Rochelle Auman | 25 July 2019

Brisbane Festival is back for 2019 with a jam-packed roster of fun, and we’re here to highlight the top 10 must-see and must-do events this year!

In case you’re new to town, we’ll give you the low-down: Brisbane Festival is 22 days of city-wide celebration that has crowds of all ages flocking to enjoy the best of the arts and entertainment, including circus, music, dance and theatre.  This year, Bris Fest is on from Friday 6 September – Saturday 28 September.

As usual, there’s something for everyone at Brisbane Festival, and this year they’re bringing the heat to make sure you have a great night out—from family-friendly events to music to comedy to visual spectacles.

So, without further ado—here are our top 10 Brisbane Festival picks this year:

1. Treasury Brisbane Arcadia
This free attraction is the social hub and centre of Brisbane Festival.

Stationed at South Bank, the Treasury Brisbane Arcadia has beautiful views all around, with everything from art installations to performances and a bar where you can grab a drink after dancing the night away. The Arcadia is also home to Spiegeltent, a venue for a number of the festival’s incredible performances.

2. Blanc de Blanc Encore
Thursday September 5 - Saturday September 29, South Bank

Get ready to submerge yourself in this burlesque extravaganza where Parisian glitz and glamour continue to create a party of Gatsby-esque proportions. Vintage French flair, risqué humour, spectacular aerials, comedy and big dance numbers will astonish and delight with opulent, cheeky, edge-of-your-seat theatre.

Tickets from $59 available here

3. Riverstage Birthday Bash
Saturday September 7, Brisbane Riverstage 

It's Riverstage's 30th birthday and you know Brisbane Festival are going to put on one hell of a show! With a smashing line-up including Hot Dub Time Machine, Cub Sport, Confidence Man, Last Dinosaurs and Clea, you can expect a showcase of songs from every decade and genre - from '60s rock to 90s RnB through to today's radio hits - forming a very special Rivertsage Top 30 countdown. 

Tickets from $65 + BF available here.

4. Regurgitator’s Pogogo Show
September 14 - 15, The Tivoli 

If you have kids and have been racking your brains on how to keep them entertained in the September holidays, worry no more! Regurgitator’s Pogogo Show. We know—the name is a funny one, but it’s one that fits perfectly with a show performed by the Regurgitator trio (described by Brisbane Festival as a ‘mash-up rock/electro/punk/poppin’ funtime outfit’) whose debut album was called The Really Really Really Really Boring Album.

Tickets from $24 + BF available here.

5. Swing On This
Saturday September 7 - Wednesday September 11, South Bank 

If you’re mad for music—in particular, gorgeous singing quartets—then get ready for a swoon fest, courtesy of Swing On This. This performance features four of Australia’s leading stage and screen stars: Michael Falzon, Luke Kennedy, Matt Lee, and Ben Mingay. These talented men will deliver a bold and modern twist on swing classics (think Sinatra and Bublé), as well as rock and pop hits that will have your toes tapping and your hands clutched over your heart.

Tickets start from $59—book here now

6. Kate Miller-Heidke
8pm, Friday September 27, QPAC 

Australia’s own pop icon, Kate Miller-Heidke, has had a busy career. She made the history books by being the only artist ever to perform at Coachella, the New York Metropolitan Opera, Brisbane’s QPAC and represent Australia at the Eurovision Song Contest, for which she placed in the top 10. Kate will be performing new versions of her hits, including Last Day on Earth, Caught in the Crowd and O Vertigo!, as well as a special sneak peek into brand spanking new songs!

Tickets from $62 + BF here.

7. Trevor Ashley in Double Ds: Two Decades of Divadom
8pm, Friday September 13

You may know Trevor Ashley as Australia’s cabaret queen—however, even though Ashley has breathed life into many of Australian musical theatre and cabaret’s most vivid characters, he has yet to play to its full potential one of his most important roles yet: himself. At Brisbane Festival, Trevor Ashley will be taking the stage to recount some of his favourite career moments, complete with epic music, comedy and a sequinned gown (or six!). In Double Ds: two Decades of Divadom, he will be showing us exactly why we love and honour the Trevor Ashley brand of brio and glamour.

Tickets from $57 + BF available here.

8. Anne Edmonds
Wednesday September 19 - Saturday September 21, QPAC

We all know that laughter is the best medicine—and there is nothing quite like a live comedy show, especially when it’s an Anne Edmonds show. One of Australia’s brightest stars on the comedy scene (you’ve probably seen her on the hilarious Have You Been Paying Attention?), Anne Edmonds is bringing her newest show, What’s Wrong With You?, to Brisbane Festival!

Tickets from $35 + BF available here.

9. River of Light
6.15pm, 8pm and 9pm, Friday September 6 - Saturday September 28, South Bank

River of Light is an experience that will absolutely take your breath away—plus it’s free, so you can pencil in an inexpensive date night or family evening out at this year’s Brisbane Festival! Hailed as “one of the greatest artistic triumphs of the year” by The Music in 2018, River of Light will be returning with its spectacular art-meets-technology display—using lights, lasers and water, River of Light will tell a Dreamtime story about the creation of the river.

10. Sunsuper Riverfire
Saturday September 28, South Bank

Even if you’ve never been to Brisbane Festival, chances are you’ve at least heard of the Sunsuper Riverfire! This firework display is iconic to Brisbane and rounds off Bris Fest—it marks the last day of the festival and draws crowds from all over.

So if there’s one event you want to lock in on your to-do list for Brisbane Festival 2019, make it this one. Gather your friends, pack a picnic blanket and some snacks, and set up a spot to watch the fireworks from!

And that’s our top 10 list done and dusted! The fun doesn’t stop at just 10 events, though—whether it’s a family-friendly event you’re after or a thrilling performance, there will definitely be something at Brisbane Festival 2019 for you! Mark down the dates in your calendar and book your tickets for the biggest arts events of the year to make sure you don’t miss out!


About the author


Rochelle is a 5-foot sass bomb with a serial penchant for taking photos of her daily adventures and writing about them. When she’s not on-the-go or working on a project, she loves watching hedgehog videos, scouting out new cafes with her friends, and drinking hot chocolate like it’s water.


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