Brisbane Festival reveals 2017 program

Brisbane Festival Kaleidoscope Ethan Hugh - photo by Dylan EvansBrisbane Festival has opened the portal to 22 days of wonder, unveiling the spectacular full program for September’s three-week city-wide celebration.

With more than 60 events including five world premiere commissions, 11 Australian premieres, 25 Queensland premieres, and a star-studded lineup of international luminaries, Australian legends and homegrown heroes, Brisbane Festival is set to envelope the city in a sea of pink, 9 – 30 September 2017.

“Brisbane Festival is proud to be a leading international arts festival, bringing some of the biggest names in the business from all over the world to our river city throughout September,” said Artistic Director David Berthold.

Live music dominates the program, befitting a city that takes pride in its place in the history of contemporary popular music. There are 26 unique events including British megastars London Grammar headlining an outdoor mini-festival at Riverstage; the euphoric Megan Washington in concert with Queensland Symphony Orchestra; and Australian rock legends Tex Perkins, Don Walker and Charlie Owens.

Theatre highlights from the world stages include the Lyric Hammersmith’s compelling production of Ferdinand von Schirach’s controversial courtroom drama Terror; ravishing Chinese dance-drama Under Siege; and the exclusive Australian premiere of astonishing new circus and physical theatre work Per Te, from the creators of last year’s La Verita.

There’s also a string of work from the Asia Pacific, reflecting Brisbane’s close relationships in the region. There’ll be work from China, Korea, Singapore and Indonesia. The program sings with local legends too, including Dead Puppet Society and Tim Sharp’s highly-anticipated visual theatre extravaganza Laser Beak Man; Casus Circus’ dizzying new work Driftwood; and a double-dose from homegrown hit-makers Strut & Fret, including the sizzling LIMBO UNHINGED.

“If you want spectacle, see Under Siege. If you want beauty, see Per te. If you want a mind expander, see Terror. If you want a sense expander, see Attractor. If you want fun, see Fun House. If you want joy, see Laser Beak Man. If you want to salivate, see Chef: Come Dine With Us! If you want to sizzle, see LIMBO UNHINGED,” said Berthold.

This year, Brisbane Festival increases its venue-footprint to include The Tivoli in celebration of the building’s 100-year anniversary. “It’s a big year for The Tiv, so we thought we’d celebrate in style with a program of very special shows, aimed at celebrating the past, whilst looking towards an exciting future for The Tivoli in Brisbane,” said Berthold.

Tivoli highlights include Brisbane art-rock legends Regurgitator, indie sensations Angus and Julia Stone, and the ultimate ‘90s masquerade-ball rock show, Young Hearts Run Free – featuring live performances of the entire soundtrack to Baz Luhrmann’s modern masterpiece, Romeo + Juliet.

2017 sees several favourite Festival hubs return, including Treasury Brisbane Arcadia at South Bank Cultural Forecourt, home to Magic Mirrors Spiegeltent and daily free performances at Little Creatures LIVE, and the beautifully-designed festival site Theatre Republic at QUT Creative Industries Precinct, Kelvin Grove.

The 22-day celebration crescendos Saturday 30 September with Australia’s longest fireworks celebration Sunsuper Riverfire igniting the city skyline for the 20th time.

The 2017 Brisbane Festival runs 9 – 30 September. For more information and full program, visit: for details.

Image: Ethan Hugh stars in Kaleidoscope – photo by Dylan Evans