Brisbane Major Events
Capital of Queensland and thriving river city, Brisbane city is a popular central point for so much of the state.
Brisbane’s collection of performing arts centres, parklands, entertainment and exhibition centres in a city of open spaces, river views and great weather attract millions every year for a variety of festivals and exhibitions.
There are hundreds of major Brisbane events every year that include music, arts, performance, film, exhibitions and stand-up comedy.
With such a diverse population many of the parks in Brisbane find themselves home for cultural festivals such as Norwegian, German, Brazilian, French, Greek and even Israeli to name a few. There are too many local events to list at once so we’ve compiled a list of some of the bigger events held in Brisbane city every year. View our Event Calendar to see upcoming events!
Events in Brisbane
Based in the Brisbane Powerhouse, an old power-station turned arts theatre on the Brisbane River, the Brisbane Comedy Festival draws major Australian and international comedians each year along with new and upcoming talent.
The comedy festival runs from the end of February for almost a month through to the end of March each year and is all housed in the one unique venue, the iconic Brisbane Powerhouse.
Running off the back of the Melbourne Fringe Festival, Brisbane regularly draws national comedic icons such as Tripod, Wil Anderson and Tom Gleeson along with international hits like Stephen K. Amos.
2014 will see over 40 comedians from Australia and around the world on display for a month of laughter and light hearted fun.
- Date of next event: The 2014 festival has passed, please watch this space for upcoming details!
- Location: Brisbane Powerhouse, New Farm
- Cost: Varies with each performance
Paniyiri Greek Festival, 23-24 May 2015
Every year the Paniyiri Greek Festival attracts well over 50,000 people – Greeks and honorary Greeks – to Musgrave Park in South Brisbane for a journey of discovery, culture and celebration.
What started out as a group of passionate Greek Australians wanting to share their culture with Brisbane has grown over the years into a vibrant celebration of all the colour, dance, food and traditions of the Greeks.
So bring the whole family and enjoy the food stands, grape stomping, hours of traditional entertainment, Greek cooking demonstrations, culinary delights and much more at Australia’s longest running Greek festival.
of event: 23-24 May, 2015
Location: Musgrave Park, 29 Edmondstone Street, South Brisbane
Registration: $10 entry fee
Caxton Street Seafood & Wine Festival – 7 June, 2015
Now in its 21st year, the Caxton Street Seafood & Wine Festival all began as a celebration of Australian music, seafood and wine. There's still a great deal to celebrate so the festival carries on year after year.
Caxton Street in historic Petrie Terrace is transformed into a festival street party featuring food and drink from the local restaurants and cafes, a range of live music, as well as art exhibitions and historic displays. The 2015 festival lineup is sure to delight featuring Wolfmother, Slim Jim Phantom (Stray Cats) [US], Ella Hooper (Killing Heidi), Euroglider and much more.
Date of next event: 7 June, 2015
Location: Caxton Street, Paddington
Cost: $25 + BK
Brisbane Marathon Festival, 2 August 2015
Taking you on a scenic 42.195km run through the city, the Brisbane Marathon Festival is one of the fastest growing marathons in Australia. It attracts participants from every state of Australia and over 24 countries.
All competitors cross the finish line in the heart of the Botanic Gardens amid cheers of support from an eager crowd of family, friends and keen supporters.
An ongoing event since the 1982 Commonwealth Games, the Brisbane Marathon is a fun event for everyone from the endurance athlete to amateur runners and their enthusiastic supporters.
of event: 2 August, 2015
Location: Brisbane Riverstage
Registration: $25-$150 depending race and early bird discounts
Running for 10 days every August the Royal Intercolonial Exhibition, better known as ‘The Ekka’, attracts around half a million visitors for a mix of rides, entertainments, agriculture and education. In 2015 the dates have been arranged for the event to run across two weekends of fun.
There’s something to interest everyone from the thrilling carnival rides, agricultural show competitions, fashion parades and industry displays.
Date of next event: 7-16 August, 2015
Location: Brisbane Showground, Bowen Hills
Cost: Last Ekka prices were $26 for adults and $16 for children
The Brisbane Festival is a respected and acclaimed International Arts Festival that incorporates music, dance, theatre, circus, comedy, film, circus, opera and so much more.
For three whole weeks in September each year Brisbane theatre comes alive with a huge range of performances. Multi-Tix ticket packages are available so the more performances you see the more you can save. Brisbane Festival is rounded out by a display of some of the most advanced pyrotechnics and fireworks over the Brisbane River from three of the major city bridges.
Exploding onto the Brisbane art scene for another year, the 2014 Brisbane Festival is set to excite with a full line up of music, theatre, dance, comedy, opera, circus and much, much more.Show are already on sale now with bookings available for The Perfect American and Black Diggers, while many more shows, performances, and exhibits still being confirmed.Brisbane Festival activities spread out across the city, from the The Telstra Spiegeltent, QPAC and Festival Hub at South Bank, to Theatre Republic at Kelvin Grove, through to the Brisbane Powerhouse and a number of other performance venues.
Date of next event: 5-26 September, 2015
Location: Multiple venues across Brisbane
Cost: Varies on performances, a mixture of free and paid events.
Bridge to Brisbane – 30 Aug 2015
Brisbane’s biggest running event, the Bridge to Brisbane, has been running for around 15 years now and has raised over a quarter of a million dollars for Queensland charities.
Runners start on the southern side of the Eastern Sir Leo Hielscher Bridge (also known as the Gateway Bridge). The route goes over the bridge, along Kingsford Smith Drive and Inner City Bypass, finishing at the Showgrounds at Bowen Hills.
As well as being a big fundraiser for several Queensland charities the Bridge to Brisbane is a major community event that has been attracting over 40,000 runners in recent years. On the day of the run you will see people all over Brisbane wearing their ‘Bridge to Brisbane Finisher’ t-shirts.
Date of next event:
30 Aug 2015
Location: Eastern Sir Leo Hielscher Bridge to Brisbane Showgrounds, Bowen Hills
Cost: Registration is around $40
Oktoberfest – October, 2015
Spread over two exciting weekends in October this German Festival celebrates the 200 year old tradition of Oktoberfest. The Brisbane Showground is transformed into a bustling Bavarian village that celebrates the traditional food, drinks, culture and family fun of a traditional German Oktoberfest.
Though the festival is run by 2 Australian-German families and is kept out of the hands of any major corporations, the 2015 Brisbane Oktoberfest has been named one of the top 10 Oktoberfests outside of Germany. The band is flown in direct from Germany and they certainly keep the crowd up on their feet dancing!
So bring the whole family for a warm, welcoming celebration of culture, food, beer and Bavarian life.
Date of next event: October 9 - 11 and 16 - 18, 2015
Location: Brisbane Showgrounds (formerly the RNA), Bowen Hills (entry via Gregory Terrace gate)
Cost: Starting from $17
Good Food & Wine Show – 30 Oct - 1 Nov, 2015
Every October or November Brisbane hosts the Good Food & Wine Show after it tours through Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide and Sydney. We like to think by the time it’s up here they’ve perfected it.
The wine and food festival spans a weekend and celebrates the best in good food and even better cooking. Taste a range of delectable chocolates and treats, gourmet cooking and a large selection of Queensland’s award winning wines.
Browse over 130 stands that range from delicious, traditional cooking, wine tastings and even celebrity chef demonstrations and book signings. Let yourself go for a weekend of gourmet decadence.
Date of next event: 30 Oct - 1 Nov 2015
Line up: Previous years have seen the likes of George Calombaris, Matt Moran, Manu Feidel, Maggie Beer & Ainsley Harriott
Location: Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre
Brisbane Asia Pacific Film Festival – November, 2015
The Brisbane International Film Festival is an annual festival showcasing films from all over the world for 11 jam-packed days. Take your pick of world cinema, documentaries, retrospectives, experimental work, thrillers, animation, children’s films and much more.
It’s become a well-known Australian festival that has launched several big films such as The Full Monty, The Usual Suspects, Getting’ Square, In America and An Education.
This international Film Festival gives you, the viewer, the opportunity to see a diverse and cultural range of films at a number of different participating cinemas around Brisbane. Browse through the films on offer and see as many or as few as you like.
Date of next event: 19 - 29 November, 2015
Line up: TBC
Location: Brisbane participating cinemas
Cost: Varies based on films