9 shows not to miss at the 2018 Brisbane Festival

The Brisbane Festival kicks off on in a couple of weeks on the 8th of September. With the festival boasting 600 performances of almost 70 shows across 17 venues, it’s close to impossible to see everything, or indeed to decide what you should go and see. So, like the good citizens we are, we’ve compiled a list of the nine shows we think you shouldn’t miss.

Now, of course this list isn’t definitive, for example, that great Closing Night extravaganza featuring Violent Soho, Meg Mac, Methyl Ethyl and a what is probably a ridiculous amount of fireworks hasn’t made the cut. But we felt a show like that went without saying. These nine shows, however, are ones we’re particularly keen for, and maybe weren’t already on your radar – but we think they should be!

Heaps Gay Trash Palace

Sept 8th /  The Tivoli

The Heaps Gay team will be taking over The Tivoli for a raucous, bawdy and gaudy celebration of queer culture, with performances from some of the very best of Brisbane’s LGBT+ performance artists and musicians. Expect party vibes as rapper Electro Pop Princess, Melbourne performance group YUMMY and Sydney’s The Magda Szubanskis help kick off the first weekend of the festival in style.

For more information and to get tickets click HERE

Tkay Maidza

Sept 15 / The Courier-Mail Speigeltent

Zimbabwe-born singer/rapper Tkay Maidza has established herself as one of Australia’s most electrifying and entertaining artists. With her new single ‘Flexin’ released last month, and her new EP Last Year Was Weird: Vol 1 due August 31st, Maidza will be dropping into Brisbane for her first headline show in the city since 2016! With her other tour dates selling fast, and her Melbourne show already old out, you’d better be quick to secure a ticket.

For more information and to get tickets click HERE


Sept 18–22 / Theatre Republic – The Block

Stay is the brand-new show from Steen Raskopoulos – a Best Newcomer nominee at the Edinburgh Comedy Awards. It’s part stand-up, part solo theatre piece, with Steen taking on a myriad of diverse and wacky characters: a dancing vampire, a yoga loving bad boy and a Greek orthodox priest cinephile. It’s all very surreal and sure to be entertaining.

For more information and to get tickets click HERE

Touch Sensitive & CC:Disco! B2B DJ Set

Sept 22 / The Courier-Mail Speigeltent

This one promises to bring the good vibes front and centre. He’s remixed Rufus, collaborated with Flume, and toured with Flight Facilities. She’s a mainstay of the Melbourne Club Scene, and armed with the knowledge of how to get people on the dancefloor. This back to back DJ set will be three hours of unpretentious hooks, joyful tunes and impeccable taste. How else would you want to spend your Saturday night?!

For more information and to get tickets click HERE


Sept 23 / The Courier-Mail Speigeltent

Fresh off the release of his twelfth studio album, 2017’s Ken, Canadian musician Dan Bejar, of The New Pornographers fame, will be bringing his acclaimed solo project Destroyer to the Brisbane Festival, and the intimate setting of the Courier-Mail Speigeltent. This will be Destroyer’s first ever performance in Australia, and a rare glimpse into the genre-hopping mind of Bejar. That alone is surely reason not to miss this one.

For more information and to get tickets click HERE

Tiv in the Round

Sept 25, 26 & 27 / The Tivoli

This year the festival is changing things up and introducing a brand new “in the round” set up for a bunch of gigs at The Tivoli, and we couldn’t be more excited. These intimate shows will give fans a chance to get up close and personal with some of Australia’s most influential and important musicians, including Sarah Blasko, Gareth Liddiard and Polish Club. Australian music lovers should not miss these ones.

For more information and to get tickets click HERE

Jen Cloher

Sept 26 / The Courier-Mail Speigeltent

Also taking over the Courier-Mail Speigeltent for an intimate solo performance is Melbourne singer-songwriter Jen Cloher. With Cloher showcasing songs from her latest, self-titled record, which was released mid-2017, a moving and personal record that’s been described as “the most honest she’s ever written”, it should be the perfect synergy of setting and substance.

For more information and to get tickets click HERE

I’ve Been Meaning To Ask You

Sept 26–29 / La Boite – Roundhouse Theatre

I’ve Been Meaning To Ask You, a new work from the Queensland-based performance collective The Good Room, is full of questions, asked by children, and answered by you, the adults. Hard hitting questions like: Why do you go to work? Was there really a time before the internet? How come adults drink to have fun? Expect to see a powerful panel of nine to thirteen-year-old drop some home truths. If you’re game you can also get involved in the show, and answer a question or two HERE

For more information and to get tickets click HERE

Harry James Angus’ Struggle with Glory

Sept 28 / The Tivoli

Struggle With Glory is the new live project from The Cat Empire trumpeter and frontman Harry James Angus, and another step in his musical evolution. Struggle With Glory takes those classic Greco-Roman myths that we all know, and transplants them into a world of old-timey jazz and gospel music. For the show Angus will be backed by singers from Brisbane’s The Aboriginal Centre for the Performing Arts (ACPA). I caught these guys at the launch back in July, and they really pack a punch! You’ll be in for a real treat, so don’t miss out.

For more information and to get tickets click HERE

The 2018 Brisbane Festival runs from September 8th to the 29th. For more details, head to their official website.


Simon Clark

Books Editor. An admirer of songs and reader of books. Simon has a PhD in English and Comparative Literature. All errant apostrophes are his own.