Le Festival — Brisbane French Festival

Brisbane's three-day celebration of French wine, cheese and culture is returning to South Bank for the first time in five years.
Sarah Ward
Published on April 08, 2024


Five years ago — and plenty of years before that as well — South Bank spent a winter weekend each year doubling for France. From crepes and baguettes to mussels and champagne, if it treated your tastebuds to a Gallic feast, it was on offer here. At Le Festival, aka the Brisbane French Festival, so was saying bonjour to French culture without paying for an airfare.

Then the pandemic hit, putting the event on hold for three years. When Le Festival returned in 2023, it made the move to Victoria Park / Barrambin for the first time. In 2024, the fest is shifting again, to return to South Bank for a three-day riverside French party across Friday, July 5–Sunday, July 7.

If you regularly wish that you were on the other side of the world staring at the Eiffel Tower, sipping champers and living the Emily in Paris life, this is the closest that you'll get to a European summer without leaving Brisbane. Francophiles, get ready for an array of French staples — although the wine selection is always especially popular, as are the cheese display and macarons.

While 2024's full details haven't yet been revealed, drinking French red and white wines, sparkling rosé, beer and non-alcoholic beverages is always on the menu, too. Thanks to Le Festival's market, attendees can also browse for homewares, gifts, fashion, books and magazines, with showcasing French and French-inspired products the key aim. Entertainment-wise, alongside live music, the fest typically features cabaret performances and can-can dancing. Masterclasses, including on French table art, will be on the lineup this year as well.

Taking over the South Bank Cultural Forecourt and Parklands from 4–10pm on the Friday, 8am–10pm on the Saturday and 8am–5pm on the Sunday, Le Festival has something specific to celebrate in 2024: the Paris Olympics, which will follow Brisbane's embrace of France by three weeks.

Images: Ange Costes.

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