The city of Brisbane hosts a month-long festival teeming with music, theatre, art, and more! Check out our highlights and guarantee yourself a fantastic time at this epic event!

Every September, the city of Brisbane comes to life with one of Australia’s biggest international art events – the Brisbane Festival. It is a hive of activity, with a jam-packed arts schedule spanning across the whole month. The festival aims to bring a large range of international artists and audiences together while bringing a unique and unconventional view of the city to the world. But with so many events occurring in only one month, it can be difficult to know where to start. Luckily, we have the ultimate list of the must-see events at Brisbane Festival, so simply follow our guide and you won’t miss out on anything.

For the Families

River of Light

Travel to Brisbane River’s inner-city curve after dark and see a completely unforgettable light show. Art and technology are blended together seamlessly here with water fountains used as a canvas for the colourful lights and lasers. This event has become one of the most beloved shows of the festival, with a whopping 500,000 people admiring the display last year. This year, the River of Light will present a local Dreamtime story, with the Aboriginal Cultural Specialist, Shannon Ruska, working with Oracle Liquid to create a truly remarkable spectacle.

Brat Kids Carnival

Mischief makers will fall in love with this event! This high-energy carnival involves acrobatics, cheeky clowning antics, and epic party tricks that will wow the audience. The show is perfect for children aged 4 and up, with the performers aiming to inspire the kids to express themselves creatively as their parents laugh alongside them. There’s even a chance for the kids to get up on stage, too!

Meant for the Music Lovers

Closing Night: City and Colour

The festival ends with a bang with its larger-than-life closing celebrations, featuring an outdoor music gig with a thrilling line-up! Famous musician, City and Colour, performs his only Australian show this year, as well as leading artists such as The Jezabels and Asha Jefferies joining him. A more extensive line-up is to be announced soon! Swirling lasers and hazy smoke machines will bring the perfect party atmosphere as these incredible artists sing their greatest hits!

Theatre Buffs will Adore

Theatre Republic

The Theatre Republic is renowned for having a rebellious side in the independent theatre industry, and it uses this reputation to create fiercely adventurous and unique theatre shows. There are 17 separate shows in all, performed in one large installation and featuring beautiful artworks and live music.

For the Fans of Free Shows

Treasury Brisbane Arcadia

Treasury Brisbane Arcadia is free to enter during the day and night, featuring a range of experiences and activities for everyone! Visitors will lose themselves in the incredible events, from magic mirror tents, to live music, to unforgettable circus performances. Try out the numerous pop-up food and drink stalls along the river-front and enjoy your dinner with a spectacular water-side view.

Those up for a Laugh

Cal Wilson: Gifted Underachiever

If you have ever felt that you were floundering in the world, not achieving anything of importance, then you are not alone. Cal Wilson has made a career out of her under achievements, combining humour with real life issues to make you feel a bit better about your life situation. In this new show, Cal describes her hilarious experiences with dieting, dating, and more. Sure to make you both laugh and cringe, this show is well worth a look!

Explore the Brisbane Tours

Cameron Ward
Cameron Ward
Managing Director at Sightseeing Tours Australia

Cameron Ward began with a passion for travel and turned it into a thriving tourism business. He co-founded Sightseeing Tours Australia after starting out as a tour guide in Melbourne. Cameron delights in helping visitors get the most from their trip to Australia. Whether he's leading tours or writing about his favourite places, Cameron loves sharing his local insight with fellow travellers.

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