What’s on in Brisbane this weekend

From huge tunes at Valley Fiesta and mouth-watering feasts on King Street to Australia’s biggest fashion thrift market and free fitness sessions, this weekend has it all. There’s plenty happening across all corners of Brisbane – here’s a handy rundown of what’s on. Enjoy!

Live music
The 26th annual Valley Fiesta returns this Friday and Saturday with a loaded line-up of top-notch talent descending on Fortitude Valley for two huge days of live music – and it’s all free! Four stages across King Street, Chinatown Mall, Brunswick Street Mall, Bakery Lane and Winn Lane will light up with a stellar roster of big-name headliners and Brisbane’s best local acts. On Friday night, grab a feast at mouth-watering block party King Street Food Fiesta and catch alt-pop artist Lucy Korts, awe-inspiring Samoan artist Taitu’uga and celebrated synthesist and vocalist Kuzco. The huge tunes continue on Saturday night with an unmissable line-up that includes Brisbane pop princess Mallrat, psychedelic fusion group Mildlife and dream-pop singer Hatchie (Chinatown stage), Miss Kaninna (Brunswick Mall), Moths to a Flame (Winn Lane), Quiet Storm DJs (Bakery Lane) and plenty more sensational sound-makers. Check out the full Valley Fiesta program here and scope out your favourites.

The live tunes continue on Sunday with monthly outdoor music event The Sound Society popping up in Roma Street Parklands. Roll out your picnic rug and kick back to tunes from Brother Fox in the stunning sub-tropical surrounds and enjoy scoops from Gelato a Go-Go. It’s free to attend, so round up your pals or your pooch and head on down from 11:00 am for a music-filled Sunday morning in the sunshine.

Tim Minchin, internationally renowned award-winning musician, comedian, actor, writer and composer, is playing an intimate and informal solo show at QPAC’s Concert Hall this weekend. If you’re lucky you can nab one of the very few last-minute tickets to the Saturday, Sunday or Monday show here, but don’t fret if you miss out – he’s back again in February! The Brisbane Symphony Orchestra’s final concert for 2023, Spotlight on the Double Bass, will take over Brisbane City Hall on Sunday, treating audiences to a magical afternoon concerto.

All things food and drink
King Street Food Fiesta returns this Friday to kick off the annual Valley Fiesta in mouth-watering fashion. Arrive hungry – all of your favourite King St eateries will be lined up and ready to sling a lip-smacking array of street-food-inspired tasting plates from just $8. The unmissable street party (read more about it here) will be serving up plenty of eats, drinks, live music and roaming entertainment from 5:00–10:00 pm, a delicious start to a massive two days of live and free music at Valley Fiesta.

This Saturday, pop-up picnic Le Dîner en Blanc returns to Brisbane with a vintage-glam theme, taking over a ‘secret location’ with an elegant all-white dress code, BYO all-white table settings, fancy picnic hampers and plenty of champagne. In true Dîner en Blanc style, the location remains undisclosed until moments before the event begins – tickets are still available via the website.

Family-friendly Sundowner Sessions kick off at West Village this weekend, taking place from 2:00–5:00 pm every Saturday and Sunday throughout November. Roll out your favourite rug and soak up the spectacular leafy surrounds, while you snack on takeaway treats from one of West Villages’ tasty nosh spots and enjoy live RnB tunes and soul music on Saturday, followed by 90s anthems on Sunday.

Fancy a free old fashioned cocktail this weekend? Woodford Reserve’s Old Fashioned Week is back, with bars across the country offering complimentary cocktails to keen sippers. From November 4–18, Brisbane folk can nab a free old fashioned at The Press Club, The Caxton Hotel and The Jubilee. Just register here to receive your complimentary cocktail voucher.

Markets and outdoor events
Struggling to find your summer fitness mojo? Medibank Feel Good Program is in full swing at South Bank Parklands with free wellness and fitness classes happening each week until November 30. Sweat it out at Body Attack or Zumba on Thursday night (why not both?), then Saturday it’s all about wellness with free pilates, yoga flow and aqua classes from 8:00 am. You’ve only got a few more weeks to make the most of these free fitness sessions – and you don’t even need to book! Just show up with water, a towel and be ready to get sweaty! You can view the program details and times here.

Australia’s biggest curated thrift market, Fashion Thrift Society, is taking over Brisbane Showgrounds on Sunday. It’ll be a second-hand shopping experience like no other, with more than 150 unique vendors lining the precinct with everything from vintage fashion to designer and handmade clothing, shoes, accessories, home decor, art and more. It all kicks off from 10:00 am.

Must-see exhibitions
Embark on a journey down memory lane and rediscover the quintessential Australian experience of staying at a motel at The Workshops Rail Museum’s newest exhibition, Reception This WayFrom family holidays and long road trips in the sweltering summer heat, to continental breakfasts and mid-century mod cons, this exhibition has it all! The must-see showcase was developed by National Archives of Australia in collaboration with comedian Tim Ross, and is being proudly hosted by The Workshops Rail Museum until Tuesday December 12. Don’t miss it!

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Over at Northshore, free outdoor art exhibition Sculpture By The River has popped up, 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.

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.

Live shows, theatre and comedy
Queensland Theatre is taking a bow on a stellar 2023 season with a must-see production of Qui Nguyen’s Vietgone – an irreverent, Pulp Fiction-style interpretation of a wild romance journey through the heartland of America. The inventive production, dubbed ‘the anti-Miss Saigon’ is co-directed by Daniel Eveans and Ngoc Phan, and bends traditional theatre genres to deliver a live-action theatre cartoon, filled with in-your-face ninja action and booming hip-hop tunes. Vietgone premieres at QPAC’s Playhouse Theatre this Saturday November 4, with the limited season running through until Saturday November 18. Tickets are on sale here.

Need a belly laugh? Australian-American funnyman Arj Barker is bringing his observational comedy with deadpan absurdism to Brisbane Powerhouse this weekend, with shows on both Friday and Saturday nights. For something a little different, enjoy an evening of magic, illusion and mystery at Brisbane’s brand-new Theatre of Magic – a special Saturday night residency show held in a secret room in the historic Elizabeth Picture Theatre. Bookings are required for this family-friendly magic production – get in quick and secure your spot here for this weekend.

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.

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