Where has the year gone! It feels like only last week we were sweltering in the sun-kissed brilliance of a Brisbane summer. Now, over the hump and barrelling towards 2023, we’re coming out of winter and looking around for things to do in a restless fit of post-hibernation excitement. Well, have we got news for you!
There’s plenty to do in Brisbane this coming August—whether an avid art enthusiast, an occasional theatre-goer, a diehard gourmand, or simply curious, there’s something for just about everyone.
Chiharu Shiota: The Soul Trembles
GoMA: 18 June – 3 October, 2022
An exhibition like no other, The Soul Trembles delves into the quarter-century practice of Chiharu Shiota, an artist internationally renowned for her vast installations. Truly the envy of every spider from here to Burke, the works are constructed from millions of threads—truly fascinating in their architecture and simply breathtaking to behold. Intended to express memories and dreams, anxiety and silence, this work promises a bracing, psychedelic encounter with your own reality. Far out.
RNA Showgrounds: 6–14 August, 2022
It just wouldn’t be August in Brisbane without the Ekka! The Royal Queensland Show has been running since 1876; an iconic, incomparable facet of the Queensland experience. Whether it’s for the gigantic vegetables, the veritable menagerie of animals, or the mighty majesty of the woodchop, the Ekka has something for us all. Whatever your desire—the food, the wine, beer, rides, the panoply of showbags, competitions, the animals, or those glorious little strawberry ice creams, the Ekka is simply not to be missed. This essential celebration of agriculture and Queensland is back this August, saddle up!
Moreton Bay Food + Wine Festival
Woody Point, Moreton Bay: 19–21 August, 2022
The Moreton Bay Food + Wine Festival returns this August! A truly cornucopian celebration of food and drink, the festival organisers are ready to showcase their biggest programme yet. Unique dining experiences, celebrity chefs, food trucks, market stalls, pop-up bars, fireworks, masterclasses, live entertainment—the list goes on, and there’s something for everyone! A testament to the refinement and quality of Queensland produce, fishing, and winemaking, this year’s festival is sure to be one for the ages.
GoMA: 12 June – 17 October, 2022
If there’s one thing you must absolutely see this year, it’s ‘European Masterpieces from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York’. Exhibiting works from the Early Renaissance, the Rococo and Baroque periods, and neoclassical works up to the height of early twentieth century post-impressionism, the European Masters will leave you awestruck and light with inspiration. Works by such august figures as Rembrandt and Rubens, Degas and Cézanne, Renoir and Monet come together in a rich tapestry of centuries of artistic achievement—not to mention one of the most impressive collections of European painting in the world.
Brisbane Powerhouse: 12 August – 3 October, 2022
If you’re up for a trip, but don’t wanna leave town, then Kaleidoscope is for you! This August, the Powerhouse presents a colossal piece, artfully wrought of glass, steel, and prisms—a labyrinthian installation of colour, light, and motion. Fresh from its premiere at Arts Centre Melbourne, Kaleidoscope is the latest work of Keith Courtney, who describes it as ‘a multi-sensory and, at times, physical experience where the visitor is completely submerged in sound and light—a vortex of serenity to somewhere or nowhere’. Phew!
For an experience like no other, step into a gigantic, psychedelic harmony of colour this August and have your mind blown.
Disney: The Magic of Animation
The Queensland Museum: 24 June, 2022 – 22 January, 2023
The Queensland Museum is currently hosting an exhibition extolling the storied history of Disney animation. Disney: The Magic of Animation has seen hundreds of original artworks on display, from old classics such as Fantasia (1940) and Steamboat Willie (1928), to new classics like The Lion King (1994), to the new and the bold, à la Moana (2016) and Encanto (2021). Part art, part culture, part history, this celebration of animation is certain to please.
Blance de Blanc Encore
The Spiegeltent: July 27 – September 18, 2022
The Spiegeltent has returned to Brisbane, and I couldn’t be more pleased! Blanc de Blanc Encore promises to bring us something of the old world—ever so slightly pert, distinctly French, and soundly vintage, this humorous spectacular is sure to be every bit as extravagant as expected. Ostentatiously charming, theatrical, musical, risqué: There’s no place more fitting for such a performance than the ever-glimmering Spiegeltent. Tickets are available now—allez!
QPAC: August 27 – September 17, 2022
Based on the best-selling memoir by award-winning journalist Shannon Molloy, Fourteen is an autobiographical, inspirational, entrancing tale of sexual identity and regional culture. Adapted for theatre by shake & stir theatre co, this rapturous production describes coming out in a deeply Catholic community during the 90s, set to all the fabulous tunes such an era demands—Spice Girls, Shania Twain, you get me. Emotional, humourous, and warm, it’s an honest account of a deeply human experience, a coming-of-age epic, and an indictment of a society trapped in the past—a tale of hope and triumph in the face of adversity. Don’t miss it, people!
Maho Magic Bar
Twilight Electric Brisbane: July 27 – September 18, 2022
Promising ‘mischief, mayhem, and cocktails’, this is one bar I can definitely get behind. Maho Magic Bar is open at Twilight Electric at Hamilton, a stunning little pop-up after the style of the late-night magic bars of Tokyo, combining a luscious selection of Japanese drinks and cocktails, with a slew of close-up magicians ready to astound and amaze! Trimmed with neon, both bright and dusky, there’s an intimate bar, six performance spaces, and an interactive experience that comes highly recommended!
QPAC: August 29 – September 10, 2022
Against the backdrop of the Trojan War, Holding Achilles details the relationship of our eponymous hero with Patroclus, his lover, friend, and comrade. A commonly overlooked theme of Homer’s Iliad, playwright David Morton explores the queer facets of ancient epics, in keeping with the brutal anti-war rhetoric of the original. A visually stunning production, the brilliant costumery and epic set design is certain to excite—as shall this brutal tale of love and adversity, destiny and grief. Tickets for this mythopoeic majesty are on sale now!