Queensland artists set to shine at Brisbane Festival 2023

Published Thursday, 06 July, 2023 at 01:36 PM


Premier and Minister for the Olympic and Paralympic Games
The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk

Minister for Tourism, Innovation and Sport and Minister Assisting the Premier on Olympics and Paralympics Sport and Engagement
The Honourable Stirling Hinchliffe

Minister for Treaty, Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships, Minister for Communities and Minister for the Arts
The Honourable Leeanne Enoch

  • Brisbane Festival’s 2023 will showcase Queensland’s extraordinary artists and arts organisations alongside national and international talent.   
  • This September over 1000 outstanding performances and cultural experiences will generate more than 1,400 jobs for the arts sector.
  • The 2023 program includes 19 world premieres, 11 Queensland premieres and over 230 free performances with collaborations from 57 Queensland Arts organisations.    

Brisbane Festival 2023 is set to activate the city this September with a vibrant program of arts and cultural experiences that share new Queensland stories, showcase local creative talent, and boost cultural tourism.

Kicking off the festival this year is JARRAH (Mother Earth) smoking ceremony and Nieergoo: Spirit of the Whale a ground-breaking First Nations narrative told through magical music, innovative technology and 400 choreographed drones.  

The festival’s diverse performances and inclusive cultural events will explore contemporary and cultural themes such as the climate crisis in the large-scale production Salamander, and gender identity through The Making of Pinocchio.

The Palaszczuk Government invests in the Brisbane Festival to present a rich and engaging program in 2023, to create a pipeline of creative employment opportunities for our artists and art workers, grow arts sector capacity, and deliver economic and social outcomes for the state.

Quotes attributable to the Premier and Minister for the Olympic and Paralympic Games Annastacia Palaszczuk:

“Each September Brisbane Festival produces captivating arts experiences and dazzling performances shinning a light on the incredible work of Queensland artists,” the Premier said.

“Our government is a big supporter of this event, and the arts sector more broadly, because we know some of the best creative talents start their careers here in the Sunshine State.

“I encourage Queenslanders far and wide to come along to Brisbane Festival and enjoy the world-class arts and culture this state has to offer.”

Quotes attributable to the Minister for the Arts Leeanne Enoch:

“Brisbane Festival’s 2023 program will share uniquely Queensland stories through creative collaborations with our exceptional local artists and home-grown arts companies, working alongside national and international artists.

“Art, culture and storytelling are central to the important work of truth-telling and healing, as we continue on the Path to Treaty in Queensland.

This year’s festival will also feature over 170 talented First Nations artists, and will showcase companies including Karul Projects, Bangarra Dance Theatre, and Ilbijerri Theatre Company, celebrating and sharing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and stories and also supporting truth telling.

“Communities will be brought together to engage in diverse, inclusive and impactful arts experiences through key programming including the return of the popular Common People Dance Eisteddfod, Art from the Margin’s The Neurodivergence Project, and the captivating First Nations narrative experience, West End Stories' Meanjin Recovered.

“The Palaszczuk Government is proud to support Brisbane Festival to showcase more than 1400 local artists and arts workers, and this year is investing in a new initiative to support eight emerging artists and arts workers with paid industry placements to work alongside Brisbane Festival creatives.”

Quotes attributable to the Minister for Tourism, Innovation and Sport Stirling Hinchliffe:

“Like its home city, the vibrant Brisbane Festival is growing in scope, scale and ambition.

“The Brisbane Festival is bigger and better in 2023 with art, artists and visitors from across the world converging on Queensland’s state capital.

“With its action packed 23-day program, the Brisbane Festival is predicted to bring more than 12,000 visitors to Queensland, generating $17.7 million in spending and supporting good Queensland jobs.

“The Brisbane Festival delivers the perfect opportunity to share our great Queensland lifestyle with a multitude of awe-inspiring, world-class visitor experiences ready to explore on the city’s doorstep.”

Quotes attributable to Louise Bezzina Artistic Director, Brisbane Festival:

“My fourth Brisbane Festival program is driven by my boldly Brisbane vision to create a Festival for Brisbane; one that invites the international community to participate but, more importantly, shows the rest of the world how amazing this city is.

“A strong sense of community and connection is embedded in the 2023 program, from deeply personal stories that invite human connection to moments of pure celebration and joy that unite the entire city.

“This program is filled with complex conversations and issues spanning gender identity, our climate crisis, sexual politics, family, race and Australia’s colonial legacy.

“But there’s also the joy, heart and beautiful escape that are synonymous with Brisbane Festival, opportunities to make noise, dance, sing, laugh and not take ourselves too seriously.

“I am proud of the new work Brisbane Festival has commissioned – the site-specific dance theatre Salamander is one of the largest-scale works ever programmed by the Festival – and delighted at the abundance of bold new works choosing to make their world, Australian and Queensland premieres at Brisbane Festival in 2023.

“This year, Brisbane Festival productions are activating new and quintessentially Brisbane locations such as St John’s Cathedral, Chandler’s Sleeman Sports Complex, Victoria Park, South Bank, Northshore and the City Botanic Gardens as well as highlighting the city’s world-class arts venues including QPAC, Brisbane Powerhouse, La Boite Theatre and Metro Arts.”


Media contact – Pema Bastin 0422 655 582