The Brisbane Festival, a prominent annual event in Queensland’s cultural calendar, has its roots in The Warana Festival, which began in 1961. The Warana Festival featured a variety of events including a drama festival, writers’ week, and various outdoor activities.

Following the 1988 Expo, Brisbane aspired for a more sophisticated cultural event, leading to the creation of the Brisbane Festival in 1996 as a biennial arts festival. This initiative was taken by the Queensland Government and Brisbane City Council with an aim to foster the arts.

In 2009, the Brisbane Festival merged with Riverfestival, an annual river-based celebration, becoming an annual event and incorporating Riverfire, a popular fireworks display, as its opening weekend attraction​​​​.


The Brisbane Festival is one of Australia’s leading international arts festivals, held each September. The festival’s lineup includes classical and contemporary music, theatre, dance, comedy, opera, circus, and major public events such as Riverfire. It attracts an audience of around one million people every year and has become a key event in the city’s cultural scene​​.

As an example of what goes on the 2023 Brisbane Festival showcased Queensland’s extraordinary artists and arts organizations alongside national and international talent. The program included 19 world premieres, 11 Queensland premieres, and over 230 free performances, with collaborations from 57 Queensland Arts organisations. The festival undoubtably activatse the city with a vibrant program of arts and cultural experiences​​.

For more detailed information about the Brisbane Festival, including the program and ticketing, visit their official website at Brisbane Festival. You can also follow them on Facebook for updates and news about the festival at Brisbane Festival Facebook​.

Beyond the Festival

Brisbane, a vibrant city in Queensland, Australia, offers a wealth of attractions that extend beyond the Brisbane Festival, making it an exciting destination for visitors. The city is a hub of arts and culture, with several world-class theaters, art galleries, and performance spaces that showcase a diverse range of artistic expressions.

Arts and Culture: Brisbane is home to the Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA), one of Australia’s most significant contemporary art institutions. Queensland Ballet and Queensland Theatre present a variety of performances ranging from classical ballet to contemporary theater. Additionally, the city has a dynamic music scene with numerous live music venues hosting local and international artists.

Museums and Libraries: The city boasts several museums and libraries that offer insights into local history, art, and science. The Queensland Museum and Sciencentre provide interactive experiences, while the State Library of Queensland is a treasure trove of books and historical records.

Outdoor Spaces: Brisbane’s outdoor spaces are a major attraction. The South Bank Parklands feature lush gardens, walking paths, and a man-made beach. The Brisbane Botanic Gardens Mount Coot-tha offers a serene escape with native and exotic plants.

Dining Scene: The city’s dining scene is vibrant and diverse, with an array of cafes, restaurants, and bars. From high-end dining experiences to casual eateries, Brisbane’s culinary offerings cater to all tastes and preferences.

Proximity to Natural Attractions: Brisbane is ideally located near some of Australia’s most iconic natural attractions. The Great Barrier Reef, the world’s largest coral reef system, is accessible for day trips or longer excursions. The Daintree Rainforest, part of the Wet Tropics of Queensland, offers unique wildlife and ancient landscapes.

Great Barrier Reef

Historic Sites: The city’s history can be explored through its heritage buildings and historic sites. The Brisbane City Hall and Museum of Brisbane provide insights into the city’s past.

River Activities: The Brisbane River is central to the city’s identity. Visitors can enjoy river cruises, kayaking, and paddleboarding, or simply stroll along the riverbank to take in the city’s skyline.

For more detailed information about Brisbane’s attractions and to plan a visit, you can explore Visit Brisbane, the official tourism website for the city. This website offers comprehensive guides on things to do, places to eat, and upcoming events in Brisbane. Alternatively visit our sister website VisitAustralia.Earth for details about things to do in Brisbane and throughout Queensland.