Brisbane Festival 2018, one of Australia’s major international arts festivals, opened tonight with a dynamic art-meets-technology water, light and laser celebration that will wow festival audiences and visitors to the River City.
Speaking at the official opening, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said Brisbane Festival 2018 would feature no less than eight world premieres and stage 70 shows, delivering almost 600 performances across 17 of the city’s theatres and venues.
“Brisbane Festival presents a line-up of extraordinary local and international work in a program comprising theatre, dance, music, circus, cabaret and family entertainment,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“This year I am delighted the festival features our Brisbane River as the star of a new work in a nightly, state-of-the-art spectacle #CelebrateBrisbane River of Light, The Story of Maiwar.
“Created by Oracle Liquid alongside the Nunukul Yuggera Aboriginal Dance Company, the work will feature giant spirals of water and special lighting effects to tell the traditional story of how the Brisbane River was woven into existence.”
The Premier said the Queensland Government was proud to be a major supporter of Brisbane Festival, which had firmly positioned itself as a major drawcard for our city engaging audiences of approximately one-million people each year.
Arts Minister Leeanne Enoch said investment in the Brisbane Festival demonstrates the Government’s continued commitment to bolster the state’s reputation as a leading arts and cultural destination, and support the growth of the local arts sector.
“This year’s festival will showcase many talented Queensland arts companies and supports more than 1000 local arts workers and artists, including 300 volunteers,” Minister Enoch said.
“Local companies featured in this year’s program include Circa’s En Masse, The Good Room’s I’ve Been Meaning to Ask You, Dog Spoon’s A Coupla Dogs, Umami Mermaids by Anna Straker, The Owl and The Pussycat by Little Match Productions, and the Brisbane-produced BANG! BANG!
“Other home-grown highlights include the world premiere of Dust by Townsville-based Dancenorth, and singers from The Aboriginal Centre of Performing Arts will form the Gospel Choir in Struggle With Glory at The Tivoli,” she said.
Brisbane Festival Artistic Director David Berthold said 2018 was his biggest event yet and expected to beat last year’s box office records.
“Amongst all the big name international acts we’ve got local stories in spades. In fact, 80 per cent of the artists appearing in Brisbane Festival this year are Queensland-based,” Mr Berthold said.
“It is really pleasing too, that there are lots of opportunities for public participation — Symphony for Me and Qweens on King each share very personal stories.
“Brisbane Festival is both local and global, with a welcoming spirit that we hope makes the experience accessible to all.
“None of this would be possible without the terrific ongoing support of the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland, and Brisbane City Council. We’re very excited to open!”
The Premier said Festival favourites such as the vibrant festival hubs will again pop-up at Treasury Brisbane Arcardia at South Bank’s Cultural Precinct and Theatre Republic at Kelvin Grove’s QUT Creative Industries Precinct uniting communities, families and visitors over performances, live music, and food.
Sunsuper Riverfire fireworks centred on the Brisbane River around South Bank, the CBD and surrounding areas will ensure the Festival finishes with a bang on Saturday 29 September 2018.
For Brisbane Festival program details, head to 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