Brisbane Festival 2024 Programme

Clockwise from top left: Riverfire, Jean Paul Gaultier's Fashion Freak Show, 'Eucalyptus', 'Straight From The Strait'
Our eclectic team of writers from around Australia – and a couple beyond – with decades of combined experience and interest in all fields.

Global premieres, iconic artists and dazzling productions hit The River City when Brisbane Festival comes to town once again.

Brisbane Festival weaves a tapestry of culture, celebration and community through the city, in the fifth programme from Artistic Director Louise Bezzina. It invites audiences to experience artistry, with more than 1,000 performances stages in arts venues, landmarks, and close-knit communities.

“Brisbane Festival believes in the transformative power of the arts to unite, inspire and empower and my fifth Festival programme is a creative celebration of this power on both a global and a local scale,” Louise says.

“I am delighted this year to bring leading international artists as well as creatively significant, profoundly inspiring and wholly entertaining works from across the world to our city.”

By numbers, audiences can expect 13 world premieres, 4 Australian premieres, 7 Queensland premieres, 1,215 Queensland-based artists and workers, and more than 180 First Nations artists.

Jean Paul Gaultier's Fashion Freak Show sees a collision of fashion, music, pop culture, cabaret and art strutting down the runway of South Bank Piazza in an exclusive Australian premiere season. Queensland Indigenous artist Grace Lillian Lee, who travelled to Paris at the request of Gaultier to collaborate, will debut a piece in the show.

Grace spearheads another world premiere: her debut solo exhibition The Dream Weaver: Guardians Of Grace. It's a showcase of her stylistic fusion between contemporary art, traditional weaving techniques, and couture fashion.

Never-before-seen hybrid production 'Volcano' will play out over four 45-minute episodes, combining theatre and dance with a television sci-fi thriller. Brisbane Powerhouse audiences are invited to binge-watch the Australian-first production.

'Straight From The Strait', the remarkable true story of Torres Strait Islander workers laying an astonishing 7km of railway track in a single day in 1968, will be presented – co-produced with Opera Queensland.

The Queensland-based Dancenorth Australia will stage the global debut of its new work, 'Lighting The Dark', developed in collaboration with Chris Dyke – a dancer, and emerging choreographer, with Down Syndrome.

Other world premieres include 'Trent Dalton's Love Stories' and 'Fancy Long Legs'.

Moving to the Queensland premieres, there's 'Eucalyptus', an opera based on the Murray Bail novel of the same name; 'Gurr Era Op', celebrating Torres Strait Islander culture; Restless Dance Theatre's 'Private View', a raw exploration of sexuality and disability; 'Kitchen Studio', artist Elizabeth Winning's recipe of food and art; and Queensland Theatre's 'Dear Brother'.

'Big Name, No Blankets' is a celebration of Warumpi Band, the first Australian rock band to sing in Aboriginal languages.

Meeanjin Songlinez on opening weekend invites everyone to celebrate and honour local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island communities, and the extraordinary talent of Queensland's First Nations artists.

The iconic Riverfire returns too – set to light up Brisbane with a fireworks spectacular. And the 2023 smash-hit Lightscape will bring a totally reimagined illuminated trail of neon lights, technicolour installations, and choreographed soundscapes.

Set sail on The Art Boat – as the travelling arts venue once again sets sail from South Bank on a luxe new vessel.

Tickets are on sale now.

Brisbane Festival 2024 is on from 30 August-21 September.

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