Brisbane: Australia's Event City

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With travel to the world’s top museums and art galleries parked on the tarmac right now, there’s a special joy in the great masterpieces of European art coming down under to Brisbane and in knowing our Aussie events are world-class.

In Southbank, Queensland’s Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) is wowing visitors with a spectacular exhibition of works by Caravaggio, Rembrandt, Vermeer, Turner, van Gogh, Cézanne, Monet and other great artists.

Brisbane is the only Australian city playing host to European Masterpieces from The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. GOMA was given the opportunity while The Met undertakes renovations. The exhibition, on until October 17, is one of the highlights on a jam-packed calendar of food and wine, sport, art and cultural events being held in Brisbane over the coming months.

If Monet’s Water Lilies are not your thing, there are plenty of other events to keep you entertained. Journey into subtropical Brisbane at City in the Sun, on at the Museum of Brisbane until February 27 next year.

Museum director Renai Grace says that to understand Brisbane, you need to understand the light and colour that shaped and continues to shape the city’s landscape, food, fashion, architecture and design ethos. Look out for the ‘backyard’ installation complete with flower beds, cubby house and tinsel sky.

From daring performances inside giant chrome bubbles to pop-up concerts, theatre premieres, First Nations fashion, and enormous coloured birds, it doesn’t get more weird and wonderful than Brisbane Festival, on from September 3 to 25.

The program is shaping up to be the biggest and brightest ever so it should come as no surprise that this year’s theme is Brightly Brisbane. During the festival, the highly anticipated production of Trent Dalton’s Boy Swallows Universe will have its world premiere at QPAC, while The Tivoli will host the world premiere of Restless Dream, a mesmerising production of First Nations’ music and dance. 

Entertainer David Campbell will bring his Back in the Swing big-band show to South Bank for one night, while Street Serenades hits the road with indie-folk outfit Boy & Bear, pop princess Christine Anu, Eurovision songstress Montaigne, and other top artists.The festival will go out with a bang when Riverfire lights up the city with fireworks on September 25. For a ringside seat, book into the Adina Apartment Hotel Brisbane overlooking the river or stay in style at the Adina Apartment Hotel Brisbane Anzac Square. Both are within walking distance of many events in the city and South Bank Cultural Precinct.

Among old favourites that will return this year after the COVID-19 pandemic threw everything into disarray are the Night Noodle Markets, Ekka and Oktoberfest. The Night Noodle Markets, on from July 21 to August 1 as part of Good Food Month, have a new location in the City Botanic Gardens.

The Royal Queensland Show, or Ekka as it is fondly known, holds a special place in the hearts of Queenslanders. From August 7-15, it will bring a taste of the bush to the city with live music, fashion, agricultural competitions, cookery and garden displays, animals, rides and amusements, not forgetting the famous strawberry ice-creams.

Dust off your dirndl and strap into your lederhosen for Oktoberfest which will transform the Brisbane Showgrounds into a Bavarian village from October 8-10 and 15-17. 

South Bank’s cultural heart will beat a little louder when The Ring Cycle, a world-class opera experience, comes to Brisbane between October 29 and November 20. In another magical case of the world coming to us, this spectacular production has an international cast retelling Wagner’s legendary tale through a futuristic lens. 

** Peace of mind when you stay with us: Introducing Clean Touch. Note some activities listed may be subject to Covid restrictions. **

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