Save the date: Riverfire returns with a new name & date in 2022

17 Mar

Save the date: Riverfire returns with a new name & date in 2022

Brisbane Festival starts with a bang in 2022 when Festival favourite Riverfire returns to ignite the city skies on Saturday 3 September.

The pyrotechnic extravaganza will now herald the start of 23 days of wonder, delight and celebration, moving to Brisbane Festival’s opening weekend after years as its finale event.

Brisbane Festival Artistic Director Louise Bezzina said Riverfire was the perfect way to open the Festival and ignite the city’s excitement for three weeks of art, dance, music, theatre, cabaret and more.  

“As we share this exciting news about Riverfire moving to the start of the Festival, I acknowledge these are bittersweet times – the beloved Brisbane River that binds this city and community is currently tearing it apart with heartache and grief. The river has always been a gathering place and central to Brisbane Festival’s celebrations. We will bring joy to the river once again as Riverfire opens Brisbane Festival 2022 with a bang on Saturday 3 September,” Ms Bezzina said.

The free, all-ages spectacular also debuts a new name –
Riverfire by Australian Retirement Trust – following the merger of past presenting partner Sunsuper with QSuper.

Bernard Reilly, CEO of Australian Retirement Trust said Sunsuper played a major role in bringing Riverfire to the Brisbane community, a responsibility Australian Retirement Trust plans to continue into the future.

“Sunsuper has been involved with Brisbane Festival for 14 years and the proud sponsor of Riverfire for more than a decade,” Mr Reilly said.

“With the merger of Sunsuper and QSuper to become Australian Retirement Trust, our support for this wonderful community celebration will continue for the 2022 event.

“Riverfire is renowned for uniting and engaging Brisbane in celebration of our wonderful river city and we can’t wait for Riverfire by Australian Retirement Trust, which promises to be a spectacular night for Brisbane, as it always is!”

Ms Bezzina said she was thrilled that the long-standing partnership with Sunsuper will continue as Riverfire by Australian Retirement Trust.

Riverfire has been beloved by families for generations and we thank Australian Retirement Trust for continuing to support this spectacular event, presented in association with Channel 9 and Triple M.

Louise Bezzina
Brisbane Festival Artistic Director

“Moving Riverfire to the start of the Festival and out of the busy school holiday period will also give Brisbane families a greater opportunity to enjoy the most dazzling night of the year.”

Minister for the Arts Leeanne Enoch said Queensland’s much-loved Riverfire would be the perfect way to launch the sparkle and spectacle of Brisbane Festival 2022.

“This year’s Festival promises three weeks of exhilarating and eclectic arts experiences and I can’t wait to see what else is in store for the 2022 Festival program,” Minister Enoch said.  

“The Queensland Government invests in Brisbane Festival each year to showcase Queensland companies, support employment for local artists, boost our cultural tourism and unite the city in a celebration of art and culture.

“The 2021 Festival employed more than 1,100 local artists, showcased 43 Queensland arts companies and commissioned 17 new works.

“Since the onset of COVID-19 the Queensland Government has committed to more than $79 million worth of measures to stabilise and sustain the arts sector, including the dedicated $22.5 million Arts and Cultural Recovery Package,” Minister Enoch said.

Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner strongly backed the decision to bring forward the date of Brisbane’s famous fireworks display.

“For many Brisbane families, the September school holidays is the ideal time for a getaway before the final term,” Cr Schrinner said.

“Unfortunately, that’s meant some people have had to choose between a holiday and attending one of the most spectacular events on Brisbane’s calendar.

“Bringing Riverfire forward will mean families can do both, which will help this fantastic event go from strength to strength and benefit local businesses, retailers and restaurants.”

Australian company Foti Fireworks will once again design and deliver Riverfire by Australian Retirement Trust, firing more than two tonnes of pyrotechnics from bridges, barges and city rooftops along the Brisbane River.

The explosive Festival opening display will be broadcast live on Channel 9 and its soundtrack simulcast on Triple M for people unable to view the heavenly display in person.

Ms Bezzina said a huge celebration was planned for closing weekend, bookending the 23-day Festival with blockbuster events.

“Our closing week program is under wraps for now but I know Brisbane will be very excited by what we’ve planned.”

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

For Brisbane Festival program announcements, visit or follow Brisbane Festival on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter

Brisbane Festival is proudly supported by Brisbane City Council and the Queensland Government, through Arts Queensland and Tourism and Events Queensland, and features on the It’s Live! in Queensland events calendar.

#Save the date!

Riverfire by Australian Retirement Trust
Past Event
Sat 3 Sep

Riverfire by Australian Retirement Trust

In association with Channel Nine and Triple M

Brisbane River and surrounds

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