All safely back at school – so what’s on in Brisbane this weekend

With the first week back at school done and dusted, it’s time to savour summer’s final few weeks with another jam-packed weekend.  From music milestones to sports spectaculars and prolific cinema screenings, we found the best on offer across Brisbane over January 25 to 28.

Jan 25, 2024, updated Jan 25, 2024

Exhibitions and live events
QAGOMA continues to transform into an enchanting playground with another weekend of Fairy Tales – home to a magical collection of artworks, artefacts and installations that revisit the fairy tales of our childhood. The precinct’s Australian Cinémathèque is paying homage to this highly acclaimed exhibition with its latest film program, Fairy Tales Cinema – Truth, Power and Enchantment. This week is stacked with fantastical features from international filmmakers, including the Australian horror classic – ‘Walkabout’ (1971).

Just a stone’s throw away from QAGOMA, the State Library of Queensland is hosting a rare screening of the prolific protest film ‘Ningla-A’Na’ (1972) on January 26. Recently restored in high definition, this classic documentary provides a powerful look at the history of the Tent Embassy and the ongoing struggle for land rights and sovereignty.

Around the river, Brisbane’s Institute of Modern Art has reopened its doors with an impressive 2024 program featuring a line-up of international artists. Discover African American artist Arthur Jafa’s poignant meditation on African American history, life, and identity – which powerfully pairs with the multi-medium exhibition from Australian-Lebanese artist Justine Youssef’s Somewhat Eternal. The final exhibition space is hosting Singaporean artist Dawn Ng’s video installation Avalanche which uses the motif of melting ice to consider time and memory. Experience IMA’s newest exhibitions any day of the long weekend.

Theatre, live events and dance
If your weekend to-do list consists of running up that hill and making a deal with god, you’re in luck with the infamous cabaret from comedy darling Sarah-Louise. An Evening Without Kate Bush is an award-winning show that pays tribute to the music, mythology and mystery of Kate Bush. For one night only, you can experience this wuthering performance at Brisbane Powerhouse on Sunday January 28.

For more music and mayhem, riotous comedy Dangerous Goods is performing for its final nights at QPAC’s Cremorne Theatre. This feminist-charged show blends circus show with cabaret for a seductive satire – complete with spectacular acrobatics, burlesque and drag. In this vein of provocative performances, the musical classic Chicago continues its run at QPAC’s Lyric Theatre. Witness the wild abandon of this West End hit that follows the murderous, deceitful and promiscuous Roxie Hart in the decadent world of the roaring twenties. All set, of course, to award-winning musical numbers.

The electrifying music of Rent: The Musical brings its Australian tour to Brisbane this weekend with an opening performance at the Playhouse Theatre. The groundbreaking show by Jonathan Larson follows a group of twenty-something friends in the vibrant world of New York City’s East Village under the shadow of AIDS. Experience the show’s cult hits like Seasons of Love and Le Vie Boheme from Saturday January 27.

In the mood for a rendezvous with glitz and glamour? Experience the awe-inspiring antics The Pink Flamingo Spiegeland – Hamilton’s home to fearless flamboyance and extravagant entertainment. With three world-class productions, The Pink Flamingo is your host for an unpredictable evening of provocative performance, from the likes of the pulse-igniting testosterone fare of Ripped to the vivacious Vegas-style spectacular of Suave. Even revel in the playful and Parisian-inspired performance of La Teaze. With a range of food and beverages to feast on whilst you watch, an evening in the pavilion is a must-do for an unforgettable night this weekend.

For a change of pace, international living sports legend Tom Brady will be tackling the stage of the Royal International Convention Centre this Sunday January 28. Revered as one of the best athletes of all time, Tom will be sharing insights into his successes on and off the field with an intimate sit-down event.

Icons of 00s indie rock Anberlin return to Brisbane this weekend to rock out The Tivoli. Catch the farewell tour of frontman Stephen Christian on Friday night, supported by alternative-rock greats Hawthorne Heights and The Word Alive. On Sunday night, German band Milky Chance will be taking over The Tivoli this Sunday with its Living In A Haze tour. The duo are one of Australia’s most-loved music imports with its unique folk-electronic sound so snag a few of the remaining tickets and experience the era-defining hits like ‘Stolen Dance’ live and loud.

Across the river, comedy-legend, musical maestro and provocative poly-talent Tim Minchin will be performing songs from his wide library of music. This intimate show is set to feature tunes from his 2020 studio album Apart Together and his musicals Matilda and Groundhog Day as well as a taste of Tim’s classic comedy antics. An Unfunny Evening with Tim Minchin and his Piano Tour is playing QPAC’s Concert Hall over the next two weekends, with only a few tickets left.

Food and drink 
On Saturday, relax by the riverside and catch the countdown for this year’s Hottest 100 at Felons. Kicking off at 11:00 am, the Barrel Hall will be serving up its frosty beverages and delicious feeds and blasting Triple J’s most important broadcast of the year. With a top 10 bingo on the cards as well as a late night live tribute to The Strokes, Felons’ Hottest 100 party is the perfect destination to unwind with the best music of the last year.

For our local gin-thusiasts, Howard Smith Wharves’ Rivershed will play host again to Brisbane’s annual Ginuary Festival this Sunday. Brought to you by Australia’s favourite premium mixer brand Long Rays and one of Australia’s most awarded gin bars Covent Garden, this year boasts 16 gin degustation stations as well as a Hottest 100 countdown of Australia’s best gins. With pours starting 12:00 pm, this is a gin-uis event where you won’t want to miss a sip.

On Sunday, Lina Rooftop’s month-long party with Australian Open partner Aperol is celebrating the tournament’s final match with a Tennis Lawn Party. Grab those tennis and get ready to rally for an afternoon sipping Aperol spritzes, soaking in the pool or even playing petanque in the sunken lounge. Game, set, spritz for one last time.

Our best local markets will be setting up across Brisbane for another weekend of leading seasonal produce, street food and artisanal goods. Start your weekend morning right at Northshore Produce Markets, Riverside Markets, Kelvin Grove Village Market, Jan Powers Farmers MarketsCarseldine Markets, Nundah Farmers Markets or the Redcliffe Markets. If your weekend mornings are for lazy snoozes only, hit up Eat Street Northshore for all the goodness of market food vans at night as well as pop up bars – open on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights.

If you’re craving that new year, new you feeling refresh your wardrobe at one of the city’s beloved second-hand clothes and vintage markets with Vintage and vinyl market and Love me again both running this weekend.

Events may be subject to be postponed or cancelled at the last minute. We do our best to remove cancelled events but be sure to check the organiser’s own event page for the most current updates.

Want more? Head to our comprehensive Event Guide for all of the fun around town where you can search by category, date, location and more!

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