Australia’s largest major international arts festival, Brisbane Festival has kicked off in venues across the city today.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the event, running until 28 September, was a chance for Queenslanders to enjoy world-class performances and experiences and to celebrate local talent.
“This year Brisbane Festival is showcasing more work to a larger audience than any other major international arts festival in the country,” the Premier said.
“The economic benefits are amazing. Last year’s Festival attracted more than 1.14 million people and injected over $38 million into Queensland’s economy.”
Officially opening the festival tonight, Minister for the Arts Leeanne Enoch said that Brisbane Festival was a great success story for Queensland.
“Over the next 23 days, Brisbane will host 84 productions and 500 shows, with about 850 Queensland arts workers, artists and volunteers entertaining and engaging audiences across the city,” Minister Enoch said.
Opening-day performances include Grammy-winning composer and instrumentalist Jacob Collier; the burlesque extravaganza of Blanc de Blanc Encore; powerful music theatre with SS Mendi: Dancing the Death Drill by South Africa’s Isango Ensemble; and the inspiring We Live Here by Brisbane’s own Flipside Circus.
“Brisbane Festival continues to go from strength to strength, attracting national and international visitors,” Ms Enoch said.
“This premier Australian arts event brings the most sought-after international productions to our city and also showcase Queensland artists to the world.
“Highlights this year include the huge international production Invisible Cities, the mesmerising Fire Gardens in the City Botanic Gardens, the free River of Light evening laser show on the Brisbane River, and of course Sunsuper Riverfire providing a spectacular fireworks display to close the festival on 28 September.
“With many free and low-cost shows, and lots of family-friendly experiences, there is entertainment for everyone.
“Queensland has a dynamic and diverse arts scene and that is why the Palaszczuk Government is continuing to invest in initiatives that support and showcase local artists and companies and ensure Queenslanders have access to world-class arts and cultural experiences.”
Brisbane Festival Artistic Director David Berthold said the scale and scope of this year’s event was something to celebrate.
"This year, Brisbane Festival becomes the largest of the nation's major international arts festivals, in terms of number of events and number of people reached,” Mr Berthold said.
“It is both boldly Brisbane and gloriously global, with many engagements with Queensland artists and companies, large and small, and works from five continents.
"We celebrate artists from here and around the world, but we also celebrate our river, our gardens, our great outdoor spaces, and our history, as well as secret places that we will enliven with great experiences.
“This festival is a great voyage of discovery, a way of exploring our city, and a way to go around the world in 23 days."
For programming and ticketing information visit: https://www.brisbanefestival.com.au
Premier and Minister for Trade
The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk
Minister for Environment and the Great Barrier Reef, Minister for Science and Minister for the Arts
The Honourable Leeanne Enoch