It’s the third program from Artistic Director Louise Bezzina, kicking off with a sparkling opening concert from multiple Aria Award winner Jessica Mauboy on September 2. Hers is one of more than 580 performances taking over the city during the festival, 230 of which are free.

The Riverfire event which usually ends the festival with a bang has been brought forward to the festival’s second night on September 3.

Bezzina said she’s particularly proud of bringing 22 new works to the river city, including 12 Queensland premieres and six international presentations.

“Now more than ever, we must amplify the stories of artists and honour the power of the arts as a unifying force,” Bezzina said. “As the 10-year countdown to 2032 begins, the time is now to show the world our personality, our vitality and our story.”

The festival is now a crucial platform to tell the story of Brisbane through the voices of local artists Bezzina said, with the added joy this year of being joined by artists from across Australia and the world.

“This year’s Brisbane Festival offers this window for those watching with anticipation, what Brisbane looks, tastes and feels like,” she said.

South Bank Piazza will host a number of shows, including the Queensland premiere of strut & fret’s late night adults-only The Purple Rabbit, the all ages magic circus and dance spectacular Cirque O L I O, Australasian Dance Collective’s Aftermath and Sweatshop by Briefs Factory International.

Concerts also take centre stage with The Whitlams celebrating the band’s 25th anniversary of Eternal Nightcap, and Katie and Tyrone Noonan marking 20 years since the release of Polyserena.

As well as the performances, BOQ Festival Gardens takes over South Bank Parklands transforming it into an inner-city wonderland of food, wine and entertainment.

A new addition for 2022 is the Brisbane Festival’s largest visual arts program, featuring new commissions, exhibitions and large scale installations from renowned artists Luke Jerram from the UK, Jen Lewin from the USA, Lindy Lee, Michael Zavros, Atelier Sisu and William Kentridge. Hiromi Tango and Dancenorth have also combined to create a major collaboration for the festival.

The world class dance program highlights Australian talent with works from acclaimed choreographers and companies including Stephanie Lake, Joel Bray, Dancenorth, Australasian Dance Collective, Restless Dance Theatre, Phluxux2 and House of Alexander.

Highly anticipated new works include Fourteen by shake & stir; the 80’s inspired live-action allegory Queen’s City by Althea Beetson; Holding Achilles by Dead Puppet Society and Legs on the Wall; and the new opera The Call featuring original music and libretto from Connor D’Netto, Kate Miller-Heidke and Keir Nuttall.

Festival favourites returning this year as well as Riverfire are the smoking ceremony Jumoo, Brisbane’s Art Boat, and Brisbane Serenades – featuring seven mini-music festivals traversing suburbs throughout the city.

QPAC continues as the festival hub, hosting Tony Award-nominated musical Girl from the North Country, Evonne Goolagong-Cawley’s heart-warming story Sunshine Super Girl and Stephanie Lake Company’s drum-and-dance extravaganza Manifesto.

Minister for the Arts Leeanne Enoch said this year’s Brisbane Festival was a wonderful celebration of Queensland talent.

“The Queensland Government supports Brisbane Festival to tell our stories, showcase new work and engage Queenslanders and visitors to the state with bold and engaging cultural experiences that create employment opportunities for the arts sector,” Enoch said.

“The Brisbane Festival is a vital incubator of Queensland’s creativity, originality and enormous talent and this year’s event will employ over 1,000 Queensland-based artists and arts workers, including more than 160 First Nations artists.”

Two new community programs called Dance Halls and Nightwalks with Teenagers, will encourage participation in the arts from a wider cross-section of the community.

Brisbane Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner said Brisbane Festival spotlighted the city’s thriving creative community and was an ideal opportunity for residents to support local venues and artists.

“In my unbiased opinion, Brisbane is Australia’s best city all year round but there’s a particular sense of fun and frivolity every September,” Schrinner said.

Tickets are on sale for the Brisbane Festival from Wednesday July 6.

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