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Brisbane Festival September School Holiday Fun in 2021

Brisbane Festival
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Brisbane Festival 2021 unites the city from Friday 3 – Saturday 25 September 2021 in a celebratory fusion of culture. Experience the wonderful, the wistful and the downright whimsical when Brisbane Festival’s program of family-friendly events surprise and delight audiences.

A spectrum of city-wide encounters and productions tap into both a rich seam of nostalgia and the promise of a hopeful future; use vintage technology and the latest digital platforms; and bring entertainment to the people while also enticing them to explore their own backyards.

Here are the family friendly shows and events you can look forward to at the Brisbane Festival, 2021.

The Lost Lending Library

Brisfest The Lost Lending Library

19-26 September, Brisbane Powerhouse, New Farm – AGES 4+

At 314 floors high and with 72 spiral side departments, The Lost Lending Library is the largest collection of books in the world.

The Library leaps from place to place, seeking out young creative minds wherever it goes… Inspire a lifetime of reading and writing in this intimate experience for children aged 4-12 years and their family. Enter the Library to discover a magical world, a celebration of books and the journeys they take us on. Do you and your family have the right imaginations to help fill its shelves and power it to the next destination?

A Curious Arcade (FREE)

Brisfest A Curious Arcade

15-26 September, Brisbane Powerhouse, New Farm – ALL AGES

Prepare to be intrigued by peculiar storytelling machines in this century-old arcade exhibit.

These elaborate machines are the creations of virtuosic Australian inventor Celeste Mackellan, an obscure figure who disappeared in 1929 along with the mechanical curiosities she built.

Fascinated by Mackellan’s mysterious disappearance, an international consortium of collectors and creatives from Imaginary Theatre are slowly working to locate, extract and lovingly restore her machines to their former glory.  At A Curious Arcade, you can experience these mechanical wonders as they tell timeless stories that surprise and delight.

Avoidable Perils (FREE)

BrisFest Avoidable Perils

4-19 September, The Common, West Village, West End – ALL AGES

End Bad things are happening, and our heroes are at risk! From hungry sharks to deadly laser beams, danger is imminent and the only person who can stop it is you.

Avoidable Perils is a dubious new social experiment for anyone who can be bothered to help. A game for the masses, this work explores activism in the attention economy, and the challenge of large-scale teamwork.

Bring your own smartphone to watch this cartoon chaos unfold and be part of the greater good.

Common People’s Dance Eisteddfod 2

Common People Dance Eisteddfod | South Bank

19 September, South Bank Piazza – ALL AGES

It’s round two for this no-holds-barred dance extravaganza! The Common People Dance Project has been working with people of all ages and abilities to shape a series of over-the-top dance routines.

Set to a killer ‘80s soundtrack, teams across north, south, east and west will once again shimmy and shake for the biggest hot glue-gunned dance trophy ever. Watch this sweaty, sequinned fun online and popping up as part of Street Serenades.

Exercise Surprise (FREE)

BrisFest Exercise Surprise

5 – 26 September, Surprise locations across Brisbane – ALL AGES

The bikeways and walking paths of a suburb near you are about to be ambushed by some of Brisbane’s best and brightest artists in a series of surprise encounters throughout September. Be on the lookout for prehistoric puppets, playful lollipop ladies, flash mob cheer squads, and acrobats flipping down paths, amongst other delights.

Brisbane’s best will take to the streets, including Dead Puppet Society, Elements Collective, DeBase Productions, Homunculous Theatre and Flipside Circus.

Messengers of Brisbane (FREE)

Messengers of Brisbane

4 – 26 September, various locations across Brisbane – ALL AGES

Six giant Gouldian Finches will fly into Brisbane to spread messages of hope this September.

Created by internationally renowned artist Florentijn Hofman and brought to life by Brisbane’s Urban Art Projects, these spectacularly coloured birds invite us to look up and smile.

Perched atop iconic Brisbane locations in the inner-city river area, Messengers of Brisbane can be viewed on a leisurely stroll, bike ride, or even from a CityCat. You can even join in some Finchy Fun workshops!

The Creatures’ Place (FREE)

The Creatures’ Place

21 September, Main Auditorium, Brisbane City Hall – Ages 8+

Children will travel back to the Pleistocene era and come face to face with ancient Australian giants under the glowing dome of City Hall.
Brought to life in puppet form by the creative geniuses of Dead Puppet Society, these creatures ask us to reflect on the effect humans have on animals sharing our island.

After you encounter Dead Puppet Society’s enormous visitors from a forgotten time, work alongside the artists to bring your own creature to life

Wishful Bedtime Stories (FREE)

Brisbane Festival Wishful Bedtime Stories

8 – 23 September, Online – AGES 3-12 

Take the kids on an adventure to the beach, a fabulous birthday party, Grandma’s house, or to a faraway land with Wishful Bedtime Stories.
Director Bridget Boyle, writers David Burton and Clare McFadden, and Sound Designer Kim Bowers (Busty Beatz) have together taken the everyday and imagined places children longed for during lockdown and turned them into exquisite bedtime stories for 3 to 12 year olds.

Your children will be lulled to sleep with tales of change and stories of wonder inspired by the experiences of children in 2020.

Sunsuper Night Sky (FREE)

Sunsuper Night Sky

4 – 26 September (Friday and Saturday nights, 7-9pm) – ALL AGES

Every Friday and Saturday night of the Festival, buildings across Brisbane’s skyline will play host to an interconnecting and pulsing laser beam installation set to an ethereal soundtrack.

Created by Australia’s most renowned audio-visual artist, Robin Fox, this exquisite light installation will be visible for miles from hundreds of vantage points across Brisbane. View Sunsuper Night Sky from the street, on your evening walk or even by CityCat. Cast your eyes up, contemplate life and wonder at the beauty of our world.

Sunsuper Riverfire – Cancelled for 2020

Sunsuper Riverfire

Sunsuper River 2020 has been cancelled. We look forward to welcoming it back in 2021
Witness one of the most electrifying fireworks displays in Australia, launched from multiple bridges, barges and city rooftops, with aerobatics from the Australian Defence Force. Sunsuper Riverfire celebrates the end of three weeks of Brisbane Festival with a pyrotechnic extravaganza set to an almighty soundtrack. Click here for Riverfire parking deals.

Brisbane Festival 2020

The Brisbane Festival runs from 4 – 26 September with a huge range of events on offer daily. Check their website for full details for the WHOLE program and keep checking back with us for updates!

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