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Fireworks and festivities: Brisbane Festival makes an explosive return

The Weekend Edition

The city might be slightly more chilly than usual, but our events calendar is well and truly warming up. Perhaps the most sizzling happening of the whole year has just been unveiled – Brisbane Festival is back! Our favourite city-wide fiesta will set our town alight from September 2–24 with a thrilling three-week program that is shaping up to be the brightest party yet. We’re talking giant glowing globes, standout stage shows, a disco wonderland, awe-inspiring pyrotechnic displays and the return of a beloved floating art exhibition.

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In sizzling news, Brisbane Festival has unveiled a new format for this year’s edition, announcing four jam-packed weekends of wonder this September. Ahead of the official program launch in July, the folks behind Brisbane Festival have kindly offered up some of this year’s biggest events on a shiny platter

Kicking off this year’s festival and first Festive Weekend (September 2–4) is smoking ceremony Jumoo at South Bank on Friday September 2, which will be followed by one of the highlights of every Brisbane local’s calendar – Riverfire by Australian Retirement Trust. Set to light up the sky on Saturday September 3, this year’s awe-inspiring pyrotechnics display will be set to a soundtrack curated by the youth of Brisbane.

The second Festive Weekend (September 9–11) will welcome the return of Brisbane’s Art Boat, which is once again setting sail from Northshore Brisbane, this time celebrating internationally acclaimed Australian visual artist Lindy Lee. Night owls can even jump aboard a midnight cruise to celebrate the full moon at 11:59 am on Saturday September 10.

Another must-see installation will be popping up at West Village thanks to multidisciplinary UK-based artist Luke Jerram. For those unfamiliar, Luke is the artist responsible for the extremely captivating floating orbs Museum of the Moon, Gaia and Mars, which are all set to make an appearance at this year’s festival.

They say good things come in threes so it’s only natural that the third Festive Weekend (September 16–18), brings with it a jam-packed line-up of entertainment. Festival-goers will be able to immerse themselves in major theatrical productions at QPAC, Queensland Theatre and La Boite including the Queensland premiere of Girl  From the North Country, shake & stir’s world premiere of Shannon Molloy’s modern Australian classic, Fourteen, and Anita Heiss’ ‘love letter to Meeanjin’, Tiddas.

You’ll also be able to deep dive into Dead Puppet Society and Legs on the Wall’s breathtaking production Holding Achilles, which features an original score performed live by homegrown pop queen Montaigne, as well as Queensland Theatre’s tri-lingual reimagining of Shakespeare’s Othello.

The final Festive Weekend (September 23–25) will bring the noise with sky-high event Raise the Roof, which will see world-class entertainers like Michael Zavros, Briefs Factory International, Patience Hodgson and more take over iconic Brisbane rooftops for one night only. The music magic only further ignites with a closing celebration that is sure to get you grooving and jiving all night long.

Singing sensations Paulini and Ben Mingay with Queensland Symphony Orchestra will be hitting Riverstage for Queen’s Wharf Disco Wonderland, where you can boogie to all of your favourite 70s hits.

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