Apart from Queensland’s largest annual event, there’s also a stack of exciting happenings coming to Brisbane over the next few days – you can shop ’til you drop at twilight markets, listen to funk tunes in the park and see 90s-inspired musicals. Here’s our pick of some of the best things to do this weekend …

Gobble up strawberry ice-creams at the Ekka: Held over nine days (August 6–14), the Ekka showcases the quintessential Queensland life, bringing visitors from all across the state and Australia to the heart of Brisbane. This year’s Ekka offers up almost 400 showbags in the Showbag Pavilion, a huge range of amusements and attractions down Sideshow Alley, a variety of daily entertainment and performances across the Brisbane Showgrounds. Returning in 2022 is the much-loved night time entertainment program, EkkaNITES, running every night of the show from 6:30–8:30 pm. Whether you’re going for the art, fashion, food, animals, performances, or amusements, you’ll get to experience Queensland’s best on show over two full weekends.

Put on your glass slippers for this magical showRodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella is coming to QPAC from this weekend! This huge production features incredible orchestrations, jaw-dropping transformations and all the moments you love – the pumpkin, the glass slipper, the masked ball and more – plus some surprising new twists! Be transported as you rediscover some of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s most beloved songs, including ‘In My Own Little Corner’, ‘Impossible/It’s Possible’ and ‘Ten Minutes Ago’ in this hilarious and romantic experience for anyone who’s ever had a dream. Get your tickets at the QPAC website.

Witness a stunning dance showcase: Want to take the plunge into a truly incredible theatre experience? Bangarra’s award-winning Terrain returns for a tenth anniversary tour of Australia, coming to QPAC in Brisbane this August. Choreographed by Frances Rings, Terrain is a breathtaking exploration of our largest salt lake. The breathtaking nine-part performance, set to David Page’s irrepressible score, evokes the power of body and land converging to bring spirit to place. The textures of Kati Thanda take shape in Jacob Nash’s sets, Jennifer Irwin’s costumes and lighting by Karen Norris. Immerse yourself in this mesmerising performance and get your tickets at the QPAC website now.

Shop under the stars at this twilight makers market: Head to King George Square on Friday from 4:00-9:00 pm to experience the one and only Brisbane-based marketplace selling 100-percent handmade goods, featuring more than 60 local designers. Meet the makers during an evening stroll around the square and wander through the variety of stalls showcasing the best of locally-based designers. Admire artisanal hand-crafted goods underneath the gorgeous glow of City Hall and fill your bag with locally made goodies. Expect unique ranges of clothing, inspiring artworks to adorn your walls, cleverly crafted ceramics and so much more.

Bring along a picnic basket for this concert in the park: Returning to Brisbane’s tropical inner-city oasis on the first Sunday of every month, The Sound Society embraces the true meaning of ‘easy like a Sunday morning’. Unwind to great tunes and good company all in the stunning sub-tropical surrounds of the Roma Street Parkland. This Sunday, park goers will be treated to some 70s-inspired funk and soul at Banyan Lawn courtesy of The Anchormen. The Sound Society is the ideal place to pull out a picnic rug and enjoy the beauty of live music – the dreamy combo of smooth tunes, delicious eats and lush greenery is pretty hard to beat!

Watch some electrifying sci-fi and fantasy movies: Presented by Two Bit Movie Club, Netherworld, Feature Presentation and New Farm Cinemas, the Brisbane Only Rotoscoped Lightning Film Festival (BORLFF) is a retrospective film festival celebrating the iconic hand-drawn lightning visual effects that were a hallmark of the weirdest and coolest science fiction and fantasy movies of the first 100 years of filmmaking. The BORLFF program comprises a lovingly curated selection of odd and wonderful films from the 1950s through to the 1990s, each — crucially — featuring at least one scene with a hand-drawn lightning effect. The festival will run over a two-week period as a series of themed double features, all at Brisbane’s beautiful New Farm Cinemas. Tickets are available for individual features or as a special combo deal, with a BORLFF season pass available for the true lightningheads out there who need to see every single zap. Head to the Humantix website to grab yours.

Immerse yourself in a spellbinding showcase of song: Internationally acclaimed musicians Jessica Aszodi and Alex Raineri join forces to present a collection of their favourite things from August 5–6. Their repertoire includes songs that are sometimes heartachingly familiar, sometimes curiously obscured, and always virtuosic in their performance. A program of extremes, the recital traverses the sensuality of Kurt Weill’s cabaret to the hummable tunes of Stephen Sondheim alongside Australian composer Keith Humble’s rarely performed ‘Cabaret Songs’ and two Australian Premiere performances. To grab a ticket to My Favourite Things, head on over to the Opera Queensland website.

Be amazed by this part show, part bar: If you like your cocktails served with a side of enchantment and neon-lit charm, then pull up a seat at the Maho Magic Bar and prepare for a night that will leave you bewitched. Straight from the streets of Tokyo (and with a stop off on the Gold Coast), the Magic Makers from Maho Magic Bar are finally coming to Brisbane for a limited time and are ready to serve up delicious drinks and mystifying magic tricks. From Wednesday to Sunday for a strictly limited season, lovers of magic can settle in for a 60-minute performance session at the bar, sipping on a menu of curated authentic Japanese drinks while being wowed by Japan’s best close-up magicians. Head here to secure your spot at the bar before it disappears before your eyes.

Drink up this champagne-soaked cabaret: Go digging in your wardrobe and free your most sparkly outfit from the dark confines of hardly-ever-wear, as Blanc de Blanc Encore is shimmying its way back into our city as part of Brisbane Festival’s 2022 early event program. You can expect the usual suspects to turn up at its new Northshore home, Twilight Electric, including aerialists, comedians, singers and dancers, all who have performed around the world to adoring crowds. This is one Gatsby-esque party that’s worth your presence. Secure your seat at this hedonistic hub by visiting the Twilight Electric website.

Indulge your senses at this bottomless wine and high cheese experience: Few phrases get us as excited as ‘bottomless wine’ and ‘truffle-infused cheese’. Both are on offer at La Valle this month, as the Fortitude Valley wine bar hosts an indulgent fromage and vino-centric series every Saturday. This weekend, guests will be able to gorge on a tiered cheese tower (loaded with sweet and savoury truffle-infused morsels) while enjoying two hours of bottomless wine for only $55 per person. The High Cheese tower will boast truffle and fontina cheese arancini balls, truffle whipped mascarpone focaccia, house made truffle brie slices, and four-cheese croquettes with truffle aioli. The offer is available every Saturday in July, with seatings from 11:00 am, 12:00 pm and 1:00 pm. More details and bookings can be found on the La Valle website.

See Cruel Intentions: The ‘90s Musical: Based on the acclaimed hit film starring Reese Witherspoon and Sarah Michelle Gellar comes Cruel Intentionsthe ultimate 90s party. Kicking off this weekend, the exciting production features back-to-back bangers including ‘Bye Bye Bye’ (*NSYNC), ‘Sometimes’ (Britney Spears), ‘Just A Girl’ (No Doubt), ‘Candy’ (Mandy Moore), ‘Every You and Every Me’ (Placebo) and of course, ‘Bittersweet Symphony’ (The Verve). Drawing you deep into the manipulative world of Manhattan’s most tempting liaisons – Sebastian and Kathryn are seduced by revenge and fuelled by passion. Set out to ravage the virtuous Annette Hargrove and anyone who gets in their way, the siblings find themselves entangled in a web of secrets, temptation, and the cruelest game of all – love. Grab your tickets at the Fortitude Music Hall website.

Catch this social satire at La Boite Theatre: Oscar Wilde’s unmistakable style is combined with a hefty dose of ’90s nostalgia for La Boite Theatre’s newest production, An Ideal Husband, which kicks off this week. The scintillating show is playwright Lewis Treston’s adaptation of the iconic society drama about political corruption. Set in Canberra in 1996, this fresh adaption of Wilde’s classic comedy is a hot take on Australian politics and is a must see for any theatre lover. Want to travel back in time to the political landscape of Canberra in the 90s? An Ideal Husband will play at La Boite at Kelvin Grove from July 18 to August 6. Grab your tickets to this scintillating show at the La Boite website.

Head to these mesmerising live shows: A bunch of must-see concerts, gigs and music-soaked soirees are coming to Brisbane this weekend, and we are ready to rock. Valley party palace The Zoo will host The Stone Apes on Thursday, We Set Signals on Friday and Cursed Earth on Saturday. The Triffid will come alive thanks to Tropical Fuck Storm on Thursday while Baby Animals celebrate 30 years since the release of their No.1 Aria Award-winning, four times platinum, self-titled debut album on Friday. Spiderbait will be hitting The Princess Theatre on Friday, Sunnyboys will be making the noise on Saturday, while two of Australia’s most respected singers, musicians and songwriters – Ian Moss and Troy Cassar-Daley – are coming to The Tivoli on Saturday. To dance the night away on Saturday, head to The Brightside where you can boogie to the Mamma Mia soundtrack all night long.

Explore a hidden underwater world in this immersive experience: Prepare to deep dive into an enchanting undersea world as a new bucket-list-worthy experience is swimming into our city this month. Love Lust Lost is the latest production from theatre collective Broad Encounters, the same folks who brought the Edgar Allan Poe-inspired theatre experience A Midnight Visit to Brisbane in 2021. Guests can expect to once again be transported to an otherworldly dreamscape, where they can discover 38 different spaces and a cast of seven stellar performers. These rooms will be filled with everything from song and spoken word to dance, circus and film – and a whole lot of skin. Oh, and we’ve heard that there’s a secret bar submerged somewhere in the experience, so keep an eye out on your escapade if you’re feeling thirsty. Want to dip your toes in Love Lust Lost’s water? Tickets are on sale now online, with shows kicking off from July 13.

Experience the magic of Disney coming to Brisbane in this enchanting exhibition: Fans of Mickey, Minnie, Elsa, Anna and everyone in between are sure to adore Queensland Museum’s newest exhibition, Disney: The Magic of Animation. This kid- and adult-friendly exhibition will draw back the curtain on almost 100 years of the Walt Disney Animation Studios, revealing the magic and hard work behind scenes of your favourite animated films. From pencil to paper and now computer-generated wonder, visitors will be able to take a step inside some timeless scenes from their favourite movies and discover how animators use colour to express emotions, and the technical skills of crafting character and storytelling to breathe life into the studio’s memorable stories and characters. To grab your tickets, head to the Queensland Museum website.

Check out this spellbinding solo showcase from Chiharu Shiota: Currently on display at QAGOMA, The Soul Trembles is the largest solo exhibition of thread-weaving artist Chiharu Shiota’s work to date – and it’s an art-filled ‘gram-worthy adventure, to say the least. Best known for her mammoth installations featuring millions of black, white and red threads, Chiharu creates works that express the intangible experiences of life – memories, dreams, anxiety and silence. The exhibition will highlight Chiharu’s practice across large-scale installations, sculptures, video performance, photography and drawing. In other words, this is one immersive exhibition that must be seen to be believed. To purchase a timed ticket, head to the QAGOMA website.

Discover jewellery designer Margot McKinney’s World of Wonder: Currently on at Museum of Brisbane, World of Wonder: Margot McKinney is a mesmerising celebration of the brand that is Margot McKinney, as well as the inspirations behind Margot’s designs – from Queensland’s coral reefs to the rich colours found on safari in Tanzania. You’ll be able to set your eyes upon a treasure chest of jewels – from magnificent opals and eye-catching pearls to rare, exotic gems like blue tanzanite, lilac amethyst and pink tourmalines. To learn more about this eye-catching exhibition, pop over to the Museum of Brisbane website. If you really want to level up your experience, pull up a chair at the World of Wonder High Tea and Tour.  In this exclusive experience, you will be taken on a guided tour of the sparkling exhibition, World of Wonder: Margot McKinney, before returning to MoB’s jewel-toned Dome Lounge for a luxe high-tea experience.

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.

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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