Brisbane Festival 2024: The BEST BrisFest Events For Families

Brisbane Festival 2024: The BEST BrisFest Events For Families
Brisbane Festival 2024: The BEST BrisFest Events For Families

Brisbane Festival 2024 unites the city this August – September in a celebratory fusion of culture. Experience the wonderful, the wistful and the downright whimsical when Brisbane Festival’s program of family-friendly events surprise and delight audiences.

A spectrum of city-wide encounters and productions tap into both a rich seam of nostalgia and the promise of a hopeful future; use vintage technology and the latest digital platforms; and bring entertainment to the people while also enticing them to explore their own backyards.

The programme for 2024 has been confirmed, so it’s time to plan what you’re going to see! 

Here are some of the family-friendly shows and events you can look forward to at the Brisbane Festival.

Riverfire by Australian Retirement Trust (FREE) 31 August 2024

Saturday 31 August 2024, Brisbane River and surrounds, ALL AGES, Free

  • Entertainment from 4pm, ADF displays from 5pm, Fireworks from 7pm.

Witness one of the most electrifying fireworks displays in Australia, launched from multiple bridges, barges and city rooftops, with aerobatics from the Australian Defence Force. Riverfire celebrates the kick off of Brisbane Festival with a pyrotechnic extravaganza set to an almighty soundtrack.

Find out ALL ABOUT Riverfire here.

Click here for Riverfire parking deals.

Brisbane Festival 2024

The Brisbane Festival runs at the end of August and into September with a huge range of family-friendly events on offer daily. Check their website for full details for the WHOLE program and keep checking back with us for updates! Here are just a few of the highlights…

Lightscape

Lightscape Brisbane
Lightscape Brisbane

The Lightscape experience is reimagined for 2024, showcasing Brisbane’s City Botanic Gardens in a new light, with breathtaking installations created by acclaimed local and international artists. This internationally acclaimed multi-sensory experience is set to wow families from Thursday 29th August – Sunday 12th October 2024.

A special feature of Brisbane’s Lightscape will be two incredible sculptural installations created by Queensland First Nations artists Paul Bong (aka Bindur Bullin) and Michelle Yeatman.

Uniquely curated to take you on a journey of the senses through light, colour and sound, enjoy the City Botanic Gardens as never before. Beginning beneath glowing tree canopies filled with colour, stroll alongside larger-than-life flowers and neon roots bursting from the undergrowth, through sparkling tunnels of light and under giant poppies suspended high in the night sky. Soak in the breath-taking lightworks created by the best local and international artists. It’s an after-dark oasis of botanical brilliance.

Lightscape is a timed entry event running between 29 August and 12 October and it sells out across the world so be sure to book ASAP. Session tickets are available between 5.45pm and 8.30pm on event dates. You can enjoy Lightscape at your own pace. Organisers recommend 1.5 – 2 hours to make the most of the experience.

Find out more about ticket prices and opening times here.

Cirque Bon Bon — Le Retour

Cirque Bon Bon — Le Retour

Prepare to be swept off your feet as the sell-out show Cirque Bon Bon returns, bigger, better, and more breathtaking than ever before! Hosted by Brisbane favourite, Mario Queen of the Circus, this new spectacular brings an all-star cast of contortionists, acrobats, and dancers to South Bank Piazza.

Created by former Cirque Du Soleil Assistant Creative Director Ash Jacks (McCready) and Choreographer Julieann Nugent, both Brisbane natives, Cirque Bon Bon blends beauty with bravery into 70 minutes of electrifying action. With talented performers hand-picked from around the world, each bringing their unique skills and talents, this show promises to leave you speechless.

Brace yourself for an evening of pure entertainment, jaw-dropping stunts, and gravity-defying performances that will keep you on the edge of your seat!

Event Details:

Venue: South Bank Piazza, 186 Little Stanley Street, South Brisbane
Dates and Times: 18 September – 20 September
Showtimes at 6:30pm, 5:30pm, and 7:45pm
Duration: Approx. 1 hour 10 minutes
Tickets: From $30 – $65

Find out more here.

Skylore – The Rainbow Serpent

Skylore — The Rainbow Serpent

Back by popular demand and following the huge success of last year’s Nieergoo: Spirit of the Whale, a three-dimensional multicolour drone show returns for another glittering spectacular.

At Festival Garden in South Bank or at Queen’s Wharf, watch as 400 drones dazzle over Brisbane’s iconic skyline, telling the captivating story of The Rainbow Serpent. This First Nations creation story for the Brisbane River, narrated by Traditional Owner and Tribal Experiences Managing Director Shannon Ruska, will be brought to life through a carefully choreographed drone performance, accompanied by an original sound composition by Guy Webster.

Skylore — The Rainbow Serpent is a larger-than-life highlight of the Brisbane Festival, celebrating culture and place in a bright and bold display.

Find out dates, times and more here.

Neighbourhood Centres Workshops

Communities Workshop Program

In keeping with making the arts accessible to as many Brisbane-ites as possible, Brisbane Festival is partnering with communities across Brisbane, bringing circus to the suburbs and dance to the districts.

The inclusive and accessible Communities Workshop Program is a cornerstone of the Brisbane Festival, breaking down barriers that communities face to access and participate in authentic and genuine arts experiences fully.

Now entering its fourth year, this incredible program works with local Neighbourhood and Community Centres, pairing them with creative artists to teach workshops in art, dance, circus, fashion, and more. Each Centre will host seven weeks of creative workshops, culminating in celebration outcomes showcased throughout the festival season.

Free and open to everyone.
Click here for details.

Brisbane Festival 2024 programme

There are many more Brisbane Festival events for all the family including:

  • Brisbane Serenades
  • Meeanjin Songlinez
  • Lord Mayor’s City Hall Concerts — Continuum
  • Fancy Long Legs
  • and so much more!

Be sure to check out the full programme here.

Past events at Brisbane Festival

Wondering what happened Brisbane Festival’s of the past? Have a look here!

Brisbane Festival 2023

Last year’s Brisbane Festival was stacked with plenty of fun, including:

Erth’s Shark Dive

Two kids looking at a shark for Erth's Shark Dive, part of Brisbane Festival
Erth’s Shark Dive

Take a risk or play it safe. The choice is yours!

Ever wanted to dive with sharks but been too afraid? Don’t be! Come close to the Great White without getting wet at a new shark dive experience, created by world-renowned puppeteers, Erth. 

Plunge into the world of sharks and choose your own audio adventure as you dive below the surface and come face-to-face with these majestic creatures. Will your performance soundtrack have you marvel in awe at their serene beauty, or be a high-energy, thrill-filled escapade? 

The decision is yours. No diving experience is needed, but keep your eyes peeled and your mind open.

Nieergoo: Spirit of the Whale

Drone show at Brisbane Festival
Nieergoo: Spirit of the Whale

400 drones take to the sky to light up a 65,000 year old story. Brisbane’s night sky has never looked so spectacular. Join us for a Festival first, as 400 drones dazzle over Brisbane’s iconic skyline celebrating our ancient stories of culture and place with a show directed by Traditional Owner and storyteller, Shannon Ruska and Tribal Experiences.

Common People Dance Eisteddfod

Common People dance troupe
Common People dance troupe

Sequins, sweat and spandex – the ultimate suburban party!

For the fifth year in a row Common People Dance Eisteddfod is back and bigger than ever!
Eight teams from across South-East Queensland will battle it out over two epic nights.

The mighty metro teams of suburban dance-gladiators from the North, South, East and West of Brisbane will battle it out on Saturday and then on Sunday Ipswich, Bayside, Sunshine Coast and The Gold Coast to will decide the winner of the 2023 Common People Dance Eisteddfod for all of South-East Queensland!

It’s the ultimate battle of the ‘burbs…so slap on some sequins, and come join the fun barracking for your favourite team.

2022 Brisbane Festival inclusions:

Kaleidoscope 2022

Kaleidoscope exhibition at Brisbane Powerhouse

12 August – 3 October 2022, Brisbane Powerhouse – ALL AGES, $16.50 per person (Under 5 and over 75 free)

A once simple, optical device has been taken to epic proportions. Walk within the Kaleidoscope at Brisbane Powerhouse – a mesmerising symphony of light, sound and joy, staged in a breathtaking mirror maze. Artist Keith Courtney has created a space where motion and gravity are distorted, surprising and disorienting the senses at every turn. Immerse yourself in this ever-changing utopia. Bookings essential. 

Find out more here.

Museum of the Moon, Mars and Gaia 2022

Gaia at Brisbane Festival
Image credit: Natural Environment Research Council

2 – 11 September 2022 (Museum of the Moon), 13 – 18 September (Gaia), 20 – 24 September (Mars) Metro Arts – ALL AGES, Free

Enjoy Luke Jerram’s three-part series which fuses lunar imagery, moonlight and surround sound. 

Find out more including times at the links below:

Museum of the Moon
Mars
Gaia

The Pool 2022

The Pool at Brisbane Festival
Image credit: Marcus Carter

6 – 24 September 2022, BOQ Festival Garden, South Bank – ALL AGES, Free

You’re encouraged to create a tidal wave of lights and colourful effects with every step as you interact with a giant field of concentric circles that swirl with colour when activated by touch, inviting visitors to jump, dance and play across the cosmos, to their hearts content!

Find out more here.

Ephemeral 2022

Ephemeral at Brisbane Festival
Image credit: Markus Ravik

2 – 24 September 2022, South Bank – ALL AGES, Free

Ephemeral is an immersive light and sound environment exploring the concept of ephemerality, representing it as that of a bubble. By day, this larger-than-life sculpture emulates the magical qualities of bubbles by using dichroic film to create the illusion of bubble-like colours and form.

Find out more here.

Zooom 2022

Stage image of Zooom, part of Brisbane Festival
Image credit: Andy Rasheed

7 – 10 September 2022, Metro Arts – Suitable from 3yo – 10yo, $25 plus booking fee

Combining old-school whimsy with state-of-the-art technology, ZOOOM is an enchanting story of a child alone in her bedroom, unable to sleep and curious, who begins her transformational journey with light and discovers that the dark is a magical place. The show is driven by the power of ‘child logic’, combined with the magic of science.

Find out more here.

Brisbane Serenades 2022

Performers on stage at Brisbane Serenade, part of Brisbane Festival

Various dates from 9 – 24 September, Locations: Various, Free

Seven pop up (and free) bespoke concerts, celebrations and gatherings across Brisbane throughout September. Everything from roller skating, jazz, multicultural celebrations, DJs and more!

Find the full schedule here.

Want to know what happened at Brisbane Festival 2021? 

In case you’re wondering what happened at last year’s Brisbane Festival 2021, here is an overview. 

Sky Castle at Brisbane Festival 2021

Brisbane Festival Sky Castle

3- 25 September 2021 – ALL AGES

This interactive installation is making its home at Northshore, Hamilton before floating down the river on Brisbane’s Art Boat from 15-25 September 2021.

This incredible work changes colour as you move through its luminous arches. Light and music have been specially orchestrated to inspire joy and hope as you flow in and out.

Like a rainbow after a storm, Sky Castle is a beautiful apparition that is here with us for a short time, not a long time. Catch it before it passes.

Airship Orchestra 2021

Brisbane Festival Airship Orchestra

3- 25 September 2021 – ALL AGES

  • Brisbane’s Art Boat from 3-12 September before grounding at Northshore, Hamilton for the remainder.

Made from mesmerising inflatables, some as high as six metres, these mystical shapes light up as they perform to a choir score that will transport you to another world. If you find eyes following your every move, never fear – they mean no harm. You can book passage on the Brisbane Art Boat to see Airship Orchestra at the start of the Brisbane Festival or wait till it makes land at Northshore Hamilton for the remainder of the Brisbane Festival.

Silver City at Brisbane Festival 2021

Brisbane Festival Silver City

3- 25 September 2021, Rainforest Green, BOQ Festival Garden, South Brisbane. Suitable for people 10+ years.

  • Tues – Thurs 6:15pm, 8pm | Fri 7:15pm, 9pm | Sat – Sun 12pm, 1:45pm, 5:15pm, 7pm – 1 hour sessions.
  • Single admission $40. Groups of four $35 each. Bookings recommended.

Silver City is an immersive new experience by world-renowned circus company, Circa, together with UK architects, AL_A. Inside a structure of chrome bubbles awaits a unique performance where acrobats tumble and leap as the show unfolds. Extreme skill meets bold design in this once-in-a-lifetime experience. Children under 12 years of age must be supervised by a responsible adult.  

Messengers of Brisbane (FREE) 2021

Brisbane Festival

3- 25 September 2021, various locations across Brisbane – ALL AGES

Six giant Gouldian Finches will fly into Brisbane to spread messages of hope this September.

Created by internationally renowned artist Florentijn Hofman and brought to life by Brisbane’s Urban Art Projects, these spectacularly coloured birds invite us to look up and smile.

Perched atop iconic Brisbane locations in the inner-city river area, Messengers of Brisbane can be viewed on a leisurely stroll, bike ride, or even from a CityCat. You can even join in some Finchy Fun workshops!

Peter and the Wolf 2021

Brisbane Festival Peter & The Wolf

16 – 25 September 2021, Judith Wright Arts Centre – ALL AGES

  • Single admission $30, packages of four $110 each. 50 minute performance. Bookings required.

Performed on stage by Queensland Ballet’s talented Jette Parker Young Artists and choreographed by Greg Horsman, Peter and the Wolf at Brisbane Festival beautifully retells the classic symphonic fairy tale with a contemporary twist.

Danced to an extended version of the original score by Sergei Prokofiev, this is a wonderful introduction to the orchestra that will inspire the littlest of ballet lovers and their families. there will be a relaxed performance on Saturday 25 September at 11am for families with sensory needs.

Looking for more family fun? Check out list of all the family friendly festivals around Brisbane here.

Source: familiesmagazine.com.au

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