Brisbane is a vibrant sub-tropical paradise with pleasant weather, lush parklands, and a thriving culture and arts scene. It’s only an hour’s drive away from some of the world’s best beaches on the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast and home to the 700-acre Australia Zoo. No matter what time of the year you visit, there’s always something here to keep you amused and entertained.
While exploring its natural attractions and major sights, keep an eye out for the exciting sports events, exhibitions, concerts, and music festivals in and around the city. We love that these festivities and events aren’t confined to the heart of Brisbane. The regions and precincts, including the lively Fortitude Valley, play a key role in staging performances and entertainment throughout the year.
Head to Doug Jennings Park on Gold Coast for the Good Love Festival or catch a show at The Princess Theatre. Watch an international rugby showdown, appreciate local art, marvel at the eclectic live music venues, and roar with the crowd at the Brisbane Music Festival. Four delightful weekends also await you in September as Brisbane Festival launched Festive Weekends at different locations, from the rooftop to theaters and parks to the river.
Mark your calendar and schedule your visit around the Queensland capital’s epic events. Travel light and comfortable by dropping your bags at Bounce luggage storage in Brisbane. Your bags shouldn’t be in the way for you to celebrate sound and enjoy the city.
The best music festivals in Brisbane
Blues on Broadbeach Music Festival
One of the most highly anticipated music festivals in Australia, Blues on Broadbeach Music Festival continues to take music fans in awe with this year's edition. A jaw-dropping line-up of local and international artists lit up the stage, and festival-goers are treated to another year of fun live tunes and partying experiences for the second consecutive year after the cancellation of the 2020 festivities due to COVID-19.
The first line-up for the 2022 show was announced in December 2021, including Broken Strings singer James Morrison and his Motown Experience performance. Legendary guitarist Robben Ford, blues singer and songwriter R.L Boyce, and the founding member of the Backsliders, Dom Turner, are also present to showcase their impeccable talents. The second set of performers was announced in March, which consisted of Osaka Monaurail, Matty T Wal, Blue Empress All-Stars, and Karise Eden.
Blues on Broadbeach Music Festival 2022 is held from May 19th to 22st at Broadbeach, Gold Coast, approximately an hour from the Brisbane CBD. It’s the 21st edition of the music festival, featuring more than 60 artists across twelve different stages.
As one of the country’s biggest non-ticketed music festivals, you and your friends can celebrate with thousands of people for free. It launched in 2002 and is now known for showcasing rich Blues music from different parts of the world.
Brisbane Music Festival
If you're in for some music that dances, breathes, and uplifts, the Brisbane Music Festival will give you just that and more. This year's edition of the highly-anticipated music festival is happening from July 1st to December 17th. It offers a total of 43 talents from different cities worldwide, including New York City, Berlin, London, Dublin, Paris, Holland, and Munich.
The 2022 show will be the official comeback of the Brisbane Music Festival after two successful years of delivering the event in the digital space due to the threat of COVID-19. Music fans from Brisbane and beyond will enjoy a plethora of live tunes, with 44 events in 16 unique venues happening in a span of six months.
This music festival will open on July 1st inside the Salvation Army Brisbane City Temple at 167 Ann Street. The Australian music royalty and percussionist Claire Edwards will headline the first night of Brisbane Music Fest. Then she will be joined by award-winning composer Alex Turley.
This year's edition of the Brisbane Music Festival will be seeing a change in the format, with shows being categorized into various series, like the Mainstage, Morning Melodies, Up Late, Studio Series, and more. It’s an exciting musical celebration from local and global artists beginning in mid-winter and ending at the start of summer.
Redcliffe Markets Night Fever
It is not exactly a music festival, but the Redcliffe Markets Night Fever should definitely be on your bucket list, especially if you’re a fan of 70s music. It’s kicking off in the second half of this year, bringing life to Redcliffe Parade on July 9th, Saturday.
Festival-goers can expect a fantastic celebration of all things disco, so be ready to dance, sing, and embrace the disco vibe. From 4 PM till 9 PM, this open-space family-friendly celebration will spoil every attendee with fun-filled activities for everyone of all ages. Throughout the evening, world-class disco dancers will light up the event, which will highlight the music of the 70s, particularly that of the Bee Gees.
Apart from the musical experience, a wide array of delicious food will surround the market for you to enjoy. The much-awaited SEQ Food Trucks will add a more festive feel to the night. Anticipate the street food galore with more than 250 stalls where you can taste local delicacies and buy souvenirs and quirky gift items.
For extra entertainment, a raffle draw is available for everyone with free tickets, making the night more exciting. If you win the first prize, you’ll feel like royalty at the elegant Oaks Mon Komo Suites in an apartment with a stunning ocean view.
One of Australia's newest and biggest music festivals, BIGSOUND, is back with a bang, bringing electrifying live music and world-class performances. The 2022 event will start on September 6th and ends on September 9th. The three-night musical spectacle will take place in various locations in Fortitude Valley.
BIGSOUND is dubbed as the biggest gathering of the southern hemisphere music industry, where some of the most influential personalities and music lovers come together for extravagant musical experiences. It’s an annual music festival that started in 2002, bringing adventurous music fans and influential tastemakers to Brisbane every September.
The essence of BIGSOUND goes beyond the loud performances and three nights of partying. During the day, the leading players for the musical event gather for a conference where they tackle the biggest issues in the industry. Musicians taking part in the event aim to change the future of music.
Bring your friends and witness around 150 artists showcasing their talents, including Gang of Youths, Nick Cave, Tina Arena, Andy King, Peter Garrett, and more. No matter your favorite genre, there’s always something here that will ignite your thirst for music.
CMC Rocks QLD
From September 23rd to 25th, country music fans will have their turn as the CMC Rocks QLD makes its much-awaited return this spring. This weekend-long music festival will bring together some of the biggest names in country music from Australia, the US, and beyond. CMC Rocks QLD will more than make up for its two-year absence with a whopping headline of country superstars like Brad Paisley, Kane Brown, and Morgan Evans. CMA 2021 New Artist of the Year winner Jimmie Allen and rising genre-bender Mackenzie Porter will also grace the stage.
Just like the past editions, CMC Rocks QLD will feature on-site camping and glamping. Expect to witness performances from 28 international and Australian artists over three stages. Taylor Swift, The Dixie Chicks, Alan Jackson, Luke Bryan, Tim McGraw, Florida Georgia Line, and Jason Aldean are just some of the megastars to have graced the CMC Rocks QLD stage.
The 2022 show will return to its home in Willowbank, Ipswich, while the camping and glamping will still be at Willowbank Raceway and Queensland Raceway. The site is built strategically so that the Rebal and Stampede stages are placed next to each other, ensuring non-stop live music during the three-day music fest.
Check the camping policy and information before heading to the festival location. Keep in mind that there’s a strict policy of only one vehicle for every camping site. The camping spots are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, so make sure to buy your ticket early and reserve a spot.
Groundwater Country Music Festival
Another hotly anticipated gathering of country music artists is coming this late October. Groundwater Country Music Festival will feature some of the prominent names in Australia's country music scene from October 28th to 30th. The three-day musical event will happen throughout the Broadbeach streets, parks, and venues.
Groundwater Country Music Festival started in 2013 as Broadbeach Country Music Festival. It is known for bringing together people from all walks of life who love authentic Aussie country tunes. This year, country music singer, songwriter, and ARIA Music Awards winner Fanny Lumsden will headline Groundwater. Joining the line-up are her fellow country superstars Travis Collins, music trio McClymonts founding member Brooke McClymont, "The Upside of Being Down" singer Catherine Britt, and over 40 other country artists.
Groundwater Country Music Festival will remain a free experience in spring for festival-goers who have exquisite taste for country music. Also, countless restaurants and hotels surround the venue. So if you come from other cities, you're more than welcome to enjoy all three days of the festival without worrying about accommodations.
Woodford Folk Festival
With approximately 125,000 annual attendees, Woodford Folk Festival has become one of the largest musical and cultural events in Australia. After a two-year hiatus, the music festival returns and promises to be bigger than ever. If you're into live musical experiences that celebrate diversity, excellence, and rich and colorful culture, you will have a blast at Woodford Folk Festival.
The festivities begin on December 27th and conclude on New Year's Day, January 1st, 2023. As always, local and international musical acts will fire up the six-day event. Besides music show and dance, cabaret, comedy, street performances, circus, workshops, and a Children's festival will add more options for your family and friends to enjoy. Season and overnight camping grounds will also be made available to those who want to stay for the entire week.
During the week-long run of the Woodford Folk Festival, over 2000 local and international performers and close to 2,700 volunteers help make the annual celebration of music and culture possible. Twenty-five different venues will witness the gathering of thousands of people enjoying the broad spectrum of entertainment.
Woodford Folk Festival, which is now in its 35th year, will be held at Woodfordia, a 500-acre block of land a little over an hour from Brisbane. The campgrounds filled with lush trees, ponds, butterfly walks, and wildlife will complete your experience at the picturesque site.
Planning to stay some more days in Brisbane?
There are numerous things to love about Brisbane apart from its big-city attractions, beautiful parks, and spectacular riverside setting. It’s a great place to connect with Aboriginal culture and arts and access other nearby locations, like the Great Barrier Reef and some of the state’s best beaches. It’s also home to a great variety of emerging musicians and talented bands playing in music venues around the city on a regular basis.
You can’t come here and just focus on one thing. If you’re traveling for the music festivals, be sure to check out the best museums in Brisbane and the state at the Queensland Cultural Centre in South Brisbane. When the sun sets, you’ll have plenty of things to do at night, from cruising along the Brisbane River to enjoying a delicious feast at Eat Street.
If you're planning to stay longer in Brisbane, take a look at our other Brisbane guides for other fun activities!