Paniyiri, suitcase rummages and riot grrrls – here’s what’s on in Brisbane this weekend

If you’re hankering for a touch of spice to enliven up your weekend, Brisbane has got you covered. Trip to the Greek islands from Musgrave Park, scream to nineties hits and revel in a bit of country in the city. Here’s what not to miss from May 16 to May 19 …
May 17, 2024, updated May 17, 2024

To find out more about what’s on in Brisbane, head to our Event Guide.

Festivals and live events
Paniyiri Greek Festival is back for a new year of delicious eats and culture and you can practically already hear plates smashing, hands clapping and souvlaki sizzling. Across Saturday and Sunday, Musgrave Park will erupt into a Greek Eden, packed with tantalising food, live music, Zorba dancing, wine tasting and plenty more. Paniyiri’s 48th annual extravaganza kicks off at midday Saturday.

This weekend is also stacked with some of the year’s most anticipated sports events. At Suncorp Stadium this Thursday, you can catch the first game of the Women’s State of Origin, unlocking a new era for this timeless state-to-state rivalry. From Friday, Brisbane stays ablaze in footy fans with the start of Magic Round. Treasury Brisbane has your source of game-day fare, Broncos legends and big-screen viewing. Events will be running all weekend from LiveWire 24/7 Sports Bar, including the next chapter in the Champion Series, hosted by legend of the game Darius Boyd for an up-close-and-personal event as the ex-player catches up with two current Broncos players (keep an eye on Treasury’s Instagram page to find out who).

Riot grrrl great Sleater-Kinney is returning to Brisbane this weekend to tour the band’s latest album, Little RopeExperience the raw lyricism, signature wailing and rich sounds of a band that defined an era of indie-rock. With Sleater-Kinney recording its first album in Australia in 1994, the show will be full of alt-scene nostalgia – along with an abundance of angst and anthems.

In the same vein, The Triffid is once again hosting You Oughta Know – it’s burlesque tribute to 90s femme alt-rock. Cornflake Girls to Cannonballs ensemble – this hit-filled show is celebrating the music of your favourite nineties women with burlesque, drag and the pole. Dust off the flannelette and grab your docs for a nostalgia-charged night of grunge and girlhood.

For our country folk, heel and toe your way to The Regatta this weekend – its annual Town and Country event is back from Friday to Sunday. With a stacked line-up of country music, barbecue street food and cowboy hats aplenty, this two-day event is bringing a bit of country to the city. This country-western haven will also be screening Magic Round on the big screen along with pop-up bars scattered around stocked with frothy faves.

Stand-up and theatre
Brisbane’s leading venues have joined forces this month to celebrate Brisbane Comedy FestivalBoth established and emerging comedians are taking to the stage this weekend for a bunch of side-splitting sets – including Lawrence Mooney, Annabel Crabb, Lizzy Hoo and many more. Beyond stand-up, you’ll also the heart-warming Queerstories event and free shows on Friday as well.

From across the pond, the hilarious (and previously holy) Dawn French is making her way to Brisbane for a night of laughs. The queen of British comedy is gracing us with her new show Dawn French is a Huge Twat where she’ll share her best and excruciating gaffes. Dawn will be cracking up the Brisbane Entertainment and Convention Centre this Thursday and Friday.

Mythology’s anti-heroine gets reimagined in the latest Queensland Theatre production, Medea. Writers Kate Mulvany (Jasper Jones) and Anne-Louise Sark have flipped the script of the Medea myth. Set in modern-day Australia, Medea recasts the classic story from the perspective of her two sons. Family, betrayal and feminine rage is explored in this thrilling play – which continues its run this weekend.

The work of the prolific playwright Suzie Miller returns to Brisbane this weekend with RBG: Of Many, One. Following its sold-out 2022 season, the production sees the return of Heather Mitchell playing the indomitable Ruth Bader Ginsburg in this study of the icon’s career. Experience the work of this Tony and Olivier-winning playwright in its limited run from this Saturday.

At La Boite Theatre, experience the debut work of the emerging Australian actor-playwright Thomas Weatherall (Netflix’s Heartbreak High). Blue follows the character of Mark and his relationship with his mother in a beautiful coming-of-age story –  described by Thomas as “very personal fiction.” Following its highly acclaimed run during Sydney FestivalBlue will begin its limited run in Brisbane this Saturday.

QPAC is inviting you to be their guest with its magical musical production of Beauty and the Beast the MusicalExperience the beloved Disney film reimagined for the stage but still featuring Alan Menken’s new score. The classic fairy-tale story comes to life with captivating sets and opulent costumes for a reverie of romance.

Experience Japanese artist Hiromi Tango’s artist residency at the Museum of Brisbane this weekend, showcasing the community-led project Gentle Petal. The multi-room installation features upcycled textiles for attendees to create flowers, which will then enliven the walls of the Adelaide Street Pavilion. Hiromi’s vibrant project aims to inspire healing through the social connection of creating together.

Last month, QAGOMA recently launched its latest exhibition from Waanyi artist Judy Watson. mudunama kundana wandaraba jarribirri combines four decades of work, featuring prints, paintings, sculptures and more to consider Judy’s prolific reflections on her family’s Waanyi Country in north-west Queensland. Whilst exploring QAG, you can also take a wander through the Seeds and Sovereignty exhibition. These curated pieces from the museum’s Indigenous Australian Art Collection consider the intricate relationships between plants, people and Country. Discover artwork by traditional and emerging First Nations artists and unlock the cultural stories, ceremony and Songlines.

Brisbane’s Institute of Modern Art has welcomed its next fleet of exhibitions, bannered by an exciting range of local and international artists. Platform represents the gallery’s new annual series which is dedicated to showcasing new work from emerging artists under 40. Visit the Brunswick Street space over the weekend, and catch the works of Miguel Aquilizan, Mia Boe, and Sarah Poulgrain.

Food and drinks
The celebrated vintners behind Thomas Wines have been touring the country to launch their latest  Shiraz. OTTO Ristorante will be hosting the final dinner in the series with head chef Will Cowper crafting a special menu to pair with tastings of the soon-to-be-released 2022 Shiraz and a brand-new wine as well. Tickets include a four-course meal with wine pairings, enjoying at the riverside South Bank restaurant.

Head to Cloudland on Sunday for a riotous romp at Drag Brunch. The Real Housewives girls will be treating you to shows, games and special guests, while you savour a two-hour brunch and drinks package. Close out the weekend with a feast of fun and flair from 11:00 am.

Markets and more
Stock up on fresh-local produce, bespoke goodies and street food snacks at one of the weekly markets as well. Riverside Markets, Kelvin Grove Village Market, Jan Powers Farmers MarketsCarseldine Markets, Nundah Farmers Markets and the Redcliffe Markets are open and trading this weekend.

At The Breakfast Creek Lifestyle Precinct, the riverside promenade will be coming alive with the return of its special market Farm Gate to City Door Markets. Explore a range of stalls stocked with Scenic Rim fresh produce, artisanal provisions and handmade creations. While you stroll, snack on coffee and croissants by Mica and wander the precinct.

Suitcase Rummage is rolling back to Brisbane Square this weekend, with its suite of luggage to shop from. For the uninitiated, the iconic event sees second-hand clothing sellers set up vintage, books, jewellery, shoes – you name it –  all from the confines of their suitcase. The market is home to great deals and must-buy finds for a diverse styles and sizes.

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