A spectrum of city-wide encounters and productions tap into both a rich seam of nostalgia and the promise of a hopeful future, and bring entertainment to the people while enticing them to get out and about and re-discover their own backyard.
Storytelling sits at the heart of the program with the world premiere of Wishful Bedtime Stories; a project that captures the everyday places Brisbane children wished they could go during COVID-19 restrictions.
Talented local writers, actors and sound designers take illustrated submissions from the city’s children and turn them into free bedtime stories released online at 6.30pm every Tuesday and Wednesday throughout the Festival.
Leading UK theatre company Punchdrunk have partnered with Brisbane’s Imaginary Theatre as The Lost Lending Library appears at Brisbane Powerhouse from 19 – 26 September.
The magical multi-floored library is never the same experience twice and will be complemented by the debut of Imaginary Theatre’s A Curious Arcade, also at Brisbane Powerhouse from 19 – 26 September.
Visitors of all ages will be enchanted by the arcade’s mysterious century-old mechanical storytelling machine revealing timeless tales that resonate today.
International superstars Dead Puppet Society return to their hometown and to Brisbane Festival to present The Creatures’ Place, an exclusive encounter with some prehistoric creatures for 8 to 12 year olds at Brisbane City Hall on Monday 21 September.
As part of this experience, children will be invited to bring their own creative creature to life.
South Bank is home to a giant and joyful Messengers of Brisbane installation by Florentijn Hofman, inspired by the native Gouldian finch, presented by Brisbane Festival and Tourism and Events Queensland.
Families can engage with the large-scale installation in a series of free Finchy Fun Workshops at Flowstate during the school holidays from 19 – 26 September.
South Bank is also the battleground for Common People Dance Eisteddfod 2, a continuation of the no-holds-barred dance extravaganza that added sequinned sparkle to Brisbane Festival in 2019.
Set to a killer ‘80s soundtrack, dance teams representing the city’s north, south, east and west will again shimmy and shake – in a socially distanced way – for eisteddfod glory in the Grand Finale at South Bank Piazza on Saturday 19 September.
It’s not just shiny trophies up for grabs with Brisbane residents rewarded for taking a run, a ride or a roll around the block in Exercise Surprises.
Some of Brisbane’s best and brightest artists will materialise at whim on bikeways, walking paths and parks throughout the city for a series of surprise encounters throughout the Festival.
Be on the lookout for prehistoric puppets, playful lollipop ladies, flash mob cheer squads and acrobats flipping out and up.
Brisbane Festival Artistic Director Louise Bezzina said this year’s family program shared stories that sprang from the first half of 2020 and captured the surprising highlights that emerged.