Get your calendar ready for 2018 – these shows are going to add colour to it. From annual festivals to major new exhibitions and blockbuster musicals, this is your guide to creative events as they're announced.
-- THEATRE + MUSICALS --
Priscilla: Queen of the Desert
Priscilla is one of Australia’s most famous musical exports. ‘It’s Raining Men’, ‘I Will Survive’ and ‘I Love The Nightlife’ form the background of the sassy story of three fabulous friends taking a battered bus to Alice Springs to put on a show of a lifetime. It features more than 500 costumes and 200 headdresses, and promises more glitter than ever.
From 26 September at QPAC
La Boite's 2018 season will wrap up with the world premiere of Neon Tiger. The new Australian play billed as 'the adult gap-year you never knew you needed' is set in Bangkok and features music composed by comedian Gillian Cosgriff.
27 October to 17 November at La Boite
-- FESTIVALS --
It’s one of the city’s biggest music events and BIGSOUND Festival will continue to celebrate Australian music in 2018. As well as being an industry conference, the festival is also your chance to take a four-day musical excursion as you hop between bars in Fortitude Valley.
4–7 September at Fortitude Valley
Brisbane Writers Festival
From fact to fantasy, the written word inspires in so many ways. Whether you escape through books or use them to challenge yourself, you will find a talk to suit your literary persuasions when Brisbane Writers Festival returns with speakers ranging from Dr Karl to The Devil Wears Prada author, Lauren Weisberger.
6–9 September at State Library of Queensland
Brisbane Festival – our annual arts bonanza of music, cabaret, circus and theatre – will turn the city pink for 22 days at the start of spring. It all wraps up in a glittering flurry of colour for Riverfire on 29 September. The full program has now been announced, and there are 600 performances on the bill.
8–29 September across Brisbane
Wonderland Festival is a salacious start to summer. Brisbane Powerhouse is handed over entirely to a series of artists for a whole-of-venue takeover that feels more like a carnival than an arts festival. This year's program has just been released, offering up a heady mix of comedy, magic, burlesque and circus.
22 November to 2 December at Brisbane Powerhouse
-- ART + EXHIBITIONS --
Wildlife Photographer of the Year
It’s one of the world’s most prestigious photography competitions, and Wildlife Photographer of the Year is about to exhibit in Brisbane for the first time. This touring exhibition presents 100 awe-inducing photographs that capture the majesty and vastness of the natural world.
30 August to 4 November at Brisbane Powerhouse
The 9th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (APT9)
GOMA’s signature art series is back. From Turkey to Hawaii and our own shores, the Asia Pacific Triennial series is a vast survey of contemporary art. Returning for the ninth time, APT9 will showcase works that reimagine traditional practice and showcase the diversity of nature, history and culture.
24 November, 2018 to 28 April, 2019 at GOMA
Local fashion designers Lydia Pearson and Pamela Easton became an important part of the Australian fashion landscape with their colourful label, Easton Pearson. After gifting their archive of more than 3,300 garments to Museum of Brisbane, a major exhibition is being planned to showcase their sartorial legacy.
22 November 2018 to 18 April 2019 at Museum of Brisbane
-- BALLET --
Some of the world’s finest ballet dancers are bound for Brisbane in November, when QPAC presents Italy’s Teatro alla Scala Ballet Company – or, La Scala for short. La Scala is one of the oldest and most respected ballet companies in the world, and this is the first time the company has ever performed in Australia.
7–18 November at QPAC
After launching in 2017, Queensland Ballet is bringing back Bespoke. In a collaboration with Expressions Dance Company, this production challenges assumptions about dance. The new dance experience is performed together with film, photography and sculpture.
9–17 November at Brisbane Powerhouse
It's not Christmas without seeing Queensland Ballet's annual delight, The Nutcracker. This beloved Christmas tale captures the essence of the season, bringing festive cheer over Yuletide.
14–22 December at QPAC
-- MUSIC --
It has been some time since Opera Queensland performed Mozart, but that ends this year. As charming as he is dangerous, Don Giovanni is a compelling character. He’ll be brought to life in a bold show that celebrates the complexity of Mozart’s work.
19 October to 3 November at QPAC
Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back In Concert
Queensland Symphony Orchestra has found a winning formula in the form of Star Wars and live music. Following on from the success of its Stars Wars: A New Hope concert in July, the orchestra will present Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back at the year's end. As the film screens, the orchestra will perform composer John Williams’ musical score live.
1 December at Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre
-- FILM --
Italian Film Festival
Live la dolce vita with popcorn in hand at the Italian Film Festival. It's one of the most popular international film festivals for Brisbane cinephiles, imbuing the start of spring with Italian wit and humour. The full program is expected soon, including the announcement of the much-anticipated opening night film.
19 September to 7 October at Palace Cinemas
Brisbane International Film Festival
This year Brisbane International Film Festival is moving to GOMA, with the gallery also curating the festival's program. More announcements are in the works, including festival dates and what's in the program, but you can be sure GOMA will bring a fresh new edge to our annual celebration of global cinema.
October at GOMA and partner cinemas
-- DESIGN --
Brisbane Open House
World Architecture Day sees significant buildings and homes across Brisbane throw their doors open to the public for Brisbane Open House. The weekend-long event allows you to deepen your appreciation for architecture and enter spaces you otherwise wouldn't be able to access.
13–14 October across Brisbane
The Finders Keepers
Australia's largest design market is set to return to Brisbane ahead of the festive season. The Finders Keepers celebrates independent makers, providing designers and artists with a platform to connect with the local community. And with the presence of live music and food trucks, the market takes on a festival-like atmosphere.
9–11 November at Brisbane Showgrounds
Want more? See what's on this month for the latest event guide.