation, The Spheres, while The Art Boat is docked at Northshore Brisbane’s Maritime Green. 

While you’re at Northshore Brisbane, be sure to explore: 

Eat: Some of the most exciting cuisines in the world reside at Northshore Brisbane. Featuring stunning views of the Brisbane River, Eat Street Northshore provides a one-of-a-kind foodie and entertainment experience, where over 180 shipping containers don food, drink and artesian stalls serving up everything including Brisbane’s sub-tropical way of life.

For a more intimate eating setting, Northshore Harbour proudly serves fresh food sourced from local producers and is a popular place to enjoy a coffee and cake, lazy lunch, weekend brunch or romantic dinner by the water.

Stay: North of the CBD (Central Business District), you’ll find luxury river apartments, a selection of comfortable hotels and affordable accommodation options to make your trip hassle-free.

Play: An idyllic setting for sophistication and fun, Northshore Brisbane has some of the best river access with plenty of room to breathe and play. Wander along the waterfront through the series of active parklands and playgrounds, discover restaurants, shops and amenities with these pumping things to do

CELEBRATING OUR STORY TELLERS

Celebrating the stories of artists, writers and performers is at the heart of Brisbane Festival. Take a seat and be immersed by the action as a multitude of voices, stories and perspectives are shared, to connect, engage and uplift the Brisbane community.

GIRL FROM THE NORTH COUNTRY | 8 – 18 SEPT

Boasting an extraordinary Australian cast, Girl from the North Country reimagines Bob Dylan’s songs intertwined in a deeply moving story by Irish playwright, Conor McPherson, performed at the Lyric Theatre, QPAC. Hauntingly beautiful, this award-winning production tells the captivating story of turning points weaving the past, present and future. 

TIDDAS | 5 – 24 SEPT 

Showcasing the secret lives of sisters, a page-to-stage adaption of Anita Heiss’s best-selling novel, Tiddas, is presented at the iconic La Boite Roundhouse Theatre. Five women, who’ve been best friends for decades, meet once a month to talk books, life, love and the jagged bits in between. Dissecting and sharing personal stories seems only natural to these close friends, however, each woman carries a complex secret, and one day everything becomes unstuck. Encompassing the honest, raw and intimate details of their lives, you’re invited to witness the journey of this very compelling human story.

Spend a little extra time in South Bank. Here’s what you need to know: 

Eat: No matter your craving, here’s what’s on the menu at the top new restaurants at South Bank

Stay: Whether you're looking for five-star luxury or something that doesn't break the budget, Brisbane’s range of hotels offers so much more than a comfy bed. 

Play: There’s always a hive of activities happening in South Bank, with access to the best museums and exhibitions, iconic tourist attractions, idyllic picnic spots and more.

ROOFTOP AND BEYOND

RAISE THE ROOF | 23 SEPT

Literally. With almost 300 days of sunshine every year, it’s easy to embrace the alfresco dining and bar scene that’s popped up all over Brisbane at these rooftop bars. But for a truly out-of-this-world gravity defying one-night-only event, climb sky high in the company of the stars.

You’re invited to Raise the Roof on Saturday September 10, where you can enjoy the work of six artist collectives as they take-over iconic rooftops for the ultimate immersive penultimate party. Each as unique and personalised as the next, discover Brisbane’s most vibrant artists as they carve out loud and outlandish ethereal spaces and parallel universes filled with art and music. Misfits and mayhem, decadent and glittery, powerful and poetic; there’s a joyous occasion to be had. 

QUEEN'S WHARF DISCO WONDERLAND | 24 SEPT 

To close out Brisbane celebrations, Riverstage comes alive with Queen’s Wharf Disco Wonderland: Last Chance to Dance. Join Australia’s award-winning pop diva, Paulini, and Ben Mingay (Frayed, Wonderland, Shrek: The Musical), live onstage with Queensland Symphony Orchestra for the chance to dance to electrifying music from artists Michael Jackson, the Bee Gees, Earth Wind and Fire plus so much more. Welcome to the party. 

While inner city, make the most of your time in Brisbane: 

Eat: From fine dining, to relaxed restaurants, cosy cafes and hip bars, whether you’re in Brisbane to drink or dine, foodies or newbies, you’re in for a real treat. Brisbane’s restaurants, cafes and bars will satisfy your every need. 

Stay: Stay in a stunning new 5-star hotel or urban resorts with swim-up bars and rooftop pools. Rest your head in the centre of the action at one of these luxury offerings, you haven’t seen Brisbane like this. 

Play: Exciting adventures, world-class galleries and cultural experiences, explore the impressive sights of Brisbane and beyond as the welcoming urban metropolis comes alive. 

Brisbane Festival runs from 2- 24 September, with tickets for paid events available from Monday 6 June. Click here for more info on What's On in Brisbane.