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Artist markets, Night Feast eats and show-stopping choirs – what’s on this weekend in Brisbane

From The Great Artist Market at Felons and Night Feast’s third week to Museum of Brisbane’s 20th birthday bash and the breathtaking sounds of Spinifex Gum, this weekend is teeming with things to do. Steer your weekend in the right direction with this handy guide to what’s on.
Oct 20, 2023, updated Oct 20, 2023

All things food and drink
If you’re yet to treat your senses at the spring edition of Night Feast at Brisbane Powerhouse, make it a priority! Week three of this month-long immersive art and feasting experience will serve up an electrifying smorgasbord of eats, brought to you by Brisbane’s top-tier chefs, as well as interactive art, spectacular visuals and live music from Wednesday to Sunday. Not sure what to eat? Peep our list of must-try dishes here. This weekend, we’re eyeing the Chips ‘n’ Dip from Dalton Catering – a mouth-watering masterpiece of potato rosti chips with roasted chicken-skin salt, smoked sour cream and chive, and Yarra Valley salmon caviar. Yum! As for tunes, mastermind DJ Aidan Beers will provide the beats on Saturday, while the fun beats of Comfort Royale will have you dancing under the stars on Sunday.

Don’t forget, Brisbane Powerhouse is also home to the newly opened Vertigo – an elevated dining experience suspended off the side of Brisbane Powerhouse with eats by Bar Alto served a whopping 17 metres above the ground. Bookings are now open – go here to dine on the edge.

This Friday, you can journey across the globe one bite at a time in an evening of delicious food, wine and cocktails at the Brisbane Quarter’s Progressive Dinner, hosted by foodie expert Karen Inglis. Indulge in an array of international dishes and drink pairings from Brisbane Quarter restaurants Brisbane Phoenix, Tenya and Phat Boy before landing at Persone for a scrumptious 5-star dessert and cocktail overlooking South Bank and the Brisbane River. Book this mouth-watering five-hour tour for your taste buds over here.

Markets, workshops and outdoor events
Felons Barrel Hall will be transformed into a shiny creative mecca this Saturday when The Great Artist Market takes over the riverside beer haven to showcase a curated line-up of more than 50 incredible local artists and makers. A bunch of creative royalty (we’re talking the likes of Rachel Burke, Bonnie Hislop, Leans, Lauren Rogers and Claire Ritchie) will be there alongside a considered bunch of Brisbane’s best emerging and established talent, from ceramicists to picklers and illustrators to furniture makers, treating market-goers to a treasure trove of hidden gems and one-of-a-kind finds. Head on down to Felons from 8:00 am.

This Saturday, Museum of Brisbane is hosting a birthday bash filled with free, family-friendly tours, talks, workshops and activities to celebrate its 20th birthday – and you’re invited! The day kicks off at 10:00 am with the Impossible Pots workshop, then the Dome Gallery will host a special Aboriginal cultural performance by Nunukul Yuggera. At 11:00 am, hear from MoB director Zoe Graham and enjoy a free cupcake (yum!), then circle back to the studio to attend an object-handling workshop and a Q&A with MoB’s Curatorial and Collections team. It’ll be one jam-packed birthday bash – head here for details and get amongst the celebrations for Brisbane’s beloved home of storytelling.

Fans of international films are in their element this month – the ST ALi. Italian Film Festival is in full swing Palace Cinemas, showcasing a superb selection of the best new films from Italy. While the Japanese Film Festival is rolling out a series of gripping historical dramas to innovative modern tales until October 22. Find out what’s screening over here.

Get into the Halloween spirit and have a wickedly good time at Victoria Park’s Spooky Putt Putt sessions this weekend. Round up your ghoulish gang and putt your way through the chilling Broken Bones Boulevard, dodging cackling clowns and wicked witches as you mingle with friendly neighbourhood zombies. Be sure to order boo-zee slushies (spiked with Altos tequila) that’ll be delivered to you out on the creepy course.

Live music
Indie powerhouse Tia Gostello brings her Head Noise album tour to The Triffid on Friday night, then on Saturday American indie rockers Built to Spill hit The Triffid stage. US rapper Lil Tjay is taking over Riverstage on Saturday night (upgraded from its original venue at Fortitude Music Hall), and over at The Princess Theatre on Friday, hip-hop beat-maker Earl Sweatshirt will be sending big beats. Hollow Coves are playing at The Princess Theatre on Saturday, followed by Japanese punk-rock-garage masters Otoboke Beaver on Sunday as part of their debut Australian tour. Fans of Bliss n Eso can snap up final tickets to their show at The Tivoli on Sunday.

Live shows and theatre
This Thursday and Friday, QPAC is hosting Voices Shaping the Future, a two-day event featuring thought-provoking conversations, moving performances and engaging workshops, led by change-makers, mentors and social commentators with big ideas. The compelling Conversation Series features two nights of captivating chats at Cremorne Theatre. On Thursday, audiences will be enthralled by double-header Boys Will Be Boys and The Changemakers, Taking the Lead. Then on Friday night, the conversation pivots to the Matilda’s impact and looking forward to Brisbane 2032 with Blow the Whistle, followed by a discussion of labels with The F‑Word – Are We There Yet? You can view the full program of events here.

To cap off Voices Shaping the Future, QPAC’s Concert Hall will be filled with the breathtaking sounds of Spinifex Gum on Friday night, an award-winning concert that combines the beauty of a choir of young Indigenous female singers from far North Queensland and the Torres Strait with contemporary songwriting that speaks to issues of our time. The unique blend of choral music and modern song combine with dance to create a performance like you’ve never seen before. This high energy, high impact, and hauntingly beautiful music lays bare the injustices faced by Indigenous Australians and shines a light on the strength of those who fight for their community – it’s an absolute must-see show. Tickets are available via QPAC.

It’s the final weekend to catch Metro Arts’ newest production Every Brilliant Thing – a moving and uplifting theatrical experience, prompting audiences to reflect on the simple joys that make life brilliant. Staged at Metro Arts’ New Benner Theatre, Every Brilliant Thing explores themes of family, love, loss and hope from the perspective of a child who compiles a list of worthwhile moments to help their depressed mother. Brought to life by Ipswich-based THAT Production Company, this hilariously intimate piece of storytelling is equal parts playful and movingly nostalgic, reinforcing our shared similarities, worries and joys. Grab tickets for this week’s final shows here.

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The work of internationally-acclaimed artist Michael Zavros will be elegantly fused with the art of dance and live music in Soirée – a dazzling new performance by the Queensland Ballet Academy. The performances are being staged at Thomas Dixon Theatre in West End from Thursday through to Saturday, with tickets available here.

Shake and Stir Theatre Co’s monstrous theatrical adaptation of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is underway at QPAC’s Playhouse. The production, helmed by adaptor Nelle Lee and director Nick Skubij, combines mind-blowing production elements with powerful storytelling to create truly thrilling theatre. Frankenstein is showing at QPAC until October 28  for details and ticket bookings, head here.

Must-see exhibitions
Adored Brisbane-based abstract artist Emma Darrouzet, renowned for her vibrant work with bright neons and pastels, and her bold and freely painted patterns, line work and colour blending, is showcasing her brand-new collection with a solo exhibition at Studio on Brunswick on California Lane, lighting up the walls from October 19 through to November 2. Aptly titled A Kale Smoothie is not Going to Fix This, the thought-provoking exhibition shines satirical light on the complexities of dishing out well-meaning-yet-completely-useless suggestions and support when trying to help someone navigate a mental health situation.  Locals are invited to the opening night this Friday from 5:30 pm – it’s free to attend, and drinks, nibbles and a much-needed dopamine hit are provided. Secure a spot to the exhibition’s opening night here.

Free art exhibition Sculpture By The River has popped up at Northshore, showcasing head-turning works of some of Queensland’s most renowned sculptors on the Hamilton riverfront. The public is welcome from 10:00 am daily to check out the display of works from local and Queensland artists on both the riverfront walkway and in the Northshore Shed until December 3.

Venture to QAGOMA to get your eyes on sis, an incredible display that showcases three decades of art-making from a sisterhood of Pacific artists, featuring everything from large sculptural installations and compelling video to the most intricate weaving creations. While you’re there, check out Queensland Art Gallery’s newest exhibition, Living Patterns, which focuses on the way audiences perceive and react to artistic elements such as colour, shape and form. Spotlighting contemporary Australian artists like Scott Redford, Jemima Wyman, Kamilaroi artist Reko Rennie and many more, this one is a must-see.

Over at Museum of Brisbane, you can marvel at Clay: Collected Ceramics – a celebration of the hand-crafted endeavour that combines works from the Museum of Brisbane’s esteemed collection of ceramics, plus works from more than 300 external makers lending their individual pieces in celebration of the art that beholds them. Clay is being showcased at Museum of Brisbane until October 22, running daily between 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.

The State Library of Queensland is uncovering the role Aboriginal people played in establishing our pastoral industry in its latest collection, Working Country. Peruse the halls of First Nations community space – kuril dhagun – and you will be transported to a time of colonial invasion where, amid upheaval and devastation, working Country became a means of survival. You can wander through this free exhibition until January 2024.

Local Markets
If you’re eager to stroll through some stalls and stock up on some fresh fruit and veg over the weekend, be sure to check out these markets happening – along with the brand-new Northshore Produce Markets, there’s the Saturday Fresh Market, Riverside Markets, Kelvin Grove Village Market, Jan Powers Farmers Markets, Davies Park Market, Carseldine Markets, Nundah Farmers Markets and the Redcliffe Markets. For delicious dinner time eats, Eat Street Northshore is open for your snacking pleasure on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights.

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 The Weekend Edition’s comprehensive Event Guide for all of the fun around town where you can search by category, date, location and more!

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