Brisbane Festival - Queens Wharf First Nations Drones

Brisbane Festival: A success for 2023

Brisbane Festival has had a stellar year with sell-out shows, world premieres and critically acclaimed performances that saw Brisbane burst to life in an exuberant celebration of art, culture and connection over 23 days in September.

An audience of more than 1.7M was attracted to Brisbane Festival’s 1000 performances, including 18 world premieres, two Australian premieres and 10 Queensland premieres.

The Festival recorded record box office results, with ticket sales exceeding projections and productions reporting sold-out seasons, with evocative and uplifting storytelling garnering wide acclaim from audiences. Moments of pure celebration and joy united the entire city while deeply personal stories engaged and challenged audiences anew.

Opening weekend celebrations drew huge crowds along South Bank to watch the Festival-first ‘Nieergoo: Spirit of the Whale’, a spectacular massed drone performance, lighting up the skies with a captivating First Nations story.

Debuting at Brisbane Festival 2023, ‘Salamander’s stunning, large-scale dance theatre work by internationally renowned choreographer Maxine Doyle and artist and designer Es Devlin captivated audiences at the unique Northshore location. The production received widespread critical acclaim and left audiences breathless.

A local legacy was created with the world premiere of ‘Bananaland’ from award-winning team Kate Miller Heidke and Keir Nuttall, shining a spotlight on exceptional Queensland talent. The enormous success of this World Premiere has seen it be confirmed to tour to Sydney Festival in January 2024.

Other Queensland premieres included ‘Yuldea’ from Bangarra Dance Theatre, ‘Hide the Dog’, ‘Stunt Double’, ‘Tracker’ and ‘Personal’.

Brisbane Festival - West End Stories
‘West End Stories’ at Brisbane Festival 2023.

Visitors revelled in Brisbane Festival’s grassroots programming with 230+ free performances and events gathering communities together in parks and public spaces across the city for ‘Brisbane Serenades’, ‘Esc.’ ‘With Us’, ‘West End Stories’, ‘Common People Dance Eisteddfod’, and the return of the popular ‘Moorooka Block Party.’ Australian Retirement Trust Festival Garden at South Bank welcomed guests to gather and celebrate and enjoy splashes of playfulness and colour in Hiromi Tango’s large-scale installation, ‘Hiromi Hotel: YU KA’.

The Festival’s closing night extravaganza, All Together Now, massed thousands of everyday musicians and united the city in music, dance, fun and frivolity in Brisbane’s revitalised Victoria Park / Barrambin community precinct.

‘NOISE’ saw leading North Queensland company Dancenorth joined by a mass of local drummers raising the Festival’s heartbeat to new rhythmic levels one last time with a scintillating live score through the dynamic community-driven performance. The internationally renowned ‘Lightscape’ dazzled audiences of all ages with the multi-sensory experience of light, colour and sound illuminating the City Botanic Gardens throughout the Festival.

Generous donors contributed a record amount through Brisbane Festival’s Giving Program with new corporate partners contributing to the delivery of key events and experiences. Brisbane Festival proudly employed more than 1460 Queensland-based artists and arts workers, collaborated with 57 arts organisations and engaged more than 170 First Nations artists.

Brisbane Festival returns to fill the city with three weeks of wonder, delight and celebration from 30 August – 22 September 2024.

For more information about BrisFest, stay updated by at its official website

Media Release Supplied. 

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