St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival
Every January/February for the past several years, St. Jerome’s has been bringing its merry bandwagon of local, national and international musical acts to Brisbane. What started as a boutique festival in an alleyway in the Fortitude Valley has fledged into a full-scale festival with a boutique vibe, now hosted at Brisbane Showgrounds. St. Jerome's pulls big acts too, from Lorde to Haim and plenty of Australian indie music talent.
Brisbane Comedy Festival
Once a year, more than 40 fledgling and established comedians from Australia and around the world gather in Brisbane to attempt to burst the seams of the city’s residents with laughter. For a whole month, on just about any given night, you can get out and see a show with friends and family, and prepare to laugh and perhaps even be challenged through the art of comedy.
Paniyiri Greek Festival
Midyear boasts the exuberant Paniyiri Greek Festival; the festival is Queensland’s signature celebration of all things Greek and the state’s largest cultural festival. The festival has been going strong for close to 40 years and continues to be a shining celebration of Greek food, dance and culture in South East Queensland every May.
Brisbane Racing Carnival
The Brisbane Racing Carnival takes place over five amazing weeks of racing, celebrations and events over May and June. It attracts top horses from Australia and New Zealand and, in addition to top horse racing, race fans are treated to a stellar line-up of entertainers and VIP guests.
Caxton Street Seafood & Wine Festival
For one Sunday every June, Caxton Street Seafood & Wine Festival takes over Caxton Street for a wildly popular celebration of seafood, good wine and local music. A street party like no other, the festival has celebrated over 20 years of bringing the finest seafood and wine to Brisbane.
With the rise in foodie culture, so come the food festivals. Regional Flavours is a testament to the Great South East’s love affair with fresh, new and exciting food. A signature food event, Regional Flavours is held at the scenic South Bank Parklands and features an array of tantalising regional produce, along with guest celebrity chefs, live cooking demonstrations and talks from industry experts.
Where city meets country, the Ekka is Queensland’s largest and most treasured event. More than 400,000 grace the showgrounds over 10 days of carnival fun. The event showcases Queensland cattle and produce: visiting the famous farm animal nursery, catch a cotton fashion show, collect show bags and sample an array of award-winning food and wine. There’s entertainment, rides and a whole lot of family fun.
A huge month for celebrations, the skies light up for night only in September, metaphorically high-fiving a million angels for the fireworks bonanza that is Riverfire. The fireworks also mark the finale of the epic Brisbane Festival, a cultural event that brings with it hundreds of performances, exhibitions and entertainment to the city from theatre and circus to dance, cabaret, comedy and live music.
The Valley hosts the BIGSOUND conference, which brings a host of musician and delegates from across the country for what is regarded as Australia’s best and most relevant music industry event. Even if you aren’t an official participant in the conference, locals and tourists are privy to a great selection of live music and several free concerts around the event.
The end of the year is rounded out nicely in Brisbane with a range of culinary and cultural events. The highlights being October’s homage to all things German at Oktoberfest, when the city dons its lederhosen and appreciates good German beer and food.
Good Food & Wine Show
Good Food & Wine Show rolls into Brisbane each October, bringing the finest wines and produce to Brisbane foodies. Sample an array of cheeses, wines, beers and gourmet provisions from around the country. There are masterclasses, cooking demonstrations and plenty of ways to broaden and indulge the palette.
Brisbane Asia Pacific Film Festival
Film lovers can see more than 100 documentaries, feature films, shorts and virtual reality films from across the Asia Pacific region at the Brisbane Asia Pacific Film Festival. Premieres, classics, special presentations and guest appearances are all part of the program.
* Updated April 2016