Brisbane Festival returns brighter than ever

Published Friday, 03 September, 2021 at 01:52 PM


Premier and Minister for Trade
The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk

Minister for Tourism Industry Development and Innovation and Minister for Sport
The Honourable Stirling Hinchliffe

Minister for Communities and Housing, Minister for Digital Economy and Minister for the Arts
The Honourable Leeanne Enoch

Brisbane Festival 2021 is back with a jam-packed three-week program of performances and arts experiences set to excite and entice Queenslanders, ending with the Sunsuper Riverfire spectacular.

The festival officially opens tonight, with a Brightly Brisbane program, celebrating an artistic recovery from COVID-19.

“After a COVID-impacted program last year which meant a lot of the festival couldn’t go ahead including the fireworks, we are bringing this year’s festival back with a bang,” the Premier said.

“Thanks to the way Queenslanders have managed this health pandemic, I’m pleased to say the show can go on.

“Queensland is in an enviable position right now, there is no other city on the east coast of Australia that can put on an event like this at the moment.

“We know our arts industry has been one of the hardest hit during this global pandemic so to be able to showcase their unique stories and immerse audiences in the power and passion of the arts, is really special.” 

The Premier said over the three-week program, this year’s festival would showcase 43 Queensland companies and employ more than 1000 local artists. 

“Brisbane Festival has commissioned 17 new works and will present 16 world premieres with a total of 139 productions presented in 220 locations across the city,” the Premier said.

“Queensland audiences will be the first to experience the world premiere of Boy Swallows Universe, bringing to life the internationally successful first novel by local writer Trent Dalton and the compelling story of a boy growing up in suburban Brisbane. 

“Rounding out the mammoth 3 weeks of arts experiences will be the highly anticipated return of the festival favourite, the Sunsuper Riverfire, lighting up the skies across the city and attracting visitors from all over the state.

“My government is proud to support Brisbane Festival because it supports our arts industry by providing employment opportunities for local artists and arts workers to create and develop new Queensland work.”

Minister for the Arts Leeanne Enoch said that Brisbane Festival continues to demonstrate the awesome creative capabilities of the arts sector in adapting and pivoting around a global pandemic to present an outstanding festival for Queensland.  

Street Serenades: At Our Place is a perfect example of this adaptability delivering 64 creative arts workshops across Brisbane in partnership with local neighbourhood centres and bringing together people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities in a celebration of local community identity and resilience,” Minister Enoch said. 

“This year will be the festival’s largest-ever First Nations program, opening with tonight’s Jumoo smoking ceremony at South Bank, and featuring 157 First Nations artists engaged across the 23-day event.”

“The festival has provided a platform for Queensland companies Dancenorth, Karul Projects, Digi Youth Arts, Camerata, Casus Circus, Polytoxic, Flipside, Vulcana, Access Arts, The Good Room, Indelibility Arts, Blaklash, Australasian Dance Collective, along with work from state companies Queensland Ballet, Queensland Theatre, Queensland Symphony Orchestra and Opera Queensland.

“The arts are key to delivering our plan for economic recovery, each year injecting $8.5 billion into the state’s economy and supporting more than 92,000 jobs for Queenslanders.”

Tourism Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said the Brisbane Festival was a significant contributor to Queensland’s visitor economy.

“Events play a major role in attracting visitors to the region and are important to the Palaszczuk Government’s Covid-19 Economic Recovery Plan,” Mr Hinchliffe said.

“More visitors mean more business for accommodation and transport providers, restaurants, cafes and tourism operators, supporting the local economy.

“Visitors are always spoilt for choice when they visit Brisbane, from our vibrant city as well as the bay islands, national parks and beautiful beaches, all within easy reach of Queensland’s capital.”

Brisbane Festival Artistic Director Louise Bezzina said that despite these extraordinary times, Brisbane Festival is thrilled to have created a program that will bring joy into Brisbane streets, parks and theatres.

“I invite everyone to shake off their winter blues and join us this Spring for an unforgettable and Brightly Brisbane Festival,” Ms Bezzina said.

“It is a time to be proud of our great City and celebrate the incredible creations from our local artists, who once again have led the way with new works of scale that fill us with inspiration.”

Brisbane Festival 2021 runs from 3 – 25 September. Visit:

All Brisbane Festival events comply with Queensland Health advice.



Debbie Turner - 0437 859 987