11 events to lure you to Brisbane’s balmy winter

Seasons. Most cities have them, we’re told. 

Here in Brisbane we still celebrate one called "winter" but its very definition is different to our southern neighbours. You see, for just two weeks each year Brisbane locals are forced to swap shorts for pants as the temperatures occasionally dance below 20 degrees. 

To lure southerners up from the gloomy, cold depths of hell, we’ve rounded up the 11 best events falling during Brisbane’s balmy winter. Come join us in this subtropical paradise.

Marvel: Creating the Cinematic Universe | from 27 May

Marvel Exhibition

Just when we thought Australia’s largest modern art gallery couldn’t get cooler, it throws out a massive exhibition bringing to life our favourite superheros. Thor, Iron Man, Captain America, the Hulk, Black Widow, Hawkeye, Black Panther and friends will fill the gallery walls.

Original artwork, film props, costumes and more from private collections and the currently in-production Thor: Ragnarok will follow the process and development from comic book page to the big screen through production design, storyboarding, special effects and post-production work.

This is the first major Marvel-related exhibition to be staged in Australia, and the largest ever presented in an art museum. Don’t miss it.

Gladiators: Heroes of the Colosseum | from 23 June

This Australian exclusive is touring to the Queensland Museum with more than 120 artefacts, interactive games and displays that reveal who gladiators were, where they lived and how they trained. Highlights include pieces of the Colosseum, elaborately decorated bronze helmets, original arms and armour, preserved by the ashes of Pompeii.

The Royal Ballet: Woolf Works | 29 June - 2 July

The Royal Ballet: Woolf Works. Image: Tristram Kenton, 2015
Image: ROH Tristram Kenton, 2015

The other exclusive piece coming to Brisbane direct from London is the strikingly modern ballet Woolf Works. Wayne McGregor’s award-winning ballet is inspired by three of Virginia Woolf's landmark novels: Mrs Dalloway, Orlando and The Waves, with each of the three acts presented as a series of multi-sensory collages. McGregor is renowned for his ground-breaking choreography and collaborations and this new ballet reflects Woolf's modernist rejection of neatly ordered narrative, in favour of heightened, startlingly poignant perspectives.

Woolf Works is set to a new score by acclaimed British composer Max Richter incorporating electronic and orchestral music.

Battle of Brisbane: Manny Pacquiao vs Jeff Horn | 2 July

Battle of Brisbane

Ding ding! Suncorp Stadium will become the centre of the boxing universe for one night only when Brisbane’s own Jeff Horn takes on global sporting icon and reigning title holder, Manny Pacquiao. The world will be watching when Horn takes his chance to become Australia’s first-ever world welterweight champion. Thousands of fans will pack the stadium, joined by millions around the world to watch this genuine once-in-a-lifetime event, set to be one of the biggest sporting contests in 2017.

The Royal Ballet: The Winter’s Tale | 5-9 July

The Royal Ballet: A Winter's Tale. Image: ROH Johan Persson, 2014
Image: Johan Persson, 2014

Back in Australia for the first time in 15 years, the Royal Ballet is staging two shows exclusive to Brisbane. Direct from London’s Covent Garden, see a performance from one of the greatest ballet companies in the world. The Royal Ballet unites its illustrious heritage and grand balletic tradition with innovation, daring and exceptional standards of artistry and will perform two original works for the first time in Australia. Featuring breathtaking sets, extraordinary choreography and emotive live scores performed by the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, these are the dance events of the year.

Christopher Wheeldon’s adaptation of Shakespeare’s late great romance The Winter’s Tale is a full-length story ballet following the destruction of a marriage through consuming jealousy, the abandonment of a child and a seemingly hopeless love. Yet, through remorse and regret – and after a statue of Hermione appears to come miraculously to life – the ending is one of forgiveness and reconciliation.

Queensland Music Festival | 7-30 July

It may spread from the far north to the NSW border, but the Queensland Music Festival has its heart in Brisbane. Bringing the best local, national and international talent to the city, the mammoth music festival crosses all genres, every music venue and every demographic. Read through the program to see what catches your eye.

Regional Flavours presented by The Courier-Mail | 15-16 July

Regional Flavours

Food. Wine. Free. Those three words are music to our ears, especially when combined. Regional Flavours is Brisbane’s massive food festival held across one weekend that brings the best Queensland produce to the city through street markets, celebrity chefs, cooking masterclasses, kids' activities, live music and more. Mark it in your calendar now. 

Ekka | 11-20 August

Strawberry sundaes debuted at the Royal Queensland Show in 1950 and have been a firm favourite since. Annually Brisbane eats through 10 tonnes of strawberries, 1800 litres of cream and 18,000 litres of ice-cream at the Ekka. Tick off this city must-do, drink tins of XXXX with cowboys, get tickets for an amusement ride, buy up big in showbag alley and watch prized stock parade around the arena. 

The Bodyguard The Musical | 19-29 July

The Bodyguard
Image: Paul Coltas

Based on the smash-hit film, The Bodyguard stage show is coming to Brisbane. The powerhouse vocals of Australian darling Paulini will bring Whitney Houston’s greatest hits to life. Hear I Will Always Love You, I Wanna Dance With Somebody and other big numbers explode from the stage to the story everyone knows and loves. 

Kinky Boots | 22 August - 1 October

Inspired by a true story and based on a movie, the musical Kinky Boots will take the audience on a hilarious journey from a working-class shoe factory to the runways of Milan. Don't miss the heart-warming story and fun when this show hits QPAC's stage in August with incredible costumes, choreography and music (brought to us by pop-icon Cyndi Lauper).

BIGSOUND Festival | 5 – 8 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-plus venues.

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