Time was, Brisbane’s inner city backstreets were ignored by venue owners. The 2006 introduction of Brisbane City Council’s Vibrant Laneways project helped change that, along with some enterprising developers. The Apostolos Brothers have had immense success with their Winn and Bakery Lane projects, cultivating a slew of young retailers and food and beverage operators.

Now, Aria Property Group has done something similar — but on a larger scale — with South Brisbane’s Fish Lane. The once forgotten thoroughfare, running four blocks from the cultural precinct on Grey Street in South Brisbane to Manning Street on the fringe of West End, has been transformed in recent years, and the precinct boasts a roster of bars and restaurants that includes Maker, Julius Pizzeria and Saccharomyces Beer Cafe.

This Saturday will see the debut of Fish Lane Festival, a free street party that will take over the laneway with music and stalls featuring an intimidating selection of food and beverage.

Laneway tenants will be joined by Billykart West End, Habitat, Madame Wu, Bird’s Nest Yakitori and The Gunshop Café, providing a range of food options. A big drawcard will be an appearance by Gelato Messina, giving locals a preview of what to expect when the cult gelateria opens on Melbourne Street later this year.

Alongside the food (and what is effectively Messina’s Brisbane debut) will be a range of pop-up bars from Little Creatures, White Rabbit, Tanqueray and Mad Fish Wines.

Fish Lane Festival is pitched as both a celebration and promotion of the revitalised precinct, with hopes of turning it into an annual event.

Fish Lane Festival takes over Fish Lane in South Brisbane this Saturday 7 May 12-10pm