Brisbane Festival Unveils a Show-Stopping 2022 Program That Reaches For The Stars and Places Artists and Community At The Heart

5 Jul

Brisbane Festival Unveils a Show-Stopping 2022 Program That Reaches For The Stars and Places Artists and Community At The Heart

​Brisbane Festival returns with a vibrant new look and program, promising to fill the city with joyous connections, curiosity, inspired stories and a deep civic pride from 2—24 September.

The third program from Artistic Director Louise Bezzina features more than 580 performances – 230 of which are free – including 22 new works, 12 Queensland premieres and six international presentations. 

The Festival Lights Up when multiple ARIA-winning singer Jessica Mauboy performs an anthology of her greatest hits in a dazzling opening night concert event (2 September).

BOQ Festival Gardens, Brisbane Festival’s favourite all-ages playground, again transforms South Bank Parklands into an inner-city wonderland of food, wine, entertainment and discovery.

The re-imagined South Bank Piazza welcomes a vibrant line-up of work including the Queensland premiere of strut & fret’s late-night adults-only The Purple Rabbit (15 – 24 September), Cirque O L I O all-ages magic, circus and dance spectacular (20 – 23 September), Australasian Dance Collective’s Aftermath (7 – 9 September) and Sweatshop by Festival darlings, Briefs Factory International (2 – 4 September).

Australian music royalty takes to the South Bank Piazza stage in a series of concerts including The Whitlams celebrating the 25th anniversary of Eternal Nightcap (16 September) and Katie and Tyrone Noonan marking 20 years since the release of Polyserena (17 September).

New in 2022 is Brisbane Festival’s largest visual arts program including new commissions, exhibitions and large-scale installations by internationally renowned artists Luke Jerram (UK), Jen Lewin (USA), Lindy Lee, Michael Zavros, Atelier Sisu and William Kentridge as well as a major collaboration between Hiromi Tango and Dancenorth.

A world-class dance program spotlights Australian talent with works from acclaimed choreographers and companies including Stephanie Lake, Joel Bray, Dancenorth, Australasian Dance Collective, Restless Dance Theatre, Phluxus2 and House of Alexander.  

Returning Festival favourite experiences include smoking ceremony Jumoo (2 September); Riverfire by Australian Retirement Trust (3 September); Brisbane’s Art Boat (2 – 24 September); and Brisbane Serenades (9 – 24 September), an evolution of the trailblazing Street Serenades program that sees seven exceptional music festivals traverse the city’s North, South, East and West. 

Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) returns as a celebrated Festival hub, with all four theatres housing major theatrical events including four large-scale premieres. 

Anticipated new works include Fourteen by shake & stir (27 August – 17 September), an adaptation of the acclaimed coming-of-age memoir by Shannon Molloy; ‘80s video-game-inspired live-action allegory Queen’s City by Alethea Beetson (21 – 24 September); Holding Achilles, inspired by one of the ancient world’s best-known heroes and his relationship with Patroclus, by Dead Puppet Society and Legs on the Wall (29 August – 10 September); and The Call, a new opera with original music and libretto by Connor D’Netto, Kate Miller-Heidke and Keir Nuttall (20 – 24 September). 

Additional QPAC highlights include Queensland premieres of blockbuster events including the seven-time Tony Award-nominated modern masterpiece Girl from the North Country (8 – 18 September), Evonne Goolagong-Cawley’s heart-warming story Sunshine Super Girl (22 – 24 September) and Stephanie Lake Company’s drum-and-dance extravaganza Manifesto (14 – 17 September).  

Minister for the Arts Leeanne Enoch said Brisbane Festival 2022 would be a wonderful celebration of Queensland talent.

“The Queensland Government supports Brisbane Festival to tell our stories, showcase new work and engage Queenslanders and visitors to the state with bold and engaging cultural experiences that create employment opportunities for the arts sector,” Minister Enoch said.

“The Brisbane Festival is a vital incubator of Queensland’s creativity, originality and enormous talent and this year’s event will employ over 1,000 Queensland-based artists and arts workers, including more than 160 First Nations artists.”

“Queensland Government investment in 2022 will also support Brisbane Serenades with two new community programs – Dance Halls and Nightwalks with Teenagers – to encourage important social engagement with the arts and to provide positive outcomes for the wider community.

“It is only 10 years until Brisbane 2032 and signature cultural events like Brisbane Festival play an important role in growing Queensland’s reputation as a cultural tourism destination and preparing our artists for a future world stage.”

Tourism Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said this year’s Brisbane Festival would welcome back interstate and international artists to fast-track COVID recovery. 

“2022 is a great opportunity for Queenslanders and interstate visitors to support local tourism operators and the creative arts by rediscovering the magic of the Brisbane Festival,” Minister Hinchliffe said.

“This iconic festival event contributes many millions of dollars to the city’s visitor economy including accommodation providers, cafes, restaurants and hotels.

“With 22 days of entertainment and inspiration, Brisbane Festival is one of the best times of year to enjoy this region’s many first-class tourism experiences.”  

Brisbane Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner said Brisbane Festival spotlighted the city’s thriving creative community and was an ideal opportunity for residents to support local venues and artists.

“In my unbiased opinion, Brisbane is Australia’s best city all year round but there’s a particular sense of fun and frivolity every September,” Councillor Schrinner said. 

“With four huge weekends of fantastic artistic experiences for all ages including seven spectacular mini music festivals across the city, Brisbane Festival exemplifies Brisbane’s position as a world-class international city.” 

Brisbane Festival Artistic Director Louise Bezzina said the Festival tells the story of Brisbane through the voices of local artists, joined this year by artists from across Australia and the world.

“Now more than ever, we must amplify the stories of artists and honour the power of the arts as a unifying force,” Ms Bezzina said.  

“As the 10-year countdown to 2032 begins, the time is now to show the world our personality, our vitality and our story. 

“This year’s Brisbane Festival offers this window for those watching, with anticipation, what Brisbane looks, tastes and feels like.” 

Brisbane Festival tickets are on sale from 9am Wednesday 6 July 2022. 

Brisbane Festival returns to fill the city with three weeks of wonder, delight and celebration from 2—24 September 2022.

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Brisbane Festival is an initiative of the Queensland Government and Brisbane City Council. The Queensland Government, via Tourism and Events Queensland, is proud to support Brisbane Festival which features on the It’s Live! in Queensland events calendar.

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Brisbane Festival expresses deep respect to and acknowledges the First People of this Country.