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Bend, don't break: Deja vu as Brisbane Festival pirouettes past pandemic


One of the first events to be held post-pandemic, Brisbane Festival prepares to once again ‘pirouette in response to the world around us’, adding three new major events amidst cancellations and postponements.

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In response to lockdowns and travel restrictions across Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane, Brisbane Festival Artistic Director Louise Bezzina announced three new major events to the roster of the Brightly Brisbane Festival beginning on 3 September, allowing local artists to take the spotlight.

“There will be some cancellations and changes to the program in response to border closures, however once again our local artists will shine,” she said.

“Supporting the local arts industry is vital during these challenging times and Brisbane Festival is collaborating with artists and producers to move community workshops and rehearsals online to continue preparations during this current lockdown period.”

The opening night gala event held at the BOQ Festival Garden, David Campbell’s Back in the Swing, will be replaced by Hugh Sheridan LIVE!, backed by their full band and special guest performances.

Sheridan’s solo show is the crooner’s journey through the songs and stories that have influenced their life and career.

Australia’s favourite cult cabaret collectives, Briefs Factory and Betty Smokes & The Forgetaboudits, will perform Cover Up on 21 and 22 September, including classic hits by The Beach Boys, Whitney Houston and the Spice Girls.

A meld of street dance and circus acrobatics, COLLISION will see Casus Circus and Mad Dance House perform across five days on Hamilton’s Northshore from 17 to 23 September.

Bezzina said the Festival team is committed to delivering a Brightly Brisbane program of events that will fill the city with art, music and joy from 3 – 25 September.

“We’ve been here before, and we’ll do it again. We are in the business of bringing joy to Brisbane and we will present a COVID-safe program appropriate for the current environment at the time,” Bezzina said.

“The wellbeing of audiences and community, as well as artists, staff and volunteers, remains Brisbane Festival’s top priority and the program will be adjusted to meet the evolving restrictions and requirements of Queensland’s Chief Health Officer.

“2020 was the year of pivot and flex. This year we ‘pirouette’ in response to the world around us; we remain excited and on track toward a Brightly Brisbane September.”

The cancellations that have been announced in response to the turbulence of current lockdowns and restrictions also include plenty serious TALK TALK which was scheduled at La Boite’s Roundhouse Theatre.

Performances by Enemies of Grooviness Eat Sh!t and Boy & Bear have been postponed, with new dates to be confirmed in the coming weeks.

For more information about programming, visit the Brisbane Festival’s website.  

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