5 Free Events At This Years Brisbane Festival You Should Not Miss

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5 Free Events At This Years Brisbane Festival You Should Not Miss

Spring is once again upon us and Brisbane Festival is back in full swing.


There’s not much like a city-wide festival to awaken us from our winter slumber and get us moving again. Then again, you could have a city-wide festival with a number of free events to really get the people out and about and enjoying the warmer weather, so that’s exactly what the folks behind the Brisbane Festival have done.

The Brisbane River and city landmarks have once again been transformed into a stage for an explosion of art and performance to occur. You could be walking down the street and be delighted by a giant bird with a party hat on its head, or be stopped dead in your tracks by a wonderful display of colour, like a rainbow after a storm.

1. Messengers of Brisbane

They did say giant Gouldian Finches but I don’t remember there being anything about party hats! But really, it’s not as if I’m disappointed. Actually, I’m stoked. I can just imagine myself now, walking about the city, minding my own business, when wham-bam there’s a freaking giant Gouldian Finch above me. And what makes it even better, there’s a total of six perched about the city.

Designed by Florentijn Hofman (NL) and brought to larger-than-life status by Brisbane’s Urban Art Projects, this installation acts a powerful reminder that these beautifully coloured native birds are endangered.

Visit Queensland Museum during the festival, and you will be able to see 20 real-life Gouldian Finches flying in an aviary. There are also Finchy Fun Workshops at Southbank for a bit of creative fun.

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2. Brainbow Magic and Rainbow Circles (Healing Circles)

A world premiere!

That’s right. Nowhere else has Hiromi Tango’s new art installation, Brainbow Magic, been seen.

The Japanese-Australian artist continues her work exploring the therapeutic potential of light, colour and contour through art and invites viewers to picture what they might encounter on the other side of the rainbow.

But not happy with just the one installation, Hiromi Tango has a second and equally stunning experience for us.

Rainbow Circles, after years of research and development, creates for spectators a transformative space where Hiromi Tango’s artwork highlights ”how light, colour and contour can contribute to mental well-being”.

Presented by Metro Arts at West Village.

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3. Sunsuper Night Sky

Every Friday and Saturday night throughout the festival, Robin Fox’s visual installation lights up Brisbane and draws our eyes to the sky.

Using the night and the city as a canvas, Sunsuper Night Sky projects pulsing laser beams for thirty minutes, making them interconnect and dance around each other to an otherwordly soundtrack which you can tune into on 95.3 MHz FM or listen to online.

No matter where you are in the city, at 7pm and 9pm you will find yourselves looking up to watch the sky light up.

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4. Wild Energy

Wild Energy is a multi-channel outdoor installation by Annea Lockwood and Bob Bielecki that can be experienced along the Rainforest Walk in Soutbank. Although this sound installation produces inaudible vibrations in the ultra and infra ranges of our hearing, we should experience something, an effect of some kind. What effect? I don’t know, but I’m curious to find out.

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5. Avoidable Perils

You and the people around you will be able to save the day. Or, not.

A new social experiment in the age of digital activism, Avoidable Perils asks for help if you can be bothered. Just whip out your smartphone, shoot off the text, and if enough of you are working together, then you shouldn’t be having any problems. You might not think your own opinion matters, but at the end of the day your vote might be the one that mattered most.

Avoid tragedy or laugh hysterically.

📌 More info


To avoid disappointment, make sure to check the Brisbane Festival website for specific dates and times as some installations do not run for the full length of the festival programme.