Brisbane Festival

The Brisbane Festival is a respected and acclaimed International Arts Festival that incorporates music, dance, theatre, comedy, film, circus, opera and so much more.

For three whole weeks in September each year Brisbane theatre comes alive with a huge range of performances that attracts over a million visitors to the city.

There are a range of free and ticketed events, with Multi-Tix ticket packages available so the more performances you see the more you can save.

Brisbane Festival is rounded out by a display of some of the most advanced pyrotechnics and fireworks over the Brisbane River from three of the major city bridges.

Brisbane Festival: 5 - 26 Sept, 2015

Spiegeltent Garden Bar

Exploding onto the Brisbane art scene for another year, the 2015 Brisbane Festival is set to excite with a full line up of music, theatre, dance, comedy, opera, circus and much, much more.

Show are already on sale now with bookings available for Fear & Delight, Prize Fighter, and Renée Fleming, while many more shows, performances, and exhibits are still being confirmed.

Brisbane Festival activities spread out across the city, from the The Telstra Spiegeltent, QPAC and Festival Hub at South Bank, to Theatre Republic at Kelvin Grove, through to the Brisbane Powerhouse and a number of other performance venues.

The festival is brought to a close by the pyrotechnic displays of Sunsuper Riverfire. The skies will light up with an explosion of colour on the final night of the Brisbane Festival.

La Soiree in the SpiegeltentSunsuper RiverfireSunsuper Riverfire 2013

Date of next event: 5-26 September, 2015
Line up
: See below – tickets on sale 25 June
: Multiple venues across Brisbane
: Mix of free and paid events

Some of the festival shows include:


  • QSO & Simone Young
  • Renée Fleming
  • Paul Lewis


  • Prize Fighter


  • Fear & Delight

Getting there

The festival is made up of dozens of events and exhibits throughout the city. Check the venue information from each event’s tickets to find out where it's located. If you aren’t driving in Brisbane you’ll be able to make the most of the city’s public transport to get to most arts venues involved in the festival.

While the Brisbane Festival is city wide, accommodation in the CBD or at least Brisbane’s inner suburbs would put you in the best position to make it to most venues. If you interests lie with the RiverFestival then you’d be best to find South Brisbane accommodation that puts you in walking distance to most of the RiverFestival events.

For event times and ticket bookings head to the Brisbane Festival website. You’ll find a full program of all the festival events as well as vouchers and other information.

History of Brisbane Festival

First established in 1996 as a joint initiative between the Queensland Government and the Brisbane City Council to support arts in the city, the Brisbane Festival was originally a biennial event.

1998 saw the birth of the Riverfestival, a week long festival held in the last week of September each year. With celebrations in the South Bank Parklands and surrounding areas and bridges, the festival celebrated the Brisbane River and included a massive fireworks display over the River, known as Riverfire.

For a number of years the most exciting part of the Riverfire display was the dump and burn. One of the Royal Australian Air Force F-111s would fly just 300 feet above the city to dump and ignite their fuel load, creating a bright, flaming trail in the night sky. The spectacular event always created excitement for spectators, though unfortunately with the F-111s decommossioned the dump and burn came to an end. The final dump and burn was at the 2010 Riverfire when the plane flew at an altitude of 10,000 ft so the burn could be seen from as far away as the Gold Coast and Toowoomba.

In 2009 the Riverfestival merged with the Brisbane Festival to become the one, annual event that incorporated the Sunsuper Riverfire. Though it's one of the youngest major arts festivals in Australia, the Brisbane Festival attracts thousands of visitors to the city with over a million people attending the fireworks display at its end.