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    12 Things You Must See At Brisbane Festival

    By Visit Brisbane: Thursday August 6th 2020 

    Queensland’s most anticipated event will return in September with a joyous and uplifting program spanning giant outdoor installations, intimate street concerts, suburban symphonies and an epic new light and laser installation. This year's Brisbane Festival has been meticulously curated to bring personal and human connection back to everyday life.

    The festival will reawaken Brisbane with 490 performances across 91 events – 73 of which are free – to bring joy and hope to every corner of the city.

    There are 28 new works commissioned especially for Brisbane Festival 2020 and over 700 local artists will be employed, bolstering an industry that was decimated by COVID-19.

    The festival has listed COVID-safe practices for those attending.



    1. Messengers of Brisbane | 4 -26 September, various locations

    Renowned artist Florentijn Hofman’s large-scale installations are based on the Gouldian Finch with the aim of celebrating life and positive living. Create your own finches through local and online workshops and attach your messages of hope for the future.

    2. Exercise Surprises | 5 – 26 September, surprise locations around Brisbane

    Look out for some of Brisbane’s best and brightest artists as they launch a series of surprise encounters on bikeways and walking paths in a suburb near you. Prehistoric puppets, flash-mob cheer squads, playful lollipop ladies and acrobats flipping down paths are among the surprises in store.

    3. A Curious Arcade | 16 – 26 September, Brisbane Powerhouse

    Want to wander through an arcade full of strange, century-old storytelling machines? Presented by Imaginary Theatre, A Curious Arcade is full of mechanical curiosities built by Australian inventor Celeste Mackellan who disappeared in 1929. Her mechanical wonders tell timeless stories that will surprise and delight.

    4. Common People Dance Eisteddfod 2 | 19 September, South Bank Piazza

    If you’re keen on the longstanding northside/southside rivalry, you’ll love this one. The Common People Dance Project has returned to work with people of all ages and abilities to shape a series of no-holds-barred dance routines set to killer ‘80s and ‘90s tracks to prove which side of the city is best. Boogie on.

    5. The Creatures’ Place | 21 September, Brisbane City Hall

    Children won’t need Doctor Who’s Tardis to travel back in time to the Pleistocene era and come face to face with the enormous creatures of that time. Brought to life in puppet form by the creative geniuses of Dead Puppet Society, these ancient Australian giants will loom under the dome of City Hall. After your encounter, the artists will be available to bring your own creature to life.


    6. Cowboy | 4 – 6 September, Metro Arts

    Join Michael Smith for an interactive, solo contemporary dance work featuring a mesmerising original score composed by Ben Ely (Regurgitator). Set in the imagined sweeping landscape of a classic old western, Cowboy is an a complete, genuine, and meaningful experience with a poignantly funny yet sensitive side.

    7. MZAZA – The Birth and Death of Stars | 10 – 11 September, The Tivoli

    Contemplate your place in the universe as the sounds of some of Australia’s most diverse musicians and songwriters transport you to another time and place. Sitting between music and theatre, world music favourites MZAZA bring you their third album The Birth and Death of Stars - a surreal voyage exploring what links us to one another and the world around us.

    8. One Bottle Later | 16 – 20 September, Brisbane Powerhouse

    Get to know a stranger in this high-fun and low-risk socially distanced intimacy experiment. With 36 random questions, a bottle of your choice and a glitter drop, take a chance on a stranger becoming your new fast friend. One for bold and adventurous punters.

    9. How to Spell Love | 17 – 20 September, Metro Arts

    Blending evocative poetry, dance and a powerful live percussive score, acclaimed poet Anisa Nandaula premieres a distinctive examination of love, relationships and life as a migrant woman in contemporary Australia. With her signature style, Anisa unveils the experience of an individual caught within intersecting political and social structures.

    Dance & Circus

    10. Leviathan | 3 – 12 September, Queensland Performing Arts Centre


    Under the direction of Yaron Lifschitz, the dramatic power and extreme skill of Circa’s trademark acrobatics thrillingly expose the tension between the mass and the individual in this deeply moving and physically stunning show

    11. Socially Distanced Dance Club | 4, 11, 18 & 25 September, South Bank

    Common People Dance Project invites you to solo dance in a four-square metre space as you shimmy through dance fads across the ages as games and challenges are thrown your way. It’s the best way to boogie.

    12. Snapshot | 10 – 12 September, Brisbane Powerhouse

    Brisbane favourites Polytoxic have collaborated with more than 100 visual artists, dancers, writers, theatre makers and musicians to bring you a time capsule of life under lockdown. These stories are remixed with breathtaking aerials, soundscape and large-scale visuals projected on the walls of Brisbane Powerhouse.



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