What’s On: Brisbane Festival 2021

Brisbane Festival

3 – 25 September 2021

Brisbane Festival have announced their 2021 ‘Brightly Brisbane’ festival program, inviting the city to re-emerge, connect, celebrate and shine brightly under Brisbane’s expansive skies this September. Over 23 days in September, Brisbane Festival will commission 18 new works, stage 15 world premieres, deliver 139 productions, and present events in 223 locations across the city (with more than half of the events free!).

Launching her second program, Brisbane Festival Artistic Director Louise Bezzina said the core themes of community and celebration lay at the heart of the 2021 Festival.

“There is a renewed ambition to this year’s Festival, a joyous and uplifting celebration of our River City, with large new creations, such as the premiere of Brisbane’s Art Boat along with a spectacular line up of world class talent,” Ms Bezzina said. “This year’s program builds upon 2020’s Boldly Brisbane vision and beckons locals and visitors alike to step into the spring light, reconnect, celebrate and enjoy this Brightly Brisbane Festival.”

Brisbane Festival Indigenous Advisory Group chair Michelle Tuahine said this year’s Festival would spotlight unique and untold stories. “This year, 168 First Nations artisans, performers and creatives share their intensely personal narratives through ceremony, smoke, songline and performance,” Ms Tuahine said. “We look forward to sharing our world with you.”

Check out a few of the 2021 highlights below:

  • Brisbane’s Art Boat, a new floating art experience cruising between South Bank and Northshore, Hamilton, will immerse audiences in a glowing world and bathe the Brisbane River in a new light. Airship Orchestra, a multisensory inflatable installation up to six metres high sets sail on Brisbane’s Art Boat from 3 – 12 September with Sky Castle, an interactive dreamscape of inflatable, luminous arches and ethereal symphonies taking to the water from 16 – 25 September.
  • A brand-new Festival hub, BOQ Festival Garden: a world of food, wine, entertainment and discovery, popping up in South Bank. Free and open to all, BOQ Festival Garden will feature live entertainment, roving performers, school holiday fun, food, bars and a mysterious interactive adventure.
  • The world premiere of Trent Dalton’s Boy Swallows Universe, adapted for the stage by Tim McGarry and presented by Brisbane Festival, Queensland Theatre and QPAC (30 August – 3 October).
  • At Northshore, Hamilton from 8 – 12 September, RED is a contemporary dance piece from Townsville-based Dancenorth Australia that is both epic and intimate. In a statement on survival, two dancers perform inside a transparent bubble as the air they breathe slowly runs out.
  • Design performance event First Nations Fashion: Walking in Two Worlds.
  • Street Serenades hits the road again to dazzle audiences across all 190 Brisbane suburbs with big-name artists including Boy & Bear, Christine Anu, Montaigne and Queensland Ballet and showstopping performances spanning circus, cabaret, dance, DJ sets and live music. Additionally, Street Serenades: At Our Place is a new public program working with neighbourhood and community centres in Inala, Acacia Ridge, Wynnum, Ellen Grove, Cannon Hill, Nundah, Mitchelton and Coopers Plains to bring people together through music and movement.
  • At QPAC’s Concert Hall, Buŋgul, a celebration of the talent and musical legacy of Gurrumul Yunupiŋu, makes its Queensland debut from 24 – 25 September. Yolŋu dancers, songmen and musicians from the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University and Camerata – Queensland’s Chamber Orchestra bring to life the songs, dances and paintings that inspired Gurrumul’s album Djarimirri (Child of the Rainbow).
  • Let’s Be Friends Furever, a crowd-sourced homage to our four-legged friends turning Powerhouse Theatre into Brisbane’s artiest off-leash area from 16 – 25 September.
  • Sunsuper Riverfire will return in 2021, a final big-bang sparkle for the 2021 festival on Saturday 25 September.

All programmed events are on sale. For ticketing and further information, visit the Brisbane Festival website

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