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Feel free: Brisbane Festival's free programming activates city


As Brisbane Festival illuminates spaces around town, the Festival’s extensive free programming allows arts and music enthusiasts to dive in without reaching into pockets.

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ENESS Installations 

Before taking off down the river on Brisbane’s ArtboatAirship Orchestra and Skycastle are interactive installations taking turns at Hamilton’s Northshore.

Designed by technology and art company ENESS, the installations are multi-sensory experiences which use sound and light to transform space.

Airship Orchestra welcomes a tribe of six-metre-tall mythical creatures who invite audiences to watch as they perform a choir score.

Sky Castle is an interactive symphonic work which sees a landscape of inflatable arches which change sound and colour as audiences move through them.

ENESS Airship Orchestra (Image: Ben Weinstein)

Street Serenades 

Street Serenades will present roving 30 minute concerts from the best and brightest musicians, DJs, and dancers.

Audiences can look forward to performances by Kate Miller-Heidke, Queensland Ballet, Greshka, Alex Loyd, and more as the weeks go on.

Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner said Brisbane Festival’s Street Serenades brings music and festivities to suburbs across Brisbane.

“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.

Brisbane Festival’s Street Serenades 2020 (Image: Atmosphere Photography)

Messengers of Brisbane 

The Messengers of Brisbane have officially landed in Brisbane, appearing in various locations throughout the city.

Created by internationally renowned visual artist Florentijn Hofman, Messengers of Brisbane sees the installation of large inflatable Gouldian Finches with party hats.

The work made its world premiere at Brisbane Festival in 2020 by Brisbane Festival Artistic Director Louise Bezzina.

“These giant Gouldian finches are glorious visual reminders to look up and smile, to experience a moment of joy and to celebrate,” said Bezzina.

Messengers of Brisbane have been placed in different locations around the City (Image: Brisbane’s Urban Art Projects)


Extending the raft of installations lighting up the city, Lost is a celebration of natural wonders by artist Amanda Parer.

The huge inflatable installation are a reclamation of extinct and endangered flora which will illuminate West End.

Alongside the artwork of Lost, West Village is hosting a series of free workshops upcycling materials and learning about First Nations culture.

Wearable Wonders will allow families to recycle materials to create wearable pieces inspired by nature while Sense the Connection will see First Nations caretaker and chef Kieron Anderson do a guided tour of the sights and sounds of the area.

Lost, installation by Amanda Parer located in West End’s West Village (Image: Brisbane Festival)

Sunsuper Riverfire

Closing out the Festival will be the Sunsuper Riverfire which will light up Brisbane’s skyline on Saturday 25 September.

After the cancellation of Riverfire last year, the pyrotechnic event will allow the Festival to go out with a bang.

“Sunsuper Riverfire has been a wholly inclusive and widely accessible part of Brisbane Festival’s program since 1998 and while some changes are necessary to ensure it is a COVID Safe event, it will once again surprise and delight residents and visitors alike,” said Louise Bezzina.

The much-loved event will be the biggest fireworks display held in Brisbane in two years.

Sunsuper Riverfire will light up the sky on 25 September (Image: Supplied)

Brisbane Festival’s free programming continues until the final day 25 September, for more information visit their website. 

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