Brisbane Festival draws to a close

Sunsuper Riverfire Credit Atmosphere Photography editorialThe 2014 Brisbane Festival has come to a spectacular end with 500,000 people swarming to the city for the pyrotechnic extravaganza Sunsuper Riverfire on Saturday 27 September.

This year’s Festival has been deemed the most successful yet, selling a record $2.5 million worth of tickets, up 65 per cent on 2013. The Telstra Spiegeltent was the place to be seen all of September, with an overflowing Garden Bar every night and sold-out shows including Andy Bull, The Kite String Tangle, Ronny Chieng, Jazz on Sunday and LIMBO.

Theatre Republic at QUT’s Creative Industries Precinct was also a hot ticket, with sold-out seasons of Tears Before Bedtime, Run Girl Run, SQUIDBOY, Point and Shoot, How to Keep an Alien and KRAKEN. Over at Brisbane Powerhouse, the world premiere of Monkey… Journey to the West proved the cult 70s show Monkey Magic still captures imaginations with all shows sold-out.

The Festival’s opener, DESH by Akram Khan – one of the world’s best contemporary choreographers and dancers – received standing ovations every night and five star reviews, while the operatic sensation of the year, The Perfect American put Brisbane on the map as only the third city in the world to see the latest work from the iconic Philip Glass.

Audiences lapped up the return of SOAP at The Courier-Mail Piazza and all tickets to the monumental maze Exxopolis were snapped up during the school holidays and on weekends.

Outgoing Brisbane Festival Artistic Director Noel Staunton expressed his thanks to the city for embracing the three-week-long festival.

“It has been rewarding to see the city take ownership of its annual arts festival and I feel I am leaving the Festival in a good place, as everyone now knows that September is festival time in Brisbane,” said Mr Staunton .

“There are many aspects of the last five years that I am proud of, but this year was truly special as it was such a coup to land The Perfect American for its exclusive Australian season. I am so pleased Brisbane audiences had the opportunity to see something like this and grateful to everyone who attended over the past five years. It is really the public that makes the Festival.”

The Brisbane Festival is an initiative of the Queensland Government and Brisbane City Council and ran from 6 to 27 September 2014. For more information visit

Image: Sunsuper Riverfire – photo by Atmosphere Photography