If you live in Brisbane, it would be almost impossible to be unaware that the Brisbane Festival will be very soon upon us. Kicking of this weekend (September 6), Brisbane Festival is a month long celebration of arts, culture and entertainment that culminates with Sunsuper Riverfire on Saturday, September 27.

Brisbane Festival

With nearly 70 events on offer in theatre, music, circus, cabaret, comedy, dance and visual art, there should be something to suit everyone. However, with so many of the festival events out of reach for many of us, I thought I would take a look at the free events on offer for those of us not blessed with an endless supply of cash.

Do Do Land

In Do Do Land, a troupe of acrobats will perform high above Reddacliff Place in front of the Treasury Casino in an aerial performance accompanied by live music specially composed for the show. This is a FREE event for two nights only on September 6 (6:45pm and 9:00pm) and September 7 (6:45pm).

Brisbane Airport Light Garden

With a brand new installation this year, the Brisbane Airport Light Garden features a bamboo forest adorned with handmade lanterns and lights. The Light Garden will feature every night from September 6 to September 26 in the South Bank Cultural Forecourt and you can visit as many times as you like for FREE.


Presented by Raw Dance Company, RAPcity will feature break dancing, rap and hip hop competitions, street art, dance and music performances. RAPcity is a FREE all ages event at Brisbane Powerhouse from 5:00pm to 9:00pm on September 21.

GOA Billboards Exhibition

The 17th year of this exhibition features photographs taken by Queensland secondary school students and other participants which respond to the theme of ANZAC. The winning images will be on display in the Shopfront at Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts in Fortitude Valley from September 17 until September 27. The exhibition is open from 10:00am to 4:00pm and entry is FREE.

Art from the Margins

This visual art exhibition is a showcase of artworks created by people living with physical or intellectual disabilities, mental health issues or homelessness. Coinciding with the exhibition is the refuGROW photography project profiling positive contributions made by Brisbane’s refugee communities. Both Art from the Margins and refuGROW will be held in Brisbane City Hall from September 11 until September 14. The exhibitions are open from 9:00am to 5:00pm daily are, of course, absolutely FREE.

QUT Sessions

Want to see music performances in the Telstra Spiegeltent at Southbank without spending a penny? Well the QUT Sessions make it possible. On September 13 and September 20 from 3:00pm, the FREE QUT Sessions will showcase some of Brisbane’s finest original musical talents. September 13 will feature Sundown Jury and Switchblade Suzy, while Charlotte Emily and Curious Finch will hit the stage on September 20.

Sunsuper Riverfire

This fireworks extravaganza will light the Brisbane city skyline and bring the festival to a spectacular close. From vantage points along the Brisbane River, thousands will watch the explosive pyrotechnic display for FREE from 7:00pm on September 27.

Obviously there are myriad more shows and events as part of the Brisbane Festival, many of them utterly astounding in concept and execution. From ballet to opera to acrobatics to stand-up comedy to contemporary dance to drama to visual art to music of all persuasions, there really is something for everybody. The program is extensive and, in many instances, inexpensive, with tickets to some installations and performances from as low as $14.00 for adults, while many events offer discounts for patrons under 26. Obviously, prices vary depending on the event, but Brisbane people really are spoiled for choice with this annual celebration of the arts.

For more information about Brisbane Festival, including the full event schedule and pricing, head to the festival website.