The Must-See Acts At Brisbane Festival 2019 You May Not Have Heard Of

brisbane festival

Each year, around one million people take to venues across Brisbane for a series of entertaining shows. This is the Brisbane Festival. The thrilling program of theatre, music, dance and circus aims to connect the artists to the audiences and open the city to the world. Nifty has the lowdown on the must-see acts you probably haven’t heard of.

Brisbane Festival has been running since 1961 emerging from the Warana Festival, a festival that consisted of various religious, beauty pageants, literature, sports and outdoor activities. Over the years, as the festival grew in size and popularity, it led to a collaboration with Brisbane City Council and the Queensland Government and is now a major annual international arts festival.

Festivals inspire us to think differently, disrupt the conventional and make us feel all of the feels. Brisbane Festival’s vision is to engage with Aboriginal and Torres Strait communities, acknowledging their history and to look towards a future of embracing and celebrating the culture of Australia’s First Nations people.

Last year, we saw the likes of The Owl & The Pussycat, A Coupla Dogs and Unknown Mortal Orchestra entertain our stages. This year, we’re expecting a fresh new direction from a line-up you don’t want to miss.

Where It’s Happening

The festival is a great chance for Brisbane to showcase their brilliant selection of theatres. With a mixture of free and paid events, the city’s arts venues open up to the public to stage the variety of talented performers. This year, the following venues have been selected:

  • Brisbane City Hall / Main Auditorium
  • Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University/ Conservatorium Theatre
  • QPAC/ Concert Hall / Lyric Theatre / Playhouse / Cremorne
  • Theatre Republic/ La Boite Studio / Roundhouse Theatre / The Block / The Loft
  • The Tivoli
  • Treasury Brisbane Arcadia/ The Courier-Mail Spiegeltent / 1000 Doors
  • Riverstage

For more information on accessibility and assistive listening, click here.

What to See

Without any further ado, we’ve selected some must-see acts you might not have heard of. Here’s the list of our chosen acts in the order that they are playing:

SS Mendi: Dancing The Death Drill

Where: Thu 5 September / QPAC

‘The Black Titanic’, a story told by one of South Africa’s great music theatre ensembles. The international award-winning show tells a truly shocking story of how disaster gave a group of volunteering soldiers a life of hope, courage and resilience.

brisbane festival

To find out more about the show & tickets, click here.

Jacob Collier

Where: Fri 6 September / QPAC

The Grammy Award-winning 24-year old multi-instrument musical prodigy joins us at QPAC during his world tour. With both a visual and audio creative masterpiece for you to get lost in, Jacob’s signature jaw-dropping style is one show that can’t be missed.

brisbane festival

To find out more about the show & tickets, click here.


Where: 10 – 14 September / Theatre Republic

A hilarious love story of a woman and her love machine. The award winning black comedy focuses on the forthcoming relationship of humans and robots.

brisbane festival

To find out more about the show & tickets, click here.


Where: 20 – 21 September / QPAC

Fun family occasion designed to get children involved and bring the classic video game to life by four highly-skilled acrobats.

To find out more about the show & tickets, click here.

Symphony For Me

Where: 21 September / Riverstage / Free

This hugely popular free concert by the Queensland Symphony Orchestra will send shivers down your spine. In previous years, we’ve seen the hugely successful show play their favourite music with numbers you’re bound to recognise played in a rich, fulfilling sound. Bring your picnic blankets and the kids along to enjoy this talented bunch under the Brissie night sky.

brisbane festival

To find out more about the show & tickets, click here.

Connecting With Local Stories

Where: 21 – 28 September / King Street / Free

Join us at our informal storytelling event to hear the stories that have been passed down from the oldest culture on the planet. With over 65,000 years of knowledge, Aboriginal community members share stories to help us stay connected to the land we live on.

brisbane festival

To find out more about the show & tickets, click here.

You & I

Where: 24 – 28 September / Theatre Republic

A local real-life couple back on home soil with the most daring work we’ve seen from them. An honest story, told through music and dance, of how two men fell in love in their own unique way.

brisbane festival

To find out more about the show & tickets, click here.

A Not So Traditional Story

Where: 24 – 27 September / QPAC

‘An epic quest of bravery and friendship’ that is loosely based on an ancient tale of Aboriginal history.’

This magical and humorous production uses masks, puppetry and physical theatre to tell an important story of the adventures of the First Nations Peoples.

brisbane festival

To find out more about the show & tickets, click here.

Where to Find Out More

That’s it from us. Have a look at some of the other brilliant shows on this year at the Brisbane Festival. With such a variety of talent, you’re bound to find something that appeals to you.

The fun doesn’t stop there though!

Other Must See Events This September

We couldn’t resist mentioning more of next months itinerary. So Queenslanders, prepare for a month of pure joy and harmony. Check out some of the other spectacular events lined up for next month:

Brisbane Writers Festival

Where: 5 – 9 September / State Library of Queensland

Hold your horses, another epic festival in September? Yes, that’s right. This September, we see the return of the critically acclaimed Brisbane Writers Festivals. Queenslanders will get another chance to delve deeper into their curiosities, with thanks to speakers from around the world, who will be sharing their literature and thinking, aiming to bring communities closer together and open up important discussion.

Find out more on the line-up and what else is happening here.


Where: 3 – 6 September / Fortitude Valley

The year will be the 18th year of BIGSOUND Festival, who are the forefront of showcasing emerging Australian talent. Discover your new favourite artist over a four days and nights, surrounded by fellow music lovers. During the day, listen to speakers cover a range of topics about their experience in the music and arts industry, including Triple J presenter, Declan Byrne and Alicia Sbrugnera, Head of Music Culture and Editorial at Spotify.

Find out more on the line-up and how to get there here.

RedFest Strawberry Festival

Where: 6 – 8 September / Moreton Bay

For their 61st year, Australia’s favourite community festival RedFest have prepared a family-friendly jam-packed weekend of fun, food and entertainment. Set in Cleveland on the beautiful Moreton Bay, you can expect a setting like no other. You’ll struggle to find such an entertaining weekend for the price of a ticket to RedFest, with prices from as little as $15.

Find out more on the line-up and their great value tickets here.

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