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A Giant Moon, Rooftop Parties and a Lindy Lee Art Boat Lead Brisbane Festival's First 2022 Lineup

This year's Brisbane Festival will focus its program around four big weekends — and also include the Queensland Symphony Orchestra playing 70s disco tunes at the Riverstage.
By Sarah Ward
May 31, 2022
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By Sarah Ward
May 31, 2022
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When September rolls around in Brisbane, expect to do at least one of three things — all involving the moon. You can get up close and personal with a giant floating replica of the celestial object. Or, you'll be able to party beneath it at a series of synchronised rooftop shindigs. And, you can also stare up at it at its fullest while floating along the river surrounded Lindy Lee's art.

Why? Because Brisbane Festival 2022 will be taking over the town from Friday, September 2–Saturday, September 24, and it's going big on lunar action in a variety of ways. Perhaps that's why the fest announced back in mid-March that it'd begin with Riverfire this year, rather than end with it. Starting with a night of moonlit fireworks now proves extremely fitting, and a case of kicking the festival off as means to go on.

As part of its just-dropped first hefty program announcement, Bris Fest will bring the moon down to earth thanks to British artist Luke Jerram, who is perhaps best known for his seven-metre Museum of the Moon. It adorns a floating orb, will make its temporary home at West Village for the fest, and will also share that huge sphere with two other of Jerram's works — Gaia and Mars — displaying one each week.

Museum of the Moon (2017) by Luke Jerram, courtesy University of Bristol

As for those parties, they'll pop up on six Brisbane rooftops on one single night as part of an event called Raise the Roof. Exactly where hasn't been revealed as yet, but the sextet of soirees will feature six artists and/or artist collectives such as Michael Zavros, Briefs Factory International and The Grates' Patience Hodgson, all curating a venue each around a specific colour palette. If you're heading along, you'll be asked to embrace the theme.

On the water, Brisbane's Art Boat will return after proving such a hit in 2021, and set sail from Northshore Brisbane once again. Australian visual artist Lindy Lee will be doing the honours, decking out the floating venue as part of a festival-first collaboration. And while it'll be cruising along all across the fest, Brisbane's Art Boat will host a midnight cruise on Saturday, September 10 so that patrons can peer up at that evening's full moon.

Lindy Lee by Joel Devereux

These lunar-loving events form part of Brisbane Festival's new focus on weekends — rejigging its program around what it's calling four "weekends of wonder". Also on the bill so far: the Queensland Symphony Orchestra playing 70s disco tunes in the moonlight at the Riverstage, with the openair Disco Wonderland gig also featuring Paulini and Ben Mingay.

Plus, the 2022 lineup includes the world premiere of Holding Achilles, an aerial-focused theatre production set amid the Trojan War, staged by Dead Puppet Society and Legs on the Wall, and featuring Montaigne performing an original score live; the stage adaptation of Shannon Molloy's coming-of-age memoir Fourteen by shake & stir; and a tri-lingual reimagining of Shakespeare's Othello by Queensland Theatre, as set in the Torres Strait at the height of World War II.

Girl From the North Country, Tristram Kenton

Or, there's Tiddas, a La Boite Theatre and Queensland Performing Arts Centre co-production described as Anita Heiss' "love letter to Meeanjin"; the already-announced Queensland premiere of Girl From the North Country, complete with a Bob Dylan soundtrack; and the return of smoking ceremony Jumoo.

And yes, that's just a taste of what'll be filling Brisbane come September — with the full fest lineup set to be announced in July.

Brisbane Festival runs from Friday, September 2–Saturday, September 24. Tickets for the event's festive weekends lineup will go on sale on Monday, June 6 — and we'll update you with further program details when the full lineup is announced in July.

Top image: Museum of the Moon by Luke Jerram, Greenwich & Docklands Festival, UK, 2017. Photo by @edsimmons /  @visitgreenwich.

Published on May 31, 2022 by Sarah Ward
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