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Brisbane's 'Fire Gardens' Installation Has Been Cancelled

After delaying the event for a week due to the Queensland bushfires, Brisbane Festival has now cancelled the installation completely.
By Sarah Ward
September 14, 2019
By Sarah Ward
September 14, 2019

Announced back in May as one of Brisbane Festival's main 2019 drawcards, the world-renowned Fire Gardens installation was due to light up the Brisbane City Botanic Gardens this September. But with devastating bushfires carving a destructive path across the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast, and a total fire ban presently in place across southeast Queensland, organisers have now cancelled the fiery event.

It was already an inopportune time to stage Fire Gardens, which Brisbane Festival recognised earlier this week by initially postponing the installation. With the extension of Brisbane's total fire ban until 11.59pm Friday 20 September, however, the fest has now pulled the plug completely. Originally due to run between Wednesday, September 11 and Saturday, September 14, Fire Gardens was rescheduled to take place between Wednesday, September 18 and Saturday, September 21 — but the bulk of the newer dates now fall within the fire ban period.

"The extension of the ban into next week means Fire Gardens can no longer proceed as the event's visiting international team of artists is unable to extend their Australian stay further due to existing international touring commitments," the Brisbane Festival webpage for the event states, with ticketholders informed via email late on Friday, September 13.

QTIX, Bris Fest's ticket provider, will automatically refund the purchase price onto customers credit cards within 14 working days. Folks who paid via Paypal, EFTPOS or cash will need to contact QTIX from Wednesday 18 September to arrange a refund.

While it won't be making it to Brisbane, Fire Gardens has previously popped up everywhere from Stonehenge to The Kremlin to Melbourne. It's the work of French art collective Compagnie Carabosse, who has been starting fires professionally for more than 20 years — so it knows how to do so safely. This isn't just about watching things burn, obviously, with a mysterious live soundtrack performed by French musicians boosting the mood and allure.

For more information about the Fire Gardens cancellation, visit the event website.

For updates on the Queensland bushfires, head to the Rural Fire Service website and Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Twitter.

Images: Sylvie Monier, Regina Marcenkiene and Vincent Muteau.

Published on September 14, 2019 by Sarah Ward


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