How long has it been since you last went out to a live show? To an art exhibition? To explore your city? Answer: too long.
2020 has been a challenging year, with the entertainment and tourism industry taking on the biggest blow of all. Events that we have looked forward to all year have been postponed indefinitely time and time again, or worse yet, just plain old cancelled (RIP Splendour in the Grass 2020). It’s safe to say we are beyond eager to jump back into the swing of things, and so for all those looking for some semblance of normality this year, we have some good news—Brisbane Festival 2020 is happening.
Proving that not even a pandemic can keep our city spirit down, the festival will take place from September 4–26, with a massive 91 different events set to spread joy across the city (not corona). Unlike any festival before it, this Brisbane Festival is designed to speak to our current situation and encourage human connection—while still keeping us 1.5m apart.
Artistic Director Louise Bezzina said of the 2020 program, “Brisbane Festival is just the tonic our state needs; it is a chance for us to welcome joy and celebration back to the suburbs and streets and reacquaint ourselves with the city, its people, artists and lifestyle.”
Unfortunately the festival will be running without the miraculous Riverfire display this year (we know, we’re sad too), but we promise there will be so many other jaw-dropping events happening, you won’t even notice—like the Sunsuper Night Sky for example. This year, look up and it’s not fireworks you’ll see, but a stunning laser and light installation beaming from the rooftops of skyscrapers scattered across the city. Created by iconic audio-visual artist Robin Fox, this mesmerising light display set to an equally spellbinding soundtrack will be taking over the Brisbane skyline each Friday and Saturday night of the festival. The best part? The installation can be seen for miles, so you don’t need to do the whole mad Riverfire rush to get that perfect vantage point.
Other events on the program to get excited for installations like Rainbow Circles by artist Hiromi Tango at Metro Arts’ new home in West Village, where luminescent rainbow aches will be taking over the gardens, and Throttle, a part-horror, part-theatre, full-thrill drive-in experience guaranteed to get your heart racing.Then there’s the Socially Distanced Dance Club, an outdoor dance floor where you can show off your best moves in your own 4 square metre space, or the surprise flash mob cheer squads that will be striking runners unawares on footpaths around town.
Bonus, of the 91 events in the line-up, 73 of them are free, so there’s something for everyone—and every budget. We’ve only mentioned a handful—there’s also intimate concerts, circus, talks, workshops and even events you can do at home. You can find the full program and plan your month out here.
In the meantime, you can cosy up in these pop-up igloo bars around town.
Image credit: Supplied