6 Free Events At This Years Brisbane Festival You Have To See

Marco Ruiz Marco Ruiz - Staff Writer

6 Free Events At This Years Brisbane Festival You Have To See

Spring is near and that means Brisbane Festival is around the corner.

There’s not much like a city-wide festival to awaken us from our winter slumber and get us moving again. Hopefully, all goes according to plan and we don’t have more postponements or cancellations and Brisbane Festival goes off with a bang. Especially after getting the news that Riverfire will be closing the festival once again.

The Brisbane River and city landmarks will be transformed into a stage for an explosion of art and performance to occur between September 3-25. You could be walking down the street and be delighted by a giant bird with a party hat on its head, or be stopped dead in your tracks by a wonderful display of colour. And there are many events, installations and performances that will be free to attend. Take a look at our pick below.

1. Lost

Amanda Parer’s larger-than-life installation Lost was the star attraction at Beyond The Sand—the Gold Coast’s arts festival earlier in the year. Now, it’s going to be taking over Brisbane’s West Village.

Lost is Parer’s attempt to celebrate and preserve nature. By using oversized and extinct botanicals made from Nylon 210D and illuminated from the inside by stunning LED lights while inflated by air blowers, attendees are dwarfed by the installation and forced to explore their own relationship with the natural world while at the same time showcasing its wonder in all of its beautiful forms.

📌 More info

2. IMB Institute of Light

The BOQ Festival Garden is being taken over by a mysterious game of secrets where techno-troublemakers, Counterpilot, have hidden the discoveries of the Institute for Molecular Bioscience’s (IMB). Find them and solve the puzzle and you’ll trigger a display of light and sound created from real microscopic imagery.

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3. La Boite HWY Parties

The La Boite forecourt will be hosting two parties this Brisbane Festival.

The first, HWY Shandy Takeover, will see local artists, performers, DJs and musicians turning the space into a glittery fiesta while the second, HWY Block Party & Exhibition Opening, will see Blaklash curate and unveil three new works.


The parties will be all kinds of fun and fabulous as well as free to attend, but registration will be necessary.

📌 More info

4. The Mechanics of Adaption

Ten years and four million trips later, Brisbane’s CityCycle program is coming to a close. But what will happen to the bicycles?

Commissioned by Metro Arts, this world premiere event will see artists Ross Manning, Kinly Grey, Susan Hawkins, Aishla Manning and Sarah Poulgrain collaborate with Traction and students from The Sycamore School to reimagine the bikes just as Marcel Duchamp did way back in 1913.

📌 More info

5. Piano Burning

Fire is a transformative act, one that reconfigures a material into something else while displaying a multisensory performance of sorts.

In 1968, Annea Lockwood set fire to an irreparable piano in London, the first in a series of pieces that transformed the piano into something else through fire and altered our relationship with the famed instrument.

Brisbane will be able to experience Piano Burning on 10 September from 6:30pm at 89 MacArthur Avenue, Hamilton.

📌 More info

6. Messengers of Brisbane

Back by popular demand! That’s right, we asked for the giant Golden Finches with party hats to return and we cannot be happier that Brisbane Festival listened.

Designed by Florentijn Hofman (NL) and brought to larger-than-life status by Brisbane’s Urban Art Projects, this installation acts as a powerful reminder that these beautifully coloured native birds are endangered.

📌 More info

To avoid disappointment, make sure to check the Brisbane Festival website for specific dates and times as some installations do not run for the full length of the festival programme.

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