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Luminous lanterns and vegan fare - what’s on in Brisbane this weekend

The Weekend Edition

Cheers to the weekend, friends! From now until Monday there is plenty to do in Brisbane – you can explore weird and wacky exhibitions, eat burgers at Karen-filled diners and shop ’til you drop at local makers markets. Here’s our pick of some of the best things to do this weekend …

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Get lit at Multicultural Australia’s LUMINOUS Lantern Parade: Multicultural Australia’s LUMINOUS Lantern Parade and World Music Festival is back this Friday! The event will be lighting up the streets of South Bank in a stunning display of support for the state’s multicultural communities and new Queenslanders – from migrants and refugees to international students and people seeking asylum.

The spectacular lantern procession begins at 6:00 pm near the Flowstate at South Bank and ends at the South Bank Piazza for a vibrant World Music concert, where hundreds of performers and lanterns will be on display, including crowd favourites – the impressive seahorse, owl, giraffe, Rainbow Serpent, and ones the shape of iconic Brisbane landmarks like the Story Bridge and City Hall. The free event also includes the World Music concert from 6:45 pm, with an impressive line-up for multicultural performers set to wow the audience.

Treat your ears to the biggest opera hits of all time at this dazzling show: Searching for the perfect date-night event? Queensland Symphony Orchestra’s Opera Gala returns this weekend with a spellbinding show held across two days (Friday and Saturday) that is sure to dazzle any opera fan. Australian opera stars Natalie Aroyan, Deborah Humble, Diego Torre, and José Carbó, together with the stellar voices of Brisbane Chorale, are set to perform some of the biggest opera hits of all time.

Your ears will be treated to Carmen‘s Toreador Song, Offenbach’s Barcarolle, and Madame Butterfly‘s Love Duet. Let’s just say this magical show will have you and your date swooning! This is one stellar live show that can’t be missed. Grab your tickets at the Queensland Symphony Orchestra website.

Sing along to all of your favourite Dolly hits at this musical: Set the alarm for a great night out at Dolly Parton’s joyous smash-hit musical 9 TO 5, which features a stellar cast, knock-out songs and high-flying ambitions. A sensation on the West End and inspired by the hit film, the musical tells the story of Doralee, Violet and Judy, three enterprising workmates pushed to the edge by their mean-spirited boss Franklin Hart Jnr.

Resorting to wit, camaraderie and cunning, they dream up a no holds barred scheme to kidnap and turn the tables on their controlling supervisor in the most hilariously defiant of ways. Only question is, will the feisty trio manage to change the office culture to reach their full potential or will events unravel when the CEO pays an unexpected visit?

With a sparkling score by Dolly Parton and a book by the iconic movie’s original screenwriter Patricia Resnick, 9 TO 5 is the quintessential feel-good show for the times. Full of mischief, laughter and affection, it’s gold-carat fun! Grab your tickets at the QPAC website.

Grab a choc-top and catch must-see German flicks at Palace Cinemas: From now until June 22, the German Film Festival presented by Palace, in association with German Films, is showcasing the best contemporary German cinema direct from major festivals in Europe plus a selection from its German-speaking neighbours, Austria and Switzerland. There’s historical biopics, hilarious comedies and edge-of-your-seat thrillers all on the cards, so prepare to settle in with a big box of popcorn. To see the whole German Film Festival program, head to the website.

Catch Brontë’s famous gothic tale at QPAC: Brontë’s gothic tale of a spirited orphan in search of love, family and a sense of belonging – Jane Eyre – returns to QPAC this June. Witness one of the most iconic pieces of English literature retold in a stunning, critically acclaimed adaptation from the nationally-renowned shake & stir theatre co (A Christmas Carol, Animal Farm, Dracula).

Following a childhood spent suffering at the hands of her cruel Aunt, Jane finds employment at Thornfield Hall – the impressive yet mysterious home of Edward Rochester. As Jane and Rochester become inexplicably drawn to each other, the dark secrets locked within the walls of Thornfield start to unravel forcing Jane on a heart-wrenching journey toward truth and freedom. Featuring original music, written and performed live on stage by multi-ARIA Award winner Sarah McLeod – Jane Eyre will set a fire blazing in your soul. Tickets to Jane Eyre are on sale now at the QPAC website.

Ask to speak to the manager at this very-rude Karen’s Diner pop-up: Karen’s of Brisbane unite! A pop-up dining experience has opened its doors and is home to more Karens than you can complain too! From the brave minds at Wonderland Bar & Beyond Cinema comes a diner like no other – expect rude service, singing waiters and regular guest appearances from the manager – the most Karen Karen ever – just don’t dare ask to see her! This is dining with a twist – the food is great, the service is ungrateful but your experience will be unforgettable. Learn more about Karen’s Diner here.

Step into a wild world of wonder, wackiness and whimsy at this free exhibition: At The Great & Grand Rumpus exhibition at State Library of Queensland, you can step into a wild world of wonder, wackiness and whimsyExplore large cardboard sculptures scaling more than 4.5 metres high and watch as they are brought to life by interactive digital projections.

Get hands on and craft your own mythical creation at The Great & Grand Rumpus and allow your inner child to experience the limitless imagination of make-believe places. You can also see how more than 1000 innovative storytellers just like you have crafted and sculpted mythical worlds and creatures based on ideas workshopped by kids over the last 18 months. To learn more about this free and fantastical exhibition, head to the State Library of Queensland website.

Treat your taste buds to flavourful vegan fare at this market: Queensland’s best vegan eats and market stalls are heading to Portside Wharf this Saturday as part of the QLD Vegan Markets. You can expect a curated selection of food slingers serving up the finest plant-based eats like burgers from Grassfed Vegan, sushi courtesy of Izakaya Midori, 100-percent dairy-free, egg-free and gelatine-free cakes, cupcakes and cookies from Pippa’s Pantry, creamy dessert creations from Burleigh Fudge and much more. On top of that, there will be a bounty of handmade and good-for-you goodies for sale – so we suggest bringing along your largest tote bag. To learn more about the QLD Vegan Markets at Portside Wharf, head here.

Shop handmade goodies under floating whale sculptures: Brisbane’s favourite handmade designers and artists will gather once again at South Bank to satisfy all of your sustainable handmade shopping needs. Visit the Queensland Museum, Whale Mall this Saturday from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm and enjoy the best Brisbane’s cultural community has to offer at the BrisStyle Handmade Markets. A treasure chest of local artisans will set up shop under the spectacular whale sculptures, with plants, jewellery, candles, fashion and more handmade goodies on offer. Make a day of it with the family in the surrounds of Brisbane River and explore the Southbank Cultural Precinct and grab a bite to eat from the onsite cafe. The best part? This event is free to attend! To learn more, head here.

Immerse yourself in these mesmerising live shows: A bunch of must-see concerts, gigs and live shows are coming to Brisbane this weekend, and we are more than just a little excited. The Tivoli is hosting a sold-out Boy & Bear concert on Friday, Jack Ladder & The Dreamlanders will be coming to The Triffid on Thursday, while Horrorshow will be playing on Saturday. Asha Jefferies and Buttercats are coming together for an unmissable evening at The Zoo on Thursday, RUGGER will be taking over the venue on Saturday, while The Jezabels will be playing across the road at The Fortitude Music Hall on Friday.

The Princess Theatre will host Sahara Beck on Thursday, Hermitude on Friday and the multi-stage, one-day music extravaganza Hot Dreams Festival on Saturday. The inaugural festival, from the team behind beloved Nine Lives Festival, features an eclectic line-up of homegrown heroes and renowned internationals including Lucy Dacus, Cate Le Bon, Andy Shauf, Glass Beams, Pinch Points, Moktar and more.

Witness Shakespeare mixing with the satirical at this immersive play: To be, or not to be … that is the question made famous by Shakespeare’s renowned tragedy, Hamlet. In Queensland Theatre’s latest play, however, the question is – to be a woman, or not to be a woman? Taking over the Bille Brown Theatre until June 18, Bernhardt/Hamlet is a mesmerising real-life backstage story by renowned American playwright Theresa Rebeck.

The Broadway hit tells the audacious story about a 19th century woman issuing a challenge to the system (that is still as relevant today) – she wants to break the mould and play the role of Hamlet. What transpires next will tickle the funny bone, to say the least. Tickets are available via the Queensland Theatre website.

Live your Step Up dreams at this festival of dance: If your favourite childhood movies were Honey and Centre Stage, if you’re an avid learner of TikTok dances or you just love to shake your groove thing, then you’re going to want to make your way to Metro Arts from May 29 to June 18. The creative precinct will be hosting the Mad Dance Festivala two-week roster of awe-inspiring performances, creative projects, dance battles, workshops, artist talks and activations.

You can strike a pose at the Alexander Vogue Night, celebrate the diversity of ethnic cultures at Rhythmology, show off your skills at the  Mad Dance Festival Battle, and more! Tickets are of various prices – head to the Metro Arts website to find out more.

Jump on an emotional rollercoaster at this heart-wrenching play: Sometimes relationships don’t work out and, often, you’re left trying to pinpoint the moment that it all started to deteriorate. From May 30 to June 18, La Boite Theatre’s take on the musical theatre classic The Last Five Years bravely tackles this exact scenario.

Created by famed American musical theatre composer Jason Robert Brown and directed by Australian theatre alum Darren Yap, The Last Five Years depicts a love story that has run its course, following New Yorkers Jamie and Cathy as they reminisce the highs and lows of their relationship but from their individual perspective – Jamie tells his story in chronological order while Cathy shares hers in reverse. There’s a reason that The Last Five Years has captivated audiences since its premiere in 2001 – but trust us when we say pack the tissues. You can grab tickets over on the La Boite Theatre website.

Sip champagne in a winter-themed igloo: Everyone’s favourite winter pop-up bar, Veuve Clicquot In The Snow, has returned for the chilly season. Featuring its signature igloos, textural winter styling and plenty of Veuve Clicquot champagne, the pop-up’s stunning river vista and enticing menu are a sure-fire way to chill out and experience Euro chalet vibes in a quintessential Brisbane location. In addition to a range of Veuve Clicquot champagne available by the glass and bottle, the drinks menu features Australian and French wines, beers, and cocktails including the Berries & Bubbles with fresh raspberry, lemon juice, Belevedere Pure and Veuve Clicquot Brut!

A menu of snacks and nibbles will be available including the new Customs House pop-up bar classic – the Moreton Bay bug brioche roll with lime and dill mayo! Freshly shucked Tasmanian pacific oysters, whole baked brie served with crostini, and mac and cheese croquettes with truffle aioli are also on the menu, among much more (including a range of Aussie, Italian and English cheeses) for some decadent winter indulgence. Learn more and make a booking here.

Traverse through The City on this self-guided art trail: The Indigenous Art Program transforms Brisbane’s streets into an exhibition of Aboriginal artworks in various places and spaces, including large-scale banners, light boxes, vitrines, and projections, in Brisbane’s laneways. Until August 7 you can explore the OUTstanding exhibition throughout the Outdoor Gallery, featuring new and existing artworks from Australia’s leading Aboriginal artists.

The spectacular line-up of artists includes Elisa Jane Carmichael, Jody Rallah, Kyra Mancktelow, Boneta-Marie Mabo, Chris Bassi, Mia Boe, Keemon Williams, Tori-Jay Mordey, Sam Harrison, Melissa Stannard, Dylan Mooney and LaVonne Bobongie. The exciting event invites us to gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of Australia’s First Nations people, not just through the visual art on display but also by way of a series of artist-led workshops, talks, studio visits and walking tours with the curators. To learn more about the program, head to the Council website.

Check out MoB’s current exhibition: MoB’s home-grown exhibition Making Place: 100 Views of Brisbane is where museum-goers can treat their peepers to more than 100 artworks depicting some of Brisbane’s most iconic scenes. The dazzling exhibition features works from renowned artists including Vida Lahey, Judy Watson and Margaret Olley, and an atmospheric soundscape by Artist in Residence Lawrence English, leaving you with a much-needed dose of culture. For more information, head to the Museum of Brisbane website.

Try out this pop-up immersive experience: Brisbane’s most ‘grammable experience – Imaginaria – has extended its run! This stunning immersive play experience combines audio-visual art, inflatable architecture, light installations and futuristic gamification suitable for all ages. Visitors are invited to step inside, slip off their shoes and engage with AI projections, sensor-triggered LED waves, giant silk parachute canopies, cosmic gardens, an anti-gravity sunset, an electronic hall of mirrors and a digital wishing well that whispers your greatest desires. Ready to step into a world of mind-blowing visual excess? You can grab your tickets to Imaginaria now through Ticketmaster.

Catch some of cinema’s most iconic criminals on the big screen: Danger! Daring! Disaster! QAGOMA’s The Art of the Heist film program looks at one of cinema’s most beloved crime subgenres – the Heist film. A seductive mix of gangster cool and cerebral ingenuity, the Heist film brings together a crafty ensemble of experts, a high stakes plan and the lure of the ultimate reward. Features classics The Asphalt Jungle 1950, directed by John Huston, and Le Cercle Rouge (The Red Circle) 1970, directed by Jean-Pierre Melville, alongside contemporary retellings such as Steve McQueen’s women-led caper Widows 2018. The Art of the Heist screenings take place Wednesday and Friday nights, and Saturday and Sunday matinees at GOMA’s Australian Cinémathèque. To check out the complete program and to nab tickets, head over to the QAGOMA website.

Shop up a storm at these weekend markets: If you’re eager to stroll through some stalls and stock up on some fresh fruit and veg, be sure check out these markets happening – Saturday Fresh MarketRiverside MarketsKelvin Grove Village MarketJan Powers Farmers MarketsDavies Park MarketCarseldine Markets and the Redcliffe Markets. For delicious dinnertime eats, Eat Street Northshore is on for your snacking pleasure on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights.

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