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Brisbane Festival Serenades will be taking it to the streets once again

Culture

There aren’t many places where you can amble down your street, your local park, or your sports field and find yourself in a concert by a great musician in a bright pink camper van.

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Brisbane in September is one of these few places, with Brisbane Festival’s Street Serenades bringing a bit of serendipitous magic to the streets with guerrilla performances by much-loved artists such as Boy and Bear, Montaigne, Christine Anu, and Queensland Ballet.

After its success in a Covid locked-up city last year, this year’s version will see 30 minute performances by indie folk outfit Boy & Bear, pop singer Christine Anu, art-pop Eurovision singer Montaigne, as well as a load of local legends Beddy Rays, AYA J, and Cheap Fakes.

There will also be ballet, circus, cabaret and variety performances by the likes of Queensland Ballet, Brisbane Immersive, Casus Circus Vs Mad Dance, and Common People Street Party. 

Brisbane Festival Artistic Director Louise Bezzina said this year’s Street Serenades program would bring its travelling stages to cul-de-sacs, street parties, park performances, and community spaces such as open-air car parks, sporting fields and public piazzas.

Street Serenades brings its distinctive travelling stages and pop-up performance venues to fill Brisbane suburbs with music, joy and – at long last – dancing in the streets,” Bezzina said.

“Brisbane fell in love with Street Serenades as a highlight of the Festival in 2020 and I am thrilled to announce it will return in 2021, becoming an iconic part of the Brisbane Festival program.

“I would love to personally invite Brisbane to get out and explore this city, to be delighted by its wealth of homegrown talent and surprised by the hidden geographical gems in the largest city council in Australia,” she said.

Minister for the Arts Leeanne Enoch said Brisbane Festival 2021 was an opportunity to connect communities through the arts and announced an extension of the program with Street Serenades: At Our Place. 

Boy & Bear at SummerSalt Festival (Image: Rachel Rachel Photography)

“Following the huge success of Street Serenades last year, the Palaszczuk Government is providing an additional $350,000 to support Street Serenades: At Our Place, which will once again bring live performances and art workshops to Brisbane neighbourhoods.

Street Serenades: At Our Place is a brand-new initiative that will partner with neighbourhood and community centres to deliver a series of 64 creative arts workshops across the city.

“The program will engage more than 4,000 community members through workshops and performances and employ hundreds of artists who will use their expertise to connect communities and individuals through the joy of music and movement.”

“At its roots, Street Serenades is all about bringing people together, building positive community connections, and increasing our interactions with people in our neighbourhood and across the city,” said Ms Bezzina.

“We hope Street Serenades: At Our Place will encourage audience members to connect with the broader community, feel at home, develop and enhance news skills, and create some serious local pride.”

Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner said Brisbane Festival’s Street Serenades would reignite community spirit following the difficulty and isolation of Covid-19, especially for the music industry.

“Live music was one of the many experiences that was sorely missed when the pandemic was at its height and Street Serenades was one of the earliest ways we were able to bring the magic of music back to the community,” he said.

“I know residents will be thrilled to throw their support behind our city’s best homegrown talent after a tough year for the music industry.”

Brisbane Festival’s Street Serenades kicks off on 3 September and runs until 25 September, for more information and full programming visit the Brisbane Festival’s website.

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