Let’s get festive, Brisbane
It’s that time of year again, Brisbane. The annual Brisbane Festival is almost upon us, meaning we can all get our cultural hats on and prepare for 3 weeks of music, dance, art and theatre. Plus, everyone’s favourite event: Riverfire. Every year, some of the most talented artists and performers create and showcase truly brilliant works to the city. This year, there’s around 600 Brisbane Festival performances – 100 of which are free – across 17 venues with over 1000 artists taking part. Cool, no? This is definitely a time where you won’t be left wondering what’s on in Brisbane this weekend.
The best Brisbane events this year
This year is a pretty major year for Brisbane Festival. You’ll find huge acts, world premiers and of course, the creme da la creme: Riverfire, which only gets better every year. You’ll find jaw-dropping works from Circa, Dancenorth and Legs on the Wall. As well as shows by Brisbane heroes Ball Park Music, Violent Soho and a whole host of other Aussie bands. Then, there is the signature piece Memorial starring Helen Morse that’s inspired by Homer’s Iliad and features a community chorus of 215 people, with music by Jocelyn Pook.
What’s on in Brisbane during Brisbane Festival?
This year for the first time, Brisbane Festival is divided into three acts. One for each week of the festival. Act One is designed around the concepts of home, memory and gender. Within it, be sure to catch Memorial, Home, Yothu Yindi and The Treaty Project, Symphony For Me and Gratitude & Grief (a collaboration between Katie Noonan, Michael Leunig and The Camerata).
Act Two at Brisbane Festival is aaaall about nature, fate and society. Heavy topics that have been met with brilliance. Be sure to catch En Masse by Circa – it’s a revelation. Also, Dust by Dancenorth and BANG! BANG! by Rhonda Burchmore are highlights you don’t want to miss.
Wrapping up, Act Three rounds up Brisbane Festival in a fun, vibrant and fierce manner with the likes of HORROR, an homage to scary movies, Man With The Iron Neck by Legs on the Wall and the collaboration between Eskimo Joe and Brisbane Chamber Camerata at QPAC Concert Hall. That’s all before the finale of Sunsuper Riverfire lighting the sky up for the 21st anniversary of the iconic show. If Riverfire 2017 was anything to go off, we’re in for a damn treat.
Where to eat during the Brisbane Festival
Now, with so many epic shows on at Brisbane Festival, you’ll probably be wondering where to eat and take a break in between performances. Maybe that’s just us? Either way, we’ve got a list of restaurants located near the main performance spaces that we highly recommend you visit. You can either dine before or after the shows, and each venue has a pretty enticing drinks list too. Who doesn’t love a post-show cocktail, amirite? So, read on, decide where to eat during Brisbane Festival and then get booking fam. You’ll need tickets and restaurant reservations sorted stat! Bring on Bris Fest!
1. The Treasury Building – Corbett & Claude
Head to The Treasury Building for a cultural feast before heading to Corbett & Claude on Elizabeth Street for a literal feast. Order up a few rounds of pizza, antipasti and cocktails while you swap opinions on the shows you’ve just seen or are about to see. It’s only a 9 minute stroll down Elizabeth Street too, so you’ll be fed and watered in no time without needing an Uber.
The Treasury: George Street, Brisbane CBD 4000
Corbett & Claude: 283 Elizabeth Street, Brisbane CBD 4000Book Corbett & Claude
2. The Tivoli – SAIKO Teppanyaki
Ah The Tivoli, one of Brisbane’s most loved live music venues. Hosting Brisbane Festival’s best musicians for Tivoli in the Round as well as plenty of other live performances, the chances of you catching a gig here during Brisbane Festival are very high indeed. So where better to fill up than down the road at SAIKO Teppanyaki where theatricality is all part of the experience? Located in The Emporium, it’s a 15 minute walk here but more than worth it.
The Tivoli: 52 Costin Street, Fortitude Valley, Brisbane 4006
SAIKO Teppanyaki: 1000 Ann Street, Fortitude Valley, Brisbane 4006Book SAIKO
3. QPAC – Viet De Lites
When you think about theatre, dance and art, generally QPAC springs to mind first. Part of the Cultural Centre hub, you’ll find the vast majority of the best shows taking part here. So, to match this exceptional feeling, you best be dining somewhere with a reputation to match. That’s where Viet De Lites comes in… More laidback than QPAC, this local South Brisbane favourite is home to some of the best Asian food going. Perfect, really.
QPAC: 100 Grey Street, South Brisbane 4101
Viet De Lites: 4 Little Stanley Street, South Brisbane 4101Book Viet De Lites
4. Theatre Republic – Thai Ayuthaya Kelvin Grove
Easily one of the best Thai restaurants in Brisbane, heading to Thai Ayuthaya on Kelvin Grove Road after catching a show at the QUT Theatre Republic space is essential. You can stroll down in under 10 minutes, order plates upon plates of noodles, curries, salads and spring rolls and discuss your opinions on the art til you’re blue in the face. This is what Brisbane Festival is all about, team.
Theatre Republic: QUT Creative Industries Precinct, Gona Parade, Kelvin Grove, Brisbane 4059
Thai Ayuthaya Kelvin Grove: 252 Kelvin Grove Road, Kelvin Grove, Brisbane 4059Book Thai Ayuthaya
5. Brisbane City Hall – Comuna Cantina
Where better to head to than Comuna Cantina after a Brisbane Festival event at Brisbane City Hall. Smack bang in the heart of the city, this spot is all about Latin American culinary culture and really great cocktails. You can access it from Queen Street Mall and Albert Street, and it’s only a 3 minute walk from the City Hall. A match made in cultural heaven if you ask us.
Brisbane City Hall: 64 Adelaide Street, Brisbane CBD 4000
Comuna Cantina: 175 Albert Street, Brisbane CBD 4000Book Comuna Cantina
6. Brisbane Powerhouse – The Smoke BBQ
Is there a more exemplary venue than Brisbane Powerhouse? We challenge you to name one. Located on the river in New Farm, this beautiful venue has played host to so many artists and shows that we simply can’t keep track. Also, Brisbane Powerhouse is only a stone’s throw from American barbecue haven, The Smoke BBQ. You can walk here via New Farm Park in 10 minutes and then keep the party alive by catching a gig somewhere in The Valley. Yes, please and thank you!
Brisbane Powerhouse: 119 Lamington Street, New Farm, Brisbane 4005
The Smoke BBQ: 9/85 Merthyr Road, New Farm, Brisbane 4005Book Smoke BBQ
7. QLD Conservatorium Griffith University – Harajuku Gyoza - Southbank
One of Brisbane’s leading art hubs, Queensland Conservatorium at Griffith University in Southbank is home to some seriously impressive performances at this year’s Brisbane Festival. One of our favourite things to do at Bris Fest is to grab a crew, catch a show and then fill up on dumplings, beer and sake at Harajuku Gyoza. The best bit? It’s only a 5 minute walk down Grey Street.
QLD Conservatorium Griffith University: 140 Grey Street, South Brisbane 4101
Harajuku Gyoza Southbank: 184 Grey Street, South Brisbane 4101Book Harajuku Gyoza