Brisbane Festival has returned, and it's brought with it the Arcadia festival hub. Occupying South Bank’s cultural forecourt, Arcadia acts as the public interface of the festival, with food stalls, a bar and free entertainment drawing in the crowds.

In 2015, artistic director of the festival David Berthold decided to make Arcadia five times the size as the previous year. It was a bold move, and it paid off: well over 220,000 people were in attendance, prompting Berthold to double the size again for 2016.

This year it’s just as big. Here’s what to check out.

*Little Creatures LIVE *
Tuesday to Sunday during the festival, Little Creatures will host a number of acts, with different themes running across each night. So you might pull out your Walkman and roller skates and dance the night away on Thursday’s retro night, or chill out on a Sunday afternoon listening to local jazz singer Lisa La Celle. All performances are free.

The Courier Mail Magic Mirrors Spiegeltent
The Spiegeltent returns, hosting some of the biggest musical acts of the festival including Starman, Ngaiire and The Preatures. Unlike Little Creatives LIVE, these are ticketed events. Take a look here.

Eats & Drinks
Five food stalls will be set up to cater for the crowds. The Workshop offers burgers, fries, shakes and an “iceberg taco”, while Gyoza Records will bang out freshly made gyoza, miso soup and edamame. Zen will have a pop-up pantry full of banana bread, muffins, coffee and the like, with Briz Wood Fired Pizza covering any Italian cravings. You’ll also be able to grab something to drink at Salome Lounge, a chic wine bar also serving a selection of tapas by Zen.

Family Program
Coinciding with the school holidays, Arcadia features a large family-friendly program that’s sure to keep the little ones busy. There’s a bunch of live performers, as well as free workshops on hip-hop, circus skills and even bush tucker. You’ll also likely encounter Frank, an animated host of Arcadia who will chat with you and tell the kids stories.

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