Brisbane Festival Has Just Dropped a Sneak Peek at Its Stacked Music Lineup for 2023

Paul Kelly, Gretta Ray, Groove Terminator with the Soweto Gospel Choir and a tribute to rock's Laurel Canyon era will all echo through Brisbane in September.
Sarah Ward
Published on May 29, 2023

What'll start with fireworks, end with kazoos and fill Brisbane with live tunes for three spring weeks in-between? The 2023 Brisbane Festival. Ahead of its full lineup announcement in early July, the annual September arts and culture fest is beginning to unveil details of its always jam-packed program — including a just-dropped early glimpse at some of the acts on its music bill.

Brisbane Festival has named a heap of local, national and international talents that'll grace River City venues, focusing on The Tivoli in Bowen Hills, Woolloongabba's revamped The Princess Theatre and South Bank's QPAC, and spanning a variety of genres. Paul Kelly, Gretta Ray, Groove Terminator with the Soweto Gospel Choir and a tribute to rock's Laurel Canyon era: they're all on the way, in what's set to be a very busy start to spring.

Whenever Kelly stands behind the microphone, it's an occasion. At Brisbane Festival, he'll be drawing from recent compilation releases Time, Rivers and Rain, and Drinking — with the latter including favourites such as 'To Her Door' and 'Every Fucking City' — at The Princess Theatre.

Ray will bring her characteristically warm and emotional set to  The Tiv, while that ode to Laurel Canyon is also headed to Woolloongabba, featuring Husky, Dan Kelly, Charm of Finches, Hannah Cameron, Steve Grady and Dan Challis. And, The Princess will welcome in Busby Marou; Soweto Gospel Choir's new concert Hope, a celebration of the music of protest and freedom; and a History of House session that sees Soweto Gospel Choir team up with Groove Terminator to commemorate dance music through the decades.

Over at QPAC, another collaboration is among the highlights, with Birds of Tokyo joining forces with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra. QSO will also welcome composer and conductor Guy Noble to step through his favourite melodies, and the orchestra's new conductor Umberto Clerici will continue its Mahler cycle, this time with Mahler's Sixth Symphony 'Tragic'.

Or, there's Camerata Cinematheque, which sees Camerata create live orchestra scores for new specially commissioned short films by Oscar-nominated Brisbane-born filmmaker Anthony Lucas — plus the Brisbane Philharmonic Orchestra playing Benjamin Britten's 'War Requiem' with special guests.

Brisbane Festival 2023 runs from Friday, September 1–Saturday, September 23 at venues all around Brisbane. Tickets for this run of music events go on sale on Friday, June 2.

Brisbane Festival's full program will be released in early July — for more information in the interim, head to the fest's website.

Published on May 29, 2023 by Sarah Ward
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