When: Recently concluded last September 29, 2012; 2013 dates to be determined
Where: Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
The Brisbane Festival (September) is fairly new compared to other Australian festivals such as Adelaide’s Festival of Arts and Sydney Festival. But like these cultural events, the Brisbane version was concocted in 1996 by the Queensland Government and the Brisbane City Council in an effort to cultivate a love of arts among the locals, and to make the city culturally attractive to its thousands of visitors annually.
Although a recent creation, the festival has its roots in Warana (Blue Skies) Festival, first held in 1961. The Warana Festival hoped to make it an “entertainment for the people, by the people.” The form and structure of the event has undergone both subtle and obvious transformations, until a core formula was developed in 1996: drama, literature, heritage, sport and outdoors, and religion, all were regular features of the festival.
Until 2008, the Brisbane Festival (September) was held biennially, or once every two years. The increasing success of the festival has made it possible to celebrate it annually since 2009.
About the Event
Following the tradition of the Warana Festival, the present annual celebration still includes theater, a writer’s week, colonial fairs, beauty pageants, sports and outdoor recreations, and heritage and religious observations. On top of that, the Brisbane Festival has seen collaborations with international artists in the field of modern and classical dance, classical music and opera, and circus. Performances from across the United States, Israel, Germany and South America are just some of the most highly anticipated acts.
Pop-up booths and food stalls will line up the South Bank in Brisbane on a yet-to-be determined date next year. The recently concluded festival, which ended on September 29, was topped off with brilliant fireworks and special effects, a highlight that not only puts a cap on a culturally varied event, but an art form that is getting more exciting each year.
Queensland has a vibrant wining and dining culture, and a yellow-and-green devotion to their football heroes and teams. Like other Australian megalopolises, Brisbane is cosmopolitan in atmosphere and taste, but it has a soft underbelly for kids and families. While a handful of the Brisbane Festival (September) shows are ticketed, a good number of them are family-friendly in content and price. Some are even free, a boon to the budget-conscious backpacker.
The festival is similarly internationally seasoned with veteran artists and world-class acts, just like that of Sydney’s, Melbourne’s or Adelaide’s, but the Brisbane Festival sets itself apart from other Australian festivals by the increasing popularity of its fireworks and special light effects. These ‘art forms’ always raise the curtain and conclude the event, and have become as distinct as a separate act that every visitor has come to anticipate.
Category: International Festivals