Brisbane Festival is back for 2024 with more than 1000 events, including premieres from both local and international artists, as well as returning performances from festival faves. In a nod to the ongoing “cozzie livs”, 320 of the festivals events are free of charge.

A highlight comes from Queensland-born Indigenous artist Grace Lillian Lee, who will premiere her solo exhibition The Dream Weaver: Guardians of Grace. The show merges Lee’s eye-catching traditional weaving techniques with couture fashion.

Lee also plays a role in the Australian season of Jean Paul Gaultier’s Fashion Freak Show, a key showpiece of the festival. Lee flew to Paris at Gaultier’s request to collaborate with the famed designer on a couture piece for the show.

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For fans of the novels Boy Swallows Universe or Lola in the Mirror, Ipswich-born Trent Dalton’s Love Stories will go from the page to the stage at the Playhouse QPAC. Love Stories tells stories that Dalton gathered over two months in 2021, when he sat on a Brisbane city street with a typewriter asking passers-by to share a love story.

Opera lovers should book into Straight From the Strait, based on the true story of Torres Strait Islanders laying the world-record longest track laid in a single day. Another opera production is Eucalyptus, based on Murray Bail’s award-winning novel of the same name, which tells the fairytale-like story of a father trying to shelter his daughter from the world.

Examining themes of sexuality and disability and how the two intersect, Private View from Restless Dance Theatre celebrates diversity of mind and body in bold theatrical ways. The performance features songs from Adelaide-based singer and composer Carla Lippis

The hits keep coming with Big Name, No Blankets, which celebrates legendary rock’n’rollers Warumpi Band, famous for singing in Indigenous language. The show takes its name from the band’s influential 1985 album.

Returning to the festival is Art Boat. A massive hit from the festival’s previous seasons, this is a river cruise that brings DJ sets, burlesque, defiant drag and jaw-dropping circus to the Brown Snake.

Brisbane Festival runs August 30 – September 21. Head here to see the full program.