Art & Design

Food Trucks, Film Festivals & Live Bands | The G20 Celebrations Kick Off This Weekend!

By Desta Cullen
22nd Oct 2014

Brisbane, you've done it! You've reached the zenith of cool, and in less than a month, US Prez' Obama—and 20+ other leaders of the free world—will be converging on our humble (river) shores to celebrate G20. 

Not since Expo days has this city been under the international spotlight in such a big way, and Brisbane, well, you've stepped up to the plate. 

Sure, the city may come to a bit of a halt for one weekend in November as the world's leaders get their heads together for some important meetings, but the three weeks leading up to it are going to be a riot of colour, dance, music, art, culture, and food. 

It's one big, three-week long par-tay, and it all kicks off this Friday. 

There's going to be a lot of things to do in Brisbane over G20, and because we know you can't be everywhere at once, we've round up the best events on at this year's ultimate (free!) cultural shin-dig. Get amongst it, Brisbane.

All events are free and full timetables are available at the G20 Cultural Celebrations' website.

Week 1 | 24th – 31st October

Opening Night 

The celebrations will kick off with opening night on Friday, October 25 at The Courier-Mail Piazza with a 'best-of' highlights package including A Welcome to Country, performances by Robert Forster, William Barton, ACPA singers and top Latin band Chukale, as well as an impressive lighting and laser projection across the city.

When: 5:30pm – 7pm; 25th October
Where: The Courier-Mail Piazza, South Bank

Colour Me Brisbane

Colour-us-tickled-pink, 'cause this is a cool idea! Paint your City allows people to select their own virtual palette of vibrant colours and see Brisbane's most recognisable landmarks transform as part of the spectacular, Colour Me Brisbane interactive light and projection display from the CBD and South Bank.

When: Nightly from 6pm; 24th October until 9th November
Where: Brisbane CBD and South Bank

Emma Louise

Brisbane darling, and internationally acclaimed singer-songwriter Emma Louise will return to her old stomping ground to perform a one-night only show at The Hi-Fi on Saturday 25th October, where she will debut her latest single—a love letter of sorts—to her childhood growing up in Brisbane's West End.

When: 7:30pm; Saturday 25th October
Where: The Hi-Fi, West End


Featuring five hours of live street art, DJs, break dance competitions and MC shows, this is a true hip hop celebration. Over 100 break-dancers from all over the country will make their way to King George Square, Brisbane, as Skill@Will reach a significant milestone in their inspiring journey—their 10 year crew anniversary. This is definitely going to be one of, if not the biggest breakdance jam's that Australia has witnessed.

When: 5pm-10pm; Saturday, 25th October
Where: King George Square


People across Brisbane will unite in a vibrant display of human spirit as SpringFlare, Australia's biggest colour festival, bursts on to the Brisbane Riverstage on Sunday, 26 October. With hourly colour countdowns, everybody's invited to join the colour throwing festivities while enjoying multicultural performances, food and activities from 11am – 2pm. A live music program featuring Brisbane's best emerging talent kicks off at 2pm, featuring Michelle Xen, Dubmarine, and The Belligerents.

When: 11am – 7pm; Sunday 26th October
Where: Riverstage

The Pillars Street Art Gallery

Merivale Street's largest pillars will be transformed into artists' canvases as Brisbane's best current and emerging street artists work their magic to create murals that will be a sign of the city's awesomeness for years to come!

When: 24th October – 16th November 
Where: Merivale Street, South Bank Parklands

Week 2 | 1st – 7th November

Brisbane on Parade

Brisbane on Parade will be a celebration of our capital city's diverse cultures as the carnival-style parade wind its way through the city before finishing at South Bank. Full of costume and colour, it's Brisbane's answer to Carnivale!

When: 4pm; 1st November
Where: River Quay to Cultural Forecourt

Reel Connection Film Festival

Celebrating all things diversity over nine days leading up to G20, the Reel Connections Film Festival will bring films from all over the world to Brisbane audiences. Both feature films and documentaries will be shown from countries such as India, Mexico, USA and Poland.   

When: 7pm; 28th October – 30th October, 4th – 6th November, 11th – 13th November
Where: Queensland Multicultural Centre, Kangaroo Point

The World According to Brass (feat. James Morrison)

Nothing says Brisbane more than good music, beautiful weather and great company in our books. Which is why The World According to Brass is pretty high on our list of things to do during the G20. The Riverstage will be an explosion of jazz and revelry as James Morrison—along with some of Australia's finest brass musicians—celebrate the plethora of cultures that have influenced the world of brass music. 

When: 7pm; Friday, 7th November
Where: Riverstage

Week 3 | 8th – 14th November

The End of the Line Festival 

Woolloongabba will host its very own street festival as part of G20, celebrating the precinct's unique history, booming restaurant and bar scene, renowned antiques, and eclectic wares. This inaugural 'The End of the Line Festival' will include an exciting program of free events from street markets, live music and entertainment to an antique roadshow, historical displays, film screenings and a Penny-farthing parade! 

When: Saturday 8th November
Where: Little Logan Road, Woolloongabba


The Queensland Ballet has been hard at work to bring this enchanting and captivating story by E.T.A. Hoffman, which follows a romance between two villagers—Franz and Swanilda—and their madcap neighbour Dr Coppélius's eccentric projects, to life for the G20 festival. 

When: 6pm; Sunday 9th November
Where: Riverstage

Small Batch 

Laneways and food trucks together in one place? Watch out Melbourne, we're coming for you when it comes to cool street parties. Small Batch will see some of the city's best local producers and food trucks converge on Wandering Cooks in South Brisbane, bringing their most delicious wares with them. Sample from more than 35 small producers and chill in the cool block-party atmosphere with live tunes and good food.   

When: 6pm – 10pm; Sunday 9th November
Where: Corner of Fish Lane & Cordelia Street

The Medics and Guests

Queensland rockers The Medics, who hit the scene with their debut EP in 2008, have played at some of Australia's biggest festivals, and for G20 they'll take the stage with a vengeance to celebrate the last week of the cultural celebrations. 

When: 7:30pm; Tuesday 11th November
Where: Hi-Fi, West End

What's New Brisbane

TUL Note: Today's List Love post is proudly sponsored by G20 Cultural Celebrations and endorsed by The Urban List. Our sponsored posts will never be a secret — the List Love seal will be stamped on any sponsored material you see on the site. Thank you for supporting the sponsors who make The Urban List possible.   

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